The average size of a tiny home can range anywhere from 60-400 square feet, and they rarely exceed 1000 square feet. With such little space, it can be easier to keep a tiny home warmer than a larger house. But, like any other building, they’re prone to getting cold in the wintertime, especially if they’re older or haven’t been maintained in a while.
Many people who live in tiny homes tend to be minimalists. Because of that, you may not want to equip your house with all of the bells and whistles some people use to keep their living space warm. According to Socrates, “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
If you love tiny home living, chances are one of the reasons is because you’re happy living with less and don’t want to change that. So, how can you still enjoy the simplicity of your tiny home while conserving heat, insulating it properly, and staying warm even when it’s cold outside?
Dealing With Drafts
Do you ever feel a draft coming in from outside? A sudden chill in the air within your own house? It could be coming in from your windows if they aren’t sealed properly. About 35% of the heat in your house escapes through the gaps found in windows and doors. If you want to make sure your windows are secure while increasing energy efficiency at the same time, try some of these tips:
- Clean the jambs to make sure they seal firmly
- Apply weather-foam stripping
- Fix any frame leaks
- Use curtains or window treatments (or go the old-fashioned route with a window quilt)
In some cases, you may need to replace your windows and/or siding. Old windows and siding can contribute to air leaks and drafts. The good news? Installing new windows gives you the opportunity to make your tiny home more energy-efficient. It will ensure proper caulking and sealing, and you can even install shutters at the same time to keep heat from escaping.
The bad news? It can be an investment to install new windows or siding, even on a small home. Thankfully, you can apply for either a personal loan, a window loan, or an equity-based home improvement loan to help you fund the project, and you can pay back the loan over time. Do your research on various interest rates to determine what the best option might be for you. In the long run, installing new windows may actually save you money. According to the EPA, the average home can save up to $465 a year by installing EnergyStar single-pane windows.
As a homeowner, it’s always a good idea to perform regular maintenance on your house. Doing so can save you money by not letting improvement projects sneak up on you or letting problems get out of hand.
If you’re a new homeowner and you’re not quite sure what should be on your maintenance checklist, it should include checking insulation throughout your house including in attic spaces. You should also invest in a stair cover to seal off your attic when it’s cold, or if you have an upper loft where you sleep. Remember, heat rises, and a lot of heat can escape through your roof if there are cracks it can get through.
There are different insulation options for tiny houses:
- Batts insulation
- Denim (cotton) insulation
- Concrete block
- Foam board insulation
- Spray foam
- Blown-in cellulose
Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, batts insulation is the most common because it’s widely available, cheap, and easy to install, but it has a low insulation value and may not be effective in keeping your home warm. With so many small corners and spaces within a tiny home, blown-in cellulose or spray foam may be a better option.
There are plenty of ways to heat up your tiny home without breaking the bank. Perhaps the quickest way to warm things up is with a small electric heater. Because you don’t have that much room to heat up, a small heater can actually do a great job of keeping your home toasty. Today’s space heaters are safer than ever, and many are even programmable to go on and off as needed.
If you have ceiling fans within your home, turn them to spin clockwise in the colder months. This will help to circulate warm air throughout your home, so you can make the most of your HVAC system or little electric heater.
As you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or add a lot of “stuff” to your tiny home in order to conserve heat and stay warm. So whether you’re trying to live minimally or follow the advice of Socrates, you can still stay comfortable and cozy within your home by utilizing a few simple solutions.