by John Tenuto
Tiny homes are already much more environmentally friendly than the common McMansions sprawling across America, but everything can always get more efficient in an age when human motives are being questioned and energy-yielding natural resources continue to dwindle. Any progress is positive.
The tiny home movement is significant, as the direct sidestepping of traditional American real estate beliefs challenged societal norms where housing is considered. People are starting to realize that bigger isn’t always better, especially at home. Those in this movement are always making progress, and today I want to add one more thing for them to focus on: windows.
Just as they are within traditional properties, windows are a critical component when the entire efficiency of the tiny home dwelling is considered. Windows need to be positioned, designed and utilized in the correct way for energy performance to reach its potential. If you have a tiny home or are just curious about this form of real estate, these are some quick ways to mold the windows around green thinking:
1. Install and utilize curtains or blinds
While most people already have them, some don’t. One way to make sure the window areas of your tiny home aren’t taking away from your energy efficiency is to utilize blinds or curtains. This can make a legitimate difference in the way your tiny home loses or gains heat. Over time, this could end up saving you some serious money on any energy costs you have and also reduces the strain on the environment. Plus, blinds can add character without taking up
space (space is hard to come by!).
2. Apply fresh caulking around your windows
Windows are often sealed with caulking, and like most other substances, it wears down and dissipates as a working material over time. If you’re a tiny home owner, consider applying fresh caulking as frequently as every 4-6 months. Any deficiency in insulation involving one of your very few windows can be really noticeable in such a small place. This is increasingly important to make a note of if you live in a location with extreme seasons. You don’t have to be professional and it shouldn’t take long to reapply caulking before and after the four major seasons.
3. Replace weather stripping
Whether stripping is a common component of home windows. One way to directly increase the efficiency of climate control in your tiny home is to replace the weather stripping. For one, it’s easy to do. Secondly, it will be affordable because you won’t have many windows to update. Regardless of how you produce and store energy within your tiny home, doing this can help your efforts.
4. Install window films
Not only do window films protect furniture and enhance privacy, but they also fall within the environmentally friendly argument. Window films can slow down the transfer of energy from inside to outside and vice versa, thus naturally decreasing the strain on your climate control system. Whether it’s a wood fire or a minimized custom HVAC in your tiny home, its efforts will be aided with the addition of these films.
5. Use windows effectively
There’s only so much you can do to make your windows more efficient, especially if you don’t use them properly. For one, only open them when you see the decision aiding your comfort or energy efficiency in a meaningful way. If you need a breath of fresh air, so be it, but do your best to try and avoid situations like leaving them open when you head to work. This type of action can quickly become detrimental to your energy use.
Tiny homes are very sustainable relative to the other real estate options within our society. However, everything can get better. While there are plenty of ways to make progress within your tiny home, designing and utilizing you windows effectively is a nice place to start.
John Tenuto writes about sustainable home building and design.