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.

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Lisa E. - January 27, 2015 Reply

Dear Kent: Thank you for these types of articles. I have opened a “Tutorial” folder on my cpu and I’m collecting these for my TH build. I really appreciate your dedication and diligence to our THM. You all the greatest!!!

Milton Thomas - January 27, 2015 Reply

For my wife and I, the other thing we had to take into account when choosing a vented gas heater for our small house was will it work above 4500 ft elevation. We live at 4900 ft. The one we chose is the House Warmer heater from Northern Tools. So far it works great. Since we bought ours, the company has modified the heater with an oxygen sensor and now the description online make it sound like this heater won’t work above 4500 ft.

Sherry - January 27, 2015 Reply

I am curious about how to keep the drains open in below freezing weather and water intake lines running.
Thank you.

JC - January 27, 2015 Reply

Sherry If you are on the grid this type of hose should keep your water from freezing.

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=heated+rv+water+hose&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=3520022307&ref=pd_sl_3y2uq5j6dj_b

alice h - January 28, 2015 Reply

Make sure you know what the electricity requirements of your heater are and what happens in case of power failure or going off grid. No matter what kind of fuel you use, if it has a fan or pump you may not be able to use it properly without electricity. If it has battery backup, how long will that last and can it be hooked up to a household DC system.

    mark - January 30, 2015 Reply

    power is the main issue. I have a solar system 4 panel 4 t105 Trojan batt. bank charge controller and converter, ect.I have exotic birds. I need some one tell me the type of heater to use, oil filled ?, due to the Birds airway,depleting the oyx, is a death sentence for my fluffy feathered friends, 12 volt heater forced air ? Any Ideas markstalnaker89@yahoo.com

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