With the weather hitting all-time lows these years, heating is the first thing on homeowners minds. From wind chills to piles of snow, properly heating your tiny house is a must.
But, what is the difference between heating a tiny house and a traditional house? While traditional homeowners need to stick with what is available, tiny houses have options.
When it comes to heating your tiny house, the more information you have the better off you will be.
This way you can find the right plan that works best for you. From saving money to keeping utility costs low, heating a tiny house is easy when you’re pointed in the right direction.
Here is everything you could possibly want to know about heating your tiny house.
Let’s start with the electric heaters.
Electric Heaters For Tiny Houses
The good thing about owning a tiny house is that there is far less square footage.
This means that filling your house with heat will be quicker. Not only that, but you will spend less money on heating overall.
While there are many different ways to heat a tiny house, many people prefer electrical heaters.
Most tiny homes run on a combination of gas and electric energy.
Saving precious propane and gas is a top priority for tiny houses. This is where electric space heaters come in handy. Here is everything you need to know using electric heaters for tiny houses.
How Much Electricity Do Electric Heaters Use? (And The Price)
Electric heaters are portable style heaters that work with homers electrical system. In order to use electric heaters, your house needs to have an electrical power source.
These heaters will simply plug into your homes electrical outlets and heat the air throughout your space.
Over here you can read all about how much electricity the heaters will use (and the cost!).
Depending on the size of your tiny house, you have plenty of options when it comes to buying the best electric heater. It isn’t only the size of the heater to consider either.
There are dozens of styles of electric heaters that are sure to fit into any design scheme your home has. From heaters that look like working fireplaces to ones that roll away when not needed.
There is a style out there to fit your interior.
The Pro’s And Con’s Of Electrical Heaters
With so many heating options for your tiny house, how do you choose just one?
When it comes to electrical space heaters, there are plenty of perks. The main reason why these heaters are great for tiny houses is that they are built to move. When owning a tiny house you know that finding creative ways to use the space your home has is important.
No one wants to be tripping over wires and heaters just to move around their living room.
The great thing about space heaters is that they won’t impact your life or floor space in a negative way. Because of their compact size, they can be stored away when the chill finally begins to melt. However, with any pro, there is always a con.
The main reason why some people are hesitant when it comes to using space heaters is that of safety.
Improperly using a space heater is a dangerous situation. If you plan on using a space heater in your tiny house, make sure you follow the directions carefully.
The first thing you want to check is that the space surrounding your heater is clear of clutter.
Space heaters that are placed carefully on a flat surface pose no threat. So, while heating your home is important, keeping it safe is even more important.
3 Good Electrical Heaters For Tiny Houses
If you have decided that using electric heaters is the right move for you, it is time to start shopping.
Like most things, finding the right electric heater for your tiny house is all about personal preference.
Form the size to the style, you are in charge of what you need. However, it doesn’t hurt to see what others think about their space heaters in their tiny houses.
Here are some of the best electric heaters that are used in tiny houses:
1) Lasko Ceramic Tower Space Heater
Tower space heaters are great for tiny houses because of their sleek design. Instead of having a short and wide heater, tall heaters allow for more open floor space.
Also, because the base of this heater is weighted, you don’t have to worry about knocking it over.
This is a great solution for people who are worried about the dangers of space heaters.
This Lasko heater has a 1,500-watt heating coil that has several comfort settings.
You can easily switch from high to low depending on how cold your home is. Also, you will love that this heater comes with built-in safety features.
Best of all, this heater has auto shut-off options so you never have to worry that you left it on. When you no longer need to heat your home, you can easily store this tall but thin heater away and out of sight.
2) Stanley Heavy-Duty Electric Heater
If you live in a tiny house hoping to seek adventure, this Stanley heater is perfect for your lifestyle.
This is because this heater can easily be used inside as well as outside of the home. This way you can take the party out to the great outdoors without sacrificing your comfort.
This is because this heater is built to weather the storm and stand up to even the toughest winds.
Don’t let the small compact size of this heater fool you. This powerful electric heater is 1,500 watts and is strong enough to heat up to 165 square feet. The main reason why this heater is preferable for tiny houses is that it heats up very fast.
This means that you can quickly switch from high to low heat which will reduce heating costs as well as reduce your carbon footprint.
3) Duraflame Electric Fireplace
If you’re looking for an electric heater that is both powerful and aesthetically pleasing, this one is perfect for you.
This electric heater doubles as a mock fireplace that uses electricity and quartz to offer a powerful heating experience.
This heater is also great for tiny houses that have more than one levels. This is because it heats up to 1,000 square feet (90 m2) in a short amount of time.
The best part about this electric heater is that it does far more than heat up your tiny house.
Because it uses natural quartz, it can improve the overall air quality of your home. This is because when quartz is heated up, it naturally balances out the humidity in the air. This will keep your home, as well as your skin from drying out in even the coldest of weather.
Heat pumps can be used for heating as well as an air condition unit. They are great because they are pretty silent.
They have the fan inside the house and it is typically mounted above a window.
On the outside, there’s a compressor unit that drives the air into the house. This part is pretty noisy and needs to be put on the outside.
These units are very effective and they can quickly cool or heat the tiny space. Most models will have a thermostat function where you just select a fixed temperature and the unit will silently keep the temperature steady.
They are mounted permanently and you cannot take them with you. They are also a pretty economical solution.
They typically cost around $1,000 – 2,000 and they are easy to install.
Not for very low temperatures
There are many good things to say about heat pumps and most tiny houses we have visited have one.
But they will not always function in very cold weather so you need to have a backup plan with some gas heaters or a stove.
This model is the top-rated heat pump on Amazon. It’s from Pioneer and they make very durable and robust models:
Gas Heaters For Tiny Houses
Another option for heating a tiny house is a gas style heater.
These are a great option for those who don’t always have access to electricity.
While tiny houses can be hooked up to local electric grids, it isn’t always available. And tiny houses don’t have to be hooked up to electricity.
This is especially true for people who travel often in their tiny houses. These types of residences rely mostly on gas to power their homes.
Most of the time, this done with a refillable propane gas tank.
Being able to use a resource that your tiny house already has is a great perk for using a gas style heater. However, you are not limited to just one style of gas with these types of heaters. Here is everything you need to know about gas style heaters in order to make your decision easier:
How Much Does The Gas Cost?
Gas heaters are portable space heating units that don’t need electricity to run.
These heaters work with different types of gasses, depending on what is readily available to you. Also, because they are considered space heaters, they also can be easily stored away when not in use.
Not an expert in gas? No worries!
Here are the different types of gasses that can be used with most gas space heaters:
- Natural gas
You can read about how much gas a tiny house will use (and the price!).
Having different options for gas is perfect for traveling homeowners.
This way you don’t have to worry about finding the right type of gas no matter where you are. The one big advantage to using gas heaters that fits into the tiny house lifestyle is the option to use natural gas. Most people who live in tiny houses are always looking for ways to live on the natural side of life.
Finding a gas heater that works with naturally sourced gas can help you stay true to your reductive style of living.
Why Should You Buy A Gas Heater?
If you’re still deciding between using an electric and gas heater to heat your tiny house, consider the perks of owning a gas heater.
The one major upside to having a gas heater is that you don’t have to worry about unpredictable weather patterns.
Heavy winds and storms are notorious for knocking out power lines and messing with electrical grids.
The last thing you would want is to be stuck in the middle of a sudden tundra without heat. This is where gas-powered heaters come in handy. You can easily weather the storm safe from cold chills with a powerful gas heater.
By the way, here’s all you need to know about stormy weather in tiny houses.
Best of all, you can use whatever gas you have on hand in your tiny house to power these little wonders.
You no longer have to feel chained to your home’s electricity with the freedom that these gas-powered heaters offer.
2 Great Gas Heaters For Your Tiny House
If you are interested in heating your home with the help of gas heaters, you have options.
Choosing the right gas heater for your tiny house is easier with the help of other homeowners. Knowing what type of heater has worked well in other tiny houses is a great asset to you.
Here are the top two gas heaters that are praised by owners of tiny houses to heat their limited space:
1) Mr. Heater Vent-Free Natural Gas Heater
One thing you want to look for in a gas powered heater for your tiny house, are the ones that are vent-free.
This way you won’t need to use a window or find an outdoor source for your heater. Vented heaters can fill spaces with exhaust which is the last thing you want for your tiny house.
However, just because this heater doesn’t have a vent doesn’t mean that it isn’t powerful.
Not only does this heater fil up to 750 square feet, but it also uses blue flame technology. This offers a more even heat distribution so that there will be no sudden cold spots in your home. Also, because it uses natural gas to work, it has far fewer repercussions on the environment when in use.
One thing to keep in mind with this style of heater is that it features an open grate. This means that you need to place is far away from curious little fingers as well as clutter.
2) Dyna-Glo Wall Mounted Natural Gas Heater
For more information on this gas heat, check out the prices here at Amazon.
One downside to gas space heaters is that they are regarded as being bulky. One of the last things that tiny houses need is more bulky stuff.
Tiny houses only work when there are clear walking paths as well as wide open spaces. Having a clunky heater in the middle of your living space is less than desirable.
That’s exactly why this gas heater is preferred among owners of tiny houses.
The Dyna-Glo heater mounts right to your wall so you don’t need to worry about the gas heater taking up precious space. The best part about this gas heater is that when it comes to power, you have options. There are two styles to choose from. You can pick either natural or propane gas.
This means that if your tiny home already runs on propane, there will be no need for an extra gas supply trip.
Also, because this heater uses infrared technology, it will heat up your home in a more natural way, much like the sun would. You will also love that this heater comes backed with a warranty as well as add-on purchase options. One add-on that is great for tiny houses is the extra quiet fan.
This helps to move heat through your tiny house without disturbing your family.
The last option we will look at is a woodburning stove. That’s a super cozy and nice alternative to gas and electricity.
A stove will work in any weather and you just need to make sure you have wood or pellets for the cold season.
Otherwise, you can always find some firewood at supermarkets etc.
They will have to be installed properly and this is not something you just do overnight.
Here you can see a woodburning stove getting installed in a tiny house:
Once you have it you will have a very good and efficient heat source in your home.
Finding a small enough model
The problem is often that most manufacturers do not produce these for tiny homes. The smallest models are often made for houses that are bigger than our tiny houses on wheels.
So you need to check that it is not too big as it needs to take up as little space as possible. And we don’t need a normal size stove for 2- 300 sq.ft.
It cost typically less than $1,000 and it’s a good solid brand that will last long.
Use it for cooking as well
Another neat thing about having a wood stove is the possibility to use it for heating water and for cooking.
You can keep some water on top of it so you always have hot water for doing the dishes and for a cup of tea.
Insulation For Tiny Houses
The heating in your home is only as good as your home’s insulation.
Without proper insulation, heat will escape the home.
This means that your home is not only losing heat but you are also losing money. If you are just starting to build your tiny houses and are looking for the best insulation to trap in heat, you have options.
Here are 3 common ways to insulate your house in order to keep in warm and cozy:
Spray insulation is a quick way to fix leaky structures.
Using a special foam and air pressure, this type of insulation fills walls and tiny spaces with ease. The best part about this type of insulation is that you can easily do it yourself. All supplies needed for a foam spray insulation can be found at most hardware stores.
Also, because there is less space to insulate, the cost of using spray insulation will be much lower compared to traditional style homes.
Fiberglass insulation is one of the classic ways that people have insulated their home.
While there are more modern ways to insulate these days, some people still love to stick with what they know.
If you are planning on using this type of insulation for your home, make sure to get professional help. Fiberglass can be dangerous is not installed properly so make sure that you are keeping your tiny house safe as well as warm.
Nature’s Own Insulation
Owners of tiny houses love to find ways to use natural and repurposed materials in their homes. One way to stay true the tiny house movement is to invest in natural fiber insulation.
One option here can also be wool:
Not only does this type of insulation work wonders when keeping heat indoors, but it also is much safer for the air. This is because there is no dangerous particles floating around that can exasperate breathing problems.
One thing to keep in mind, however, it that natural and organic insulation runs at a higher price point than traditional insulation.
Is your tiny house already built and are you finding that heat is escaping?
There are plenty of measures you can take after construction to help with this problem. This is especially true when it comes to insulation. Have an expert take a good look at the structure of your home to see if there is any room for insulation improvement.
You can also do quick temporary insulation fixes like insulating your windows.
This will help greatly to add an extra layer of protection for your tiny house from the dangerously cold air.
Why Not Go With Two Options? (Good To Have A Backup!)
There is no rule that says you have to choose one path when it comes to heating your tiny house.
Having options can help you stay safe and warm this winter season.
Most importantly, having more than one option can also help you from getting stuck without heat. While you may like the look and style of an electric heater, there is no harm in using both.
This way you don’t have to worry about power lines being knocked out along with your heat. You easily can switch from one style to another without ever having to wonder where your heat is coming from.
However, one thing you do not want to skimp on is your home’s insulation.
Without proper insulation, it won’t matter where your heat is coming from. So keep yourself warm by making sure your house is built to stay that way.
Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.