How to choose a Tiny House Heater

the tiny house

Ethan Waldman blogger and tiny house builder over at The Tiny House and author of the ebook Tiny House Decisions says he often gets the question on what is the best way to heat a tiny house? Ethan decided to do some major research as he needed to know the answer himself for his own tiny house. Ethan put together a post over on his blog that really goes into all the details and also made a YouTube video to explain it even more.

Here is an outline of what he came up with:

Step 1: Work Out How Powerful your Heater Needs to Be
Step 2: Avoid Vent-Free Heaters
Step 3: Check out the Clearance
Step 4: Check that the Heater Is Thermostatically Controlled
Step 5: Read the Manual
Step 6: Find Pictures of an Installed Unit

In summary you need to do the following:

  • Calculate how many Btus you’ll need your heater to provide.
  • Stay away from vent-free propane heaters.
  • Check that the clearances will work for your tiny house.
  • Find out whether or not the heater can be run on a thermostat.
  • Find out what kind of venting the heater requires.
  • Check out what the heater looks like when it’s been installed.
  • Work out whether the heater will have to go through the wall or ceiling of your tiny house.

Go here to read the complete post.

Here is the video:

Be sure and check out Ethan’s ebook Tiny House Decisions if you are considering building a tiny house. It will help you make the right decisions as you plan your own home.

Trekker Trailers Tiny House

Trekker Trailers in central Florida has been building vintage and retro style teardrop trailers for over four years, but the company’s owner, Andrew, wanted to take his love of simple, tiny living to the next level and built a 70 square foot house on wheels that was recently sold to a 17-year-old student. His mother is also thinking of getting a tiny house.


“I have always loved campers and simple tiny living,” Andrew said. “I’ve been building teardrop campers for 4 years now, have restored many historic homes in my area, and have a love for form, function, and art. It seemed like a good fit for my talents to build a tiny house. Though my wife and I intend to retire in a tiny house, this one was built to sell so I tried to appeal to the lovers of the craft.

Watch a walk-through of the Trekker Trailer tiny house on the company’s Facebook page.

The Tiffany blue house is built with high quality materials like Galvalume roofing, cypress interior and exterior trim and some interesting and unique storage and space-saving details. The small living room couch (with a lovely skylight above it) has storage behind and underneath the seat and what Andrew calls a “hybrid Murphy bed” folds down from the back wall. The bed can be adjusted to sleep one or two people. The kitchen contains a sink, refrigerator, microwave and a slide-out pantry. The wet bath has fiberglass flooring and a composting toilet that can use BioBags. The water heater is a propane powered heater that is mounted on an exterior wall near the deck. Continue reading

X-Permit Cabin

by David Lacey

The X-Permit Cabin is an exercise to create a livable space that will be built on a salvaged travel trailer frame. It will be self sustainable, off grid, and will be built without building permits because it is a “travel trailer” and will be registered as such. The site is beside the ocean in Canada. The actual location will be revealed as time goes on. The point of this is to circumvent onerous permits and inspections that come with “permanent” structures. XPC will be an exercise in civics, construction, and innovation. I hope you follow us as we move forward.

x-permit cabin

Certainly, “tiny homes” have been built before and many are like the one we are building, on a trailer, for various reasons. This one is a personal experiment in building a livable space in a maximum of 135 square feet. There probably won’t be “grand innovation” involved, but the completed cabin on wheels must have the charm and friendly atmosphere of an old seaside cottage distilled into the space allocated. Continue reading

Our Tiny House in the Hills

by Neil Norton

Here are some photos of our tiny house made from a storage building. We had been living in a 2,700 sq ft home, between upkeep and utilities we were constantly broke. A friend of ours offered to sell us a quarter acre of his property, so I went to work researching tiny homes.

After a month or so of youtube videos, google searches, etc… I decided on this layout. The living room is 10 ft 6 in X12 ft. The kitchen/bathroom is 6 ft 2in X 6 ft 10 in with 6 ft 7 in ceiling to accommodate the storage loft above. Our bedroom is 10ft 6in X 7ft 8in. All rooms except for kitchen have 9ft 6in ceilings. We have two lofts, the front one overlooks the beautiful rolling hills of Northern Arkansas, it measures 10ft 6in X 48in with a 40 in ceiling at the peak.

The back loft is accessible from the bedroom only and matches the kitchen footprint with 40 in ceiling at the peak. We lowered the ceilings in the living and bedroom for structural integrity, but left the lofts for more head height.

Our water is heated by a 7 gallon Ariston point of use water heater. We heat with a 35,000 btu propane heater (overkill yes, but it’s nice to heat our home fast and I got it at a steal for 40.00 bucks) and a electric radiator heater. It’s a livable work in progress, we are adding a 12 ft x 20 ft addition in the spring for a utility room and bath.

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Climate Rite Air Conditioner

I covered the Climate Rite air conditioner about a year ago and Todd Arend recently sent me information about a new model coming out July 22 that is better geared for small small home. Here are the details.

CR-7000 model is brand new to the market starting July 22.

The unit is completely re-engineered. This next generation is much improved (construction of unit, wiring, optimized sensor and thermostat, etc). This unit was developed for bigger spaces than the CR-2500, which is ideal for dog houses, small trailers, etc.

The CR-7000 model suits tiny houses, sheds, man caves, etc. due to its btu power (7000/7500 btu) vs. the CR-2500 being 1800/2500.

The Ideal space footprint for the unit is 350-1,200 cu feet Power consumption averages .5kW/hr for CR-7000.

This item may sell out fast as it was featured on Good Morning America June 20, 2011. The Tiny House Blog purchasers can get a 10% discount by using the Coupon Code “Tiny10 and the CR-7000 is the recommended unit.

Learn more at the Climate Rite website.

*Note a portion of your purchase goes to help keep the Tiny House Blog running.