Your Guide to Heating and Cooling a Tiny House

Find out exactly how you can keep your tiny home cool in the summer and warm in the winter!

Tiny homes are quickly gaining popularity for their affordability, convenience, and light impact on the environment. In a small house, you can easily shed the excess and simplify your life to focus on the essentials. While you can get rid of a lot of modern conveniences in a tiny home, one thing you’ll want to keep is the comfort of heating and cooling. Here are several options that will suit your small space:

how to heat a tiny homePhoto: Our Town Plans

Insulation

You may not think of insulation as a tool for heating and cooling your tiny house, but it will go a long way toward keeping this small space comfortable. With the proper insulation, you can keep heat inside in winter and block it out in summer, so you don’t have to pay to adjust your home’s indoor temperature as much as you will if heat can transfer easily through the walls.

Mini-Split Systems

In a typical home with forced-air heating and cooling, 20 to 30 percent of the air is lost through leaky ducts. You can immediately eliminate this loss with a ductless mini-split system. This design is ideal for a tiny house, because ductwork is far too space-consuming for this type of construction. Without the air loss, this installation is also far more efficient than what you’d be used to in a conventional home.

Mini-split systems feature indoor and outdoor modules connected via a small hole in the wall. They can both heat and cool the home, making them a versatile choice for climates with four distinct seasons. These systems are compact and can be installed in a day with the help of an HVAC professional.

Window Units

A window air conditioner is a fast and simple choice when your tiny home is uncomfortably warm. If you want a DIY fix that you can bring home and install instantly, this is the way to go. While a window unit is typically too inefficient for a larger home, it can effectively lower the temperature in a tiny house, keeping the entire space comfortable with a small unit.

Fans

ceiling fan decoratingPhoto: Tim Cuppet Architects

A ceiling or window fan will help you adjust your home’s temperature a few degrees for added comfort in both summer and winter. Set your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise at a low speed in winter so it will pull cool air up and push warm air down. Reverse the setting in summer and your fan will push cool air downward, creating a refreshing wind chill effect that will make the home feel much cooler.

Portable Heaters

Many types of small heaters can work well in a tiny house. A portable electric heater is one of the most flexible options. You don’t have to deal with the more permanent placement of a wood stove. You can move the heater as needed to keep particular areas of the home warm, such as your sleeping loft at night, or the living space during the day.

Heating and cooling tiny homes is far easier and more affordable than dealing with a more conventional space. Simply choose an approach, and you can enjoy a comfortable space with a minimal expense.

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