Cold weather is here and there is no escaping the snow and freezing temperatures that come with it. To brave the cold, we prepare by bundling up in warm coats, scarves, and hats until temperatures slowly start to rise again. Just like us, our tiny homes also need some protection from the harsh elements to ensure that they can make it through the colder months. We have compiled a list of ways to help you properly winterize your tiny home no matter what winter climate you may be facing.
- Hot Water Heater
If you own a tiny home, a tankless hot water heater is a necessity. Not only does it save you space, but it also provides instant hot water on demand when you need it. Many portable tankless water heaters run on propane and AA batteries meaning that they will not be affected if you were to lose power during a winter storm. Power outages and battery failures can add to the stress of a powerful winter storm, but using a propane powered tankless water heater provides you with a hot water supply even during the midst of a power outage. This hot water source can be a crucial factor in surviving through a winter storm.
- Back Up Generator
Depending on where you park your tiny home, solar power may not always be a sufficient way to power your tiny home. In an area with a dense tree coverage or cloudy climate, you may need to invest in a back up generator. Generators are a crucial piece of winter preparation and can have a drastic impact on your quality of life during those long winter months.
Insulation is most likely a step to consider before the building process begins for your tiny home, but how do you know what type of insulation to choose? From Fiberglass insulation, foam boards, or even straw bales, there are pros and cons to each type of insulation. Insulation helps with energy efficiency in both the warm climates (keeping cool air in) and cooler climates (keeping the cold air out). Insulation technologies are continuously changing so make sure to do your research to find which is best for you and your tiny home.
- Propane Blankets
Did you know that cold weather can affect your propane tank? No matter what size tank your tiny home has, it is important to keep it warm so that it maintains optimal pressure. This sounds crazy but purchasing a blanket for your propane tank can protect the tank from the elements and ensure that your tank is running at maximum efficiency. This isn’t just a normal blanket that you would keep on your couch. There are companies out there that manufacture these blankets to fit over your propane tank no matter the size that will last through the harsh winter months. This is a wise investment and can help save you money in the long run.
- Tiny House Skirt
Last but not least, another way to winterize your tiny home is by giving it a skirt! Yep, you read that right! Adding a skirt around the base of your tiny home is another great way to insulate your home by adding a layer to protect it from the elements of the outside world. This allows any heat to stay in and all of the cold to stay out, making your tiny home even more efficient! It also prevents your pipes from freezing. Because the underneath of your tiny home does not have to be as warm as the inside of your home, the insulation does not have to be the same R-Value as what you have installed in the living area of your home. Your tiny home skirt can be made with a variety of different materials depending on accessibility of materials and price. It is common for people to skirt their tiny homes with hay bales, sheets of plywood, or rigid foam insulation sheets. There are pros and cons to each type of insulation so do your research to determine which is best suited for your lifestyle.
Making these adjustments and planning for the cold winter months may seem like a lot of work, but it will actually save you money in the long run. It will also ensure that you are as comfortable as you can be no matter where you are parked.