As Crystal and I have stuck primarily to the southeast region during our last 3 weeks of living on the road we haven’t experienced a great deal of cold or even cool weather. However, without fail the temperature drops quite a few degrees around midnight each night and with our “windows” open the screens allow quite a cross-breeze to cuddle us at night. By morning we are wrapped in a sheet, a blanket, and sometimes with a quilt casually tossed over us. Because of such temperature changes and because it is only late September I am curious now as to just how we will properly heat our Tiny Home to deal with winter weather on a largely wooded (and thereby shaded) lot.
Clearly central heat is not an option as it would create far too much heat for the 198 square feet. Likewise it is not the most environmentally friendly option in our opinion and would keep us anchored quite firmly to the ground and the power grid. A wood stove (while being the most nostalgic and seemingly authentic option considering the style of the house) is probably a bit overwhelming for the space as well and would require a pretty fast depletion of the wood around us. So what then are our options?
We could further explore wood but add to it propane, gas, and even some electric units.
In regards to WOOD the original Very Small Woodstove is the Jotul 602 CB, from Norway. The model is 12 inches wide and 19 inches deep. Most often found in cottages and cabins in the woods, they are an attractive choice for most any small space. They have also been around forever. In fact, Jotul claims over 1 million of these units have been manufactured.
12 x 19
Available from Jotul
The tiniest very small wood stoves are those built for boats. These are designed for very tight quarters, and often have a railing on the top to keep pots from rolling off. A typical unit measures all of 12 inches by 12 inches. They are made of cast iron and porcelain and seem perfect for a tiny dwelling.
12 x 12
Available from Marine Stove
PROPANE is probably the most popular in tiny houses as it can be run from a more stationary propane tank or from a portable 20lb. campstore special. Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny House fame uses the Newport Propane Fireplace himself. Ideal for boats up to 30/32 ft, the combustion process is completely isolated from the inside of the boat by the unique, direct vent design. A built-in blower provides good heat circulation. The heater is sold with all accessories including a stainless steel backing plate and 28″ of flexible, double stainless chimney. Above all, it is safe, easy to use and extremely economical.
Newport Propane Fireplace (P9000)
17 x 9
Available from Dickson Marine
GAS is also an option and Woodstock Soapstone Company has the perfect little stove for tiny spaces called the Cottage Mini Soapstone Gas Stove. It’s 8,000 BTU heat output is perfect for a cozy, intimate area and it takes up little space in that it can be installed on a stand or wall-mounted shelf. Just 17″ tall, Woodstock insists it will produce almost 8,000 BTU/hr!
17 x 14
Available from Woodstock Soapstone Company
ELECTRIC. While electric space heaters are certainly an option I have decided (yes, since starting this post) that they are a last resort option. They would end up consuming valuable floor space. They are often overpriced. They are quite ugly and sometimes loud and most have a very low blower option, if any. Furthermore, they would keep us absolutely tied to the grid at first until we are able to establish a reliable solar power source. Units are available everywhere from your neighborhood drug store to larger box stores across American suburbs.
Special thanks to Kent Griswold and Tiny House blog for much of the information provided above on heating the Tiny Home.