One of the nice things about living in a tiny house in a cold climate is that heating a small space is a lot easier than a large one. In fact, it’s so much easier, you probably don’t even need a gas or electric heater to keep your tiny house warm. Here are a handful of tried and true methods you can use to keep your home nice and toasty without wasting power on a heater. Just remember, you’ll need to use a combination of these methods to keep your house truly cozy during the winter without a heater, especially in very cold regions.
5 Methods to Keep Your Home Warm Without an Electric or Gas Heater
1. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate…
The only way you can keep heat from escaping your home is with proper insulation, and when you’re trying to stay as warm as possible, more is better. Thick walls are important, but don’t forget that most of the heat is going to escape through the roof as heat rises from the floor. Proper ceiling and floor insulation are just as important, if not more so, than the walls. Needless to say, you should also use double-paned windows and weather stripping.
2. Get a Wood Stove
A wood stove is easily one of the easiest ways to heat up your tiny house. Some wood stoves are large enough to heat a 2,000 square foot cabin, which means it doesn’t take much to heat a space 10 times smaller than that. The only downsides are that even small wood stoves can be expensive and you’ll have to supply them with firewood. If you’re looking for something inexpensive, check out this article about three wood stoves for $200 or less.
3. Use Windows and Skylights to Let in Radiant Heat
The Sun’s rays produce a lot of heat even in cold climates. This kind of heat is radiant heat, and it’s what gets trapped inside of green houses, warming the internal temperature. You can easily achieve the same effect in your tiny house by making ample use of windows and skylights. Skylights are particularly effective since they will let in lots of light all day; however, don’t forget, if you live in an area with heavy snowfall, you may need to scrape them off from time to time to ensure they’re actually letting in enough light to make a difference. If possible, try to position your windows so they get lots of direct sunlight while the Sun is rising and setting.
4. Skirt Raised Houses
If your tiny house is raised off the ground, be it on wheels or blocks, you’ll definitely want to skirt the bottom. This prevents wind from blowing under the house and cooling the floor. It’s a simple concept that works wonders. If you want to learn how to make a DIY rigid foam skirt for less than $100, check out this tutorial. If you’re really in a bind, you can actually use snow to create a temporary yet effective skirt.
5. Use the Ground
If you have the ability to put all or a portion of your house in the ground, this is a great way to stay warm. It will also keep you cool during the summer months. The ground is an amazing natural insulator since it’s not affected by the cold winds above it and it traps heat in. Sure, the temperature under ground will drop somewhat during the winter, but nothing like the air above – there’s a good reason so many animals borough underground!