If you want to know more about best tiny house heating options in 2021, then this guide is for you. The tiny home industry has continued to enjoy massive popularity as more and more people continue to consider this affordable housing option. With all of the awesome perks, freedom, and flexibility that tiny homes offer, it’s no surprise to see why tiny homes are appealing to people seeking a more simple lifestyle.
But with all of the exciting benefits that come with tiny home living, have you stopped for a minute to consider your heating options, especially with the crazy winter weather? This is one area most tiny home enthusiasts fail to factor in during their tiny home building project.
Thankfully, all that is set to change as today’s post will provide you with some exciting options on how to turn up the heat in your home. But before we delve into the nitty-gritty of today’s post, let us take you through some vital things you must consider before choosing tiny home heaters. And yes, we will provide you with a list of some of our favorite options you can explore.
Some things you should consider
Before we take you through all of our favorite tiny house heating options, here are some things every tiny house enthusiast should consider:
- The first question you’ll need to answer is if your tiny house is going to have access to grid-tied power. This will play a robust role in determining the heating options that are suitable for a tiny home setup.
- Another question is, how often are you going to be at home? Are you interested in a heating option that will guarantee steady heat throughout the day or something that heats up quickly as soon as you get home?
- Do you have access to cheap fuel sources like wood or propane? This will help determine whether or not some of the heating options on our list are great for you.
- How many BTUs do you think are enough to keep you warm and comfy in your tiny home, especially during the excruciating cold of the winter?
Determining BTU load: What you should know
When it comes to tiny house heating options, every tiny house owner must have an idea or two about BTU load. This will make your job super easy when choosing the right tiny home heater for your home. For starters, BTUs is an acronym for British Thermal Units. And just so you know, BTUs are a standard measurement in the world of heating and cooling. Once you’re able to get the hang of BTU requirements, comparing heating options for your tiny home project will be a stroll in the park.
For novices who want to easily determine their BTU load, we highly recommend using an online calculator for a hassle-free experience.
To get your BTU load spot on, here are some things you should know:
- You must have a clear idea of the dimensions of the inside of your home
- You must also know right from the get-go the kind of insulation your tiny home has
- Have an idea of the lowest outside temperature.
Top heating options for your tiny house
Electric heaters for tiny homes
If you’re interested in the easiest and cheapest heating options for your tiny home, then you’ll not be disappointed to opt for a tiny house electrical heater. In terms of performance, electric tiny home heaters have proven to work almost flawlessly. If you stay in a place that gets pretty cold during the winter, you’ll find electric heaters for tiny homes worth giving a try. The only caveat with electric heaters for tiny homes is that they take up so much floor space. More so, this heating option for tiny homes requires that you stay on the grid, especially since these heaters start at 1,500 watts and require BTUs up to 5,000 and more. With an insane electrical load of this nature, you’ll need a super expensive solar architecture to power that during the winter.
The cool thing about this option is that it doesn’t cost a fortune. Some tiny home electrical heaters cost between $45 to $100, and you can easily pick one up at any major big-box retailer. While an electric heater does a brilliant job of keeping your space warm, there are two main options, and they include forced air and radiant heaters.
Forced air heater: If you like your space to heat up pretty quickly, this option is perfect for you. Even though forced air heaters come with a pretty loud fan, we like the fact that they heat up pretty quickly, making it great for people who want to turn up the heat in their tiny homes without waiting for hours. If you don’t mind the noise that these kinds of heaters generate, you’ll find them worth checking out as they are designed to heat up tiny spaces pretty quickly. Nevertheless, if the noise is a problem, you should consider other options.
Radiant heaters: If you’re the patient type, you’ll love radiant heaters as they take time to heat up. Because these heaters are often oil-filled, they make little to no noise during operation. Plus, they take some time to heat the air around them. For tiny homeowners who stay on the grid and plan to spend maximum time at home, this option is excellent as it allows you to heat up your house while you go about attending to other things.
Note: If you plan to use solar to power your home, we suggest going for micro-hydro-electric heaters as they do not require massive power to work optimally.
Many perks come with electrical heating options for tiny homes. Here are some of them?
- Electrical heaters for tiny homes are affordable.
- Because they are super easy to install, you won’t need a professional to have them up and running.
- Easy to find the perfect BTU size for your tiny home
- It can be found in almost any retail store.
- Electrical heaters for tiny homes take up so much floor space
- They aren’t so great looking
- In the long run, electric heaters are expensive to run as they use a lot of power.
- Not very practical for off the grid
If you’re interested in a tiny home electrical heating option but don’t know where to start, we are more than happy to provide you with some options you can check out right away. Keep in mind that this is only a recommendation, and you aren’t under any obligation to opt for our choice. That said, some of these options will deliver on your tiny home heating needs.
Oil-Filled Radiator De’Longhi EW0715W Safeheat Oil-Filled Radiator
This is one electric tiny home heater that gets the job done without costing you a fortune. And compared to other options within this price range, this one performs superbly. From its easy snap wheels to its impeccable three heat settings along with an adjustable thermostat, this electric heater is perfect for your tiny home heating needs. And good enough, it doesn’t make so much noise, so if you’re worried about the noise from this electrical heater, rest assured that you have nothing to worry about. With the price starting at $109, we are sure this isn’t too much to pay for your tiny home heating needs.
Toe Kick Heater: Electric kickspace heater
If you don’t have a lot of space in your tiny home, a toe space heater will make a great option, and that’s because this type of heater is designed in such a way that it can fit into the tiniest of spaces. From utility room cabinets to tiny spaces under kitchen cabinets, toe space heaters like the Toe Kick Heater can be installed almost anywhere in your tiny home. You can also fit it into the risers of stairways.
What we love about the Toe Kick Heater is its practical design. Compared to other electrical heaters that take up so much space in your tiny home, this one is ideal for tiny home enthusiasts who want to make the most of the space in their homes. Again, this electric heater is not expensive and can be ordered directly from retail stores online.
Wood and pellet stoves
Many tiny home enthusiasts have experimented with different heating sources, and that includes using wood-fired stoves. Many tiny home dwellers enjoy this option because of the fun that comes with wood processing. More so, this option makes it super easy for tiny homeowners to heat water for dishwashing or for tea. Wood and pellet stoves are particularly great for areas with limited electricity supply. Whether you simply want to keep warm or you just want to be able to heat food without breaking a sweat, rest assured that you’ll enjoy all of the awesome benefits offered by this unique heating option for tiny homes.
Wood stove offers a unique homey feeling you just wouldn’t get with gas-fueled units. That said, keep in mind that a wood stove can leave behind a lot of mess, especially if you consider all the ashes and wood residues you have to clean up after using a wood stove.
Wood stove options for tiny homes
Finding a small wood-burning fireplace can be pretty tricky, and considering your limited space, it’s always essential to go for something that is just perfect for your space. Considering how difficult it is to find a small wooden fireplace, we have gone the extra mile to find some great options you can explore right away. Speaking about great wood stove options, we found the guys at Jotul pretty great at their jobs. These guys build some of the finest wood stove options for tiny homes. Reach out to them and see if they can build a brilliant wood stove that perfectly suits your tiny home.
Another company we came across during the course of our research is the Dickin Marine wood stoves. They have brilliant collections of wood stoves you’ll not be disappointed to give a try. And if you still aren’t able to find a wood stove that ticks all your boxes, you’ll not be disappointed to check out the guys at Woodstock Soapstone Stoves.
For tiny homeowners who have the extra cash to spend, you can check out Kimberly Stoves. While they have some of the best wood stoves we have come across, their products are quite expensive.
For something compact and perfect for your tiny home, you’ll be hard-picked to find wood stoves better than the ones offered by Hobbit Wood Stoves. Many tiny homeowners have found their wood stoves excellent because they are specially built for tiny spaces.
What you should consider before buying a wood stove
When shopping for a wood stove, you don’t just opt for the first option you come across as you need to put some things into consideration. For starters, you want to make sure you go for a wood stove that is small enough for your tiny home. If you don’t get the sizing right, you’ll end up dealing with too many BTUs, which may end up being too hot for your tiny home. Unfortunately, many tiny homeowners who aren’t able to pick the right stove for their homes end up dealing with this unique problem.
Another thing you need to factor in when shopping for the right stove is the space it will take up. Just so you know, wood stoves take up quite some space and clearances. Most tiny homeowners have to make extra space around their wood stove to ensure that it meets safety requirements.
Lastly, take into cognizance your unique lifestyle and how a brilliant wood stove will help you make the most of your lifestyle. For people just getting started with a wood stove, remember that this heating source requires frequent tending. More so, you’ll need to chop wood, stack them and haul them into the stove. And it doesn’t end there as you still have to clean the stove every now and then. So before you decide if a wood stove is perfect for your tiny home, make sure you consider the fact that wood stoves can be pretty messy, especially since you have to deal with soots.
If you think you can’t deal with all of the mess that comes with wood stoves, then you should opt for pellet wood stoves instead. They are pretty easy to use and heat up your home, just as great as wood stoves. And yes, you can even experiment with your own pellets.
Like other tiny house heating options we have explored so far, wood stoves also come with lots of excellent benefits. Here check out some of them.
- This tiny home heating option works great to keep your home heated.
- This option is more environmentally friendly than other tiny home heating options we have covered so far.
- This heating option is not only great for keeping your home warm but it can also be used to cook and heat.
- Buying wood wouldn’t cost you a fortune.
- Buying a wood stove can be pretty expensive at first
- This heating option requires an ample clearance
- Finding a small wood stove can be almost impossible
- Requires a lot of work and maintenance because of the mess it creates.
Kerosene heaters for tiny homes
Many tiny homeowners have come to love kerosene heaters because of the unique benefits they offer. They are relatively cheaper to set up, and the cost of fuel isn’t all that insane. According to some local gas suppliers, kerosene burns quite well and is more efficient than other fuel sources. Even though kerosene outperforms propane, our only genuine concern about kerosene is that it isn’t a very clean fuel source and may end up polluting the environment. That said, we are beginning to see many kerosene heater manufacturers address this issue by making filters that reduce these emissions.
Compared to propane, kerosene is cheaper, but we have discovered that it isn’t very easy to find. Also, we are concerned about carbon monoxide, in which case you may have to get a vented heater for your small space.
For those finding it hard to get a decent kerosene heater, you may want to check out the guys at Toyotomi Laser kerosene heaters for some fantastic options. But before you decide to get one of their kerosene heaters, do well to check out reviews about their products online.
Another option you may want to consider is the Dyna-Glo heater, which many tiny homeowners have many great things to say. The cool thing about this kerosene heater is that you can remove it when you aren’t using it. The only caveat with this heater is that it isn’t a direct vent heater. This means you have to be extra careful about air quality and safety.
Overall, kerosene heaters are a brilliant option for backup electric heating. So if you live in an area where the electricity supply isn’t so great, you won’t go wrong to get a kerosene heater for emergency purposes.
Here are the top benefits of opting for a kerosene heater for your tiny home
- You can always get a vented or unvented kerosene heater, depending on what works for you.
- Kerosene heaters are thermostat controlled
- Burns effectively and clean
- Getting a kerosene heater will cost you a fortune
- We don’t like the fact that kerosene heaters rely on fossil fuel
- Finding fuel can be sometimes challenging
Kerosene heater options
Are you tired of looking for the best kerosene heater that will work perfectly for your small space? Then you’re in luck today as we have found some fantastic options we think you’ll like.
First on our list is the new and all-amazing Mr. Heater 125,000 BTU Forced Air Kerosene heater. This brilliant kerosene heater is perfect for your tiny home, the job site, or your garage. If all you want is a reliable heater that will easily heat up your tiny home, you can always trust Mr. Heater Forced Air Kerosene heaters to deliver as promised.
Fitted with topnotch output, fully enclosed motors, and impeccable glove-friendly control, you’ll not be disappointed to give this great heater a try. Equipped with high limit safety switches and photo CAD cells, the MR Heater Forced Kerosene heater is able to switch itself off in unsafe conditions. We love the fact that this heater will work almost seamlessly, even in low temperatures.
Not thrilled with the Mr. Heater Forced Kerosene heater and want something else? Well, we have got you covered. With the superb Dyna-Glo Indoor Kerosene Heater, you’ll never go wrong if all you want is a heater that will keep your tiny home warm.
Looking almost like an oil lamp, this powerful kerosene heater performs incredibly well when it comes to heating your tiny space. Despite its very compact size, this powerful kerosene heater is able to deliver up to 23000 BTU. And guess what? It can also heat up to 1000 square feet, meaning that your tiny home will always stay warm with this device in your home.
In terms of build quality, the Dyna-Glo Indoor Kerosene Heater performs way better than other consumer-grade models. Our only complaint about this product is that you only get a 1-year warranty. Nevertheless, we doubt if that will be a problem especially considering that this heater will deliver 12 hours of uninterrupted performance on a full tank.
Propane heater for tiny home
Given the fact that propane heaters are clean-burning, affordable, and easy to find, it’s easy to see why many tiny home enthusiasts opt for propane heaters. Using a propane heater for a tiny house, you can easily heat up your tiny home in a couple of minutes.
While there are several tiny house propane heaters on the market, we have found propane heaters from Dickinson quite impressive, especially when you consider the performance of their heaters. Compared to wood stove options, Dickinson’s heaters performance is exceptional. Despite many tiny homeowners having reservations about the Dickinson propane heater tiny house, we have found these heaters to living up to their promise. More so, they deliver up to 4000-5,500 BTUs which is simply amazing. The deal-breaker for us, however, is the fact that their heaters lack a thermostat. If they can resolve this, then they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Another brilliant option most tiny home enthusiasts will fall in love with right from the get-go is the Mr. Heater propane heater. If you live in the South, where you really don’t need a big heater, you can always get a Mr. Heater Propane heater as it is super easy to tuck away when you don’t need it. And on those colder nights, you can easily bring it out and fire it up to quickly heat up your tiny home. Even though this heater uses a 1lb propane canister, you can get the 20lb propane tank connector hose, so you don’t have to worry about fueling now and then.
What thrills us about propane heaters is that they are relatively cheaper than other heating options for tiny homes. Using a propane heater, you’ll spend between $100 or less per year heating your tiny home. How cool can that be? And guess what, it isn’t only great for heating up your tiny home as you can also use it for cooking or heating water.
The other cool thing about propane heaters is that you can get them refilled almost anywhere, which isn’t something you get to see with other tiny house heating options on the market.
Propane heaters offer a lot of fantastic perks. Little wonder why many tiny homeowners opt for propane heaters. For starters, here are some fantastic benefits that come with using a tiny propane heater.
- Propane heaters burn very clean.
- Propane heaters are thermostat controlled.
- You can always get a vented or unvented option.
- Propane heaters may cost you quite a sum initially
- We are really not thrilled that propane heaters rely on fossil fuels
- It can sometimes be challenging to find fuel
Tiny house heat pumps
Thanks to their efficiency, tiny house heat pumps are fast becoming a brilliant option for people who live on the grid. Unfortunately, we suggest opting for different heating options if you live in very cold areas, and that’s because heat pumps are designed to capture any available heat from the air and concentrate it to heat up the home. If you live in an area where you get at least 30 degrees, the unit should function well enough to deliver up to standard electric heaters.
The cool thing about heat pumps is that they deliver both heating and cooling for your tiny home, which is something you don’t get to see with other heating options on the market. And guess what? Heat pumps for tiny homes can also be powered with a mini-split-off solar system, just in case you live in an area with a limited power supply.
If you’re interested in a reliable brand that makes the best heat pumps for tiny houses, we suggest checking out Fujitsu and Mitsubishi. These world-class brands build powerful pumps that meet SEER ratings. To be on the safe side when shopping for a reliable heat pump, we recommend going for units with at least a SEER 20 ratings for on-grid use. If you stay off-grid, you want to opt for heat pumps with higher SEER ratings.
Heat pumps options for tiny homes
With the plethora of options available on the market, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the perfect heat pump for tiny house. But not to worry, we have narrowed down your choices by presenting you with two of the best heat pumps on the market currently. Take a closer look at two of these brilliant tiny house heat pumps.
Pioneer heat pumps
Pioneer heat pumps are super popular with the DIY community, and that’s because this powerful heat pump for tiny houses comes with everything you’ll need to install it. The only thing missing from the mix is the electrical wiring.
Like many heat pumps, Pioneer heat pumps come pre-charged with a refrigerant that is unleashed into the system after installation. Tiny homeowners who have installed a Pioneer heat pump have lots of amazing things to say about the product, and we are sure you’ll love it too.
Whether you want a Pioneer heat pump with a 9000 BTU or you want one with a 3000 BTU, rest assured that heat pumps from this brand can deliver between 110 and 239 volts, respectively.
Senville heat pumps
If you’re on the market for a reliable heat pump for heating and cooling a tiny house, you’ll absolutely love Senville heat pumps. These brilliant heat pumps are not only great for heating a small space but will also work to keep traditional homes warm.
With options for different sizes and voltages, Senville heat pumps have become the go-to heating options for the DIY community. Like other heat pumps on the market, this DIY mini-split system comes with everything you’ll need for a hassle-free installation except the electrical wiring.
With SEER ratings that range between 20 to 25, only very few heat pumps on the market can match the performance delivered by Senville heat pumps. In terms of SEER ratings, Senville heat pumps deliver some of the highest SEER ratings we have come across.
If you’re still finding it hard to choose a heat pump that delivers exactly as promised, we suggest going for a Senville heat pump with a 220 volt. It should work just fine to heat up your tiny home.
- Heat pumps for tiny houses are super-efficient and deliver an impressive performance.
- Heat pumps are thermostat controlled
- It doesn’t take up too much space
- Heat pumps can cool and heat up your space
- High initial cost
- You may need the services of an expert to install heat pumps
- It doesn’t perform very well in freezing climates
Floor heating for tiny homes
Tiny home floor heating is becoming increasingly popular among tiny homeowners looking for an affordable heating option. With floor heating options, tiny home enthusiasts can heat up their tiny homes without breaking the bank. And because the heat is concentrated on the floor and rises to fill your space, no cold air will be captured on the floor.
The remarkable thing about floor heating is that you no longer have to worry about dust or allergens, which are common among other heating options we highlighted earlier. With a floor heating mat installed in your home, you can kiss goodbye to allergens flying around in your small space. When you no longer have to worry about dust circulating from fan-based heating systems, you can rest assured that your environment is safe.
The other cool thing about floor heating for tiny homes is that there is virtually no maintenance fee to worry about, and that’s because most radiant floor heat mats have no moving parts you’ll need to replace now and then. To activate your floor heat mats, all you have to do is turn the dial on and relax to enjoy consistent warmth in your home. If you have always wanted a reliable heating option for your tiny home, now is a great time to give radiant floor heat mat a try.
Floor heat options for tiny homes
SunTouch Mat TapeMat Electric Floor Heating
If you’re interested in a superb floor heating option for your tiny home, you’ll be hard-picked to find anything better than the SunTouch Mat TapeMat Electric Floor heating at the moment. This brilliant heating option will keep your tiny home protected. Plus, they don’t cost a fortune and are easy to install.
The icing on the cake is that this electric floor heating tape mat can be installed in one day, and that’s because you don’t need to wait for the mortar to cure before installing the mat. Using the fantastic SunTouch floor heating mat, you can achieve a warm floor in four easy steps. All you need to do is unroll and attach your SunTouch mat to the subfloor using a two-sided tape provided. Now proceed to secure the floor sensor and apply a thin mortar. After that, you can install your flooring. It’s that simple.
HEATIT Warmmat Electric Radiant Self-adhesive Floor Heat Heating System
If you’re not thrilled with the other floor heating option we earlier highlighted above, or you want something that is a little more affordable, you’re welcome to give the HEATIT electric floor heating system a try. This powerful floor heating option is super easy to set up and will keep your home warm all day. And because the system is affordable, you wouldn’t have to break the bank or dig too deep into your savings to get a highly reliable floor heating option that will keep your home warm.
- Floor heating options are easy to maintain
- They don’t cost you a fortune
- Installation is a walk in the park
- Works round the clock to keep your home warm
- You’ll need some bit of experience to install floor heating systems
- Some of the best floor heating systems cost a fortune
What you should consider when heating your tiny home
Before installing a heating option in your tiny home, you must put into consideration things like indoor air quality, safety, and insulation. Without mincing words, safety is of the essence as not properly installing flame-based heaters can result in fire. If you share your tiny home with your little one, installing floor heaters may prove problematic as your kids may be lured into touching it.
Like safety, you must also consider indoor air quality too. When you live in such a limited space, as you burn fuels, you are essentially releasing gasses like carbon monoxide, which must be handled appropriately. To this end, we always urge tiny homeowners to opt for venting. The only downside with this option is that it may end up taking a lot of space. More so, there is no room for error as it needs to be installed correctly.
If you plan on building your own tiny home, you must ensure that it is well sealed. Also, insulating your tiny home right from the get-go will ensure you don’t spend more money later on. We always encourage tiny homeowners not to skimp on their insulation. Also, choosing decent windows you can afford should be on your list of to-dos.
The main criteria for heating units for tiny homes include safety, efficiency, cost, and environmental impact. When setting up your tiny home, you need to be deliberate about every choice you make, especially regarding materials, the environment, your safety, and of course, the amount you’re willing to put into your tiny home project. These decisions aren’t always easy, but they are essential.
Frequently asked questions
Are wood stoves great for tiny homes?
Wood stoves are an excellent option for heating up tiny homes. Plus, they also double as cooking options. But even though wood stoves are a perfect option for tiny homes, wood-burning heat sources need a bit of planning, and that’s because wood stoves often produce a lot of heat. Not just that, they also take up a lot of space.
What is the cheapest heating option for a tiny home?
With the myriad of heating options available on the market, many tiny homeowners find it challenging to choose the best and cheapest heating options that work for them. If you’re on a budget but still want something to keep your home warm, you’re welcome to opt for floor heaters, wood stoves, or heat pumps.
Do you need heating in your tiny home?
Like other things in your tiny home, you must factor in heating into your tiny home project. Given the immense cold that comes with winter, having a reliable heat source in your home will keep you and your loved ones warm. And sure enough, there are tons of heat options on the market you can explore.