Why You Need Electric Radiant Heat Floors in Your Tiny Home
Tiny homes are affordable and simple, and many people are turning to these engineering marvels to achieve the dream of homeownership. But just because you have a tiny home doesn’t mean that you should have to suffer through cold weather. It may be a small home, but you’ll still need a viable way to heat that tiny home through the night and during the colder months if you want to be cozy and comfortable inside all year long.
If you opt for the wrong heating solution, you could end up with an underpowered heater that won’t help you stay warm — or an overpowered one that will have you reaching for the windows and wasting all that warm energy. It’s one of the reasons why getting the right heater for your tiny house is so important, and any time you spend up front will help you save money and avoid making a mistake.
Know Your BTUs
Before you can put your hard-earned cash down on a heating solution such as electric radiant heat floors, you need to know your BTUs. A BTU, short for British Thermal Unit, is basically a measure of how much energy it takes to heat a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. There are various calculators online that can help you determine the BTU demands of your tiny home based on the square footage, ceiling height, the people that live inside, insulation, sun exposure and climate.
On the Grid
Once you have your BTU figure, you’ll then have to decide whether you’ll be looking for a heating solution on the grid or off. Grid heat is primarily intended for permanent or semi-permanent living in a tiny home that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. But the benefit of reliable electricity is that you have more options when it comes to heating your tiny home than if you’re off the grid.
One option is a mini split pump. They’re sleek, compact units that sit inside the home with a compressor that blows hot or cold air. Not that quiet nor energy efficient, they’re good for tiny homes that don’t have much of a climate control need. If you need something for that one-off cold snap or during those colder evenings here and there, a mini split pump could be a great solution. However, if you deal with sub-zero temperatures, it may not be able to keep up.
Another option is the lowly electric heater. They plug right into existing outlets and they can be purchased in various styles that can fit any aesthetic. They’re also silent with simple set-up and a function that virtually everyone is familiar with. Unfortunately, electric heaters are less efficient and may not be able to heat your entire tiny home.
But if you want the best heating for your tiny home, you’ll want to consider electric radiant floor heating. Common in bathrooms in traditional homes and RVs, electric radiant heat flooring systems are energy efficient, cheap to run and easy to control. And when packaged in a convenient mat, they’re easy to install, too, providing uniform radiant heat throughout your home for a fraction of other types of forced-air heat.
Off the Grid
If your home is off the grid, you’ll have to get a little more creative. The great thing about some tiny homes is that you can pick up and move at a moment’s notice, bringing everything with you as you relocate down the street or across the country. But all that flexibility comes at a cost. Without permanent hookups, you may not have reliable electricity, which precludes the best option of an electric radiant floor heating system, as well as any other option that requires electricity.
You could always to turn to solar power, but be prepared to pay for it. Solar power can cost tens of thousands to install, which may even likely exceed the cost of your entire tiny home.
Propane and firewood are other options, but it can be difficult to always keep wood or propane on you when needed, potentially leaving you in an uncomfortable position if you run out during a winter storm or in the middle of the night. It’s also not exactly the safest to be running an open flame inside your tiny home with walls and other fixtures so close by.
Radiant Floor Heating Systems
For these reasons and more, it’s clear that on-the-grid heat is far more reliable, cheaper and safer than other heating methods, and electric radiant heat floors is the best of the bunch. Not only does it not take up any space inside your tiny home — a significant feat in and of itself — but it’s also very affordable as far as permanent installations go, rivaling other types of heating units that are also more expensive to run and less efficient.
Electric radiant heat floors are also much safer than open-fire options such as a woodstove or some kind of propane heater. That’s ideal for families with young kids or pets that they want to keep safe, and an added benefit is that the indoor air quality is better with radiant heating versus a forced-air system that spends much of its time sending allergens, pollutants or dust around your tiny home.
On the installation side, an electric radiant floor heating system costs much less than central heating or other permanent installations, especially if you opt for radiant heat mats that already have all the tech bundled inside a convenient and easy-to-install mat that goes right under your existing floor. Most DIYers have no problem installing a radiant heat mat, and even those with minor exposure to home improvement projects are able to get a radiant heat mat installed and functioning in no time at all.
The best part is that a radiant floor heating system can be installed in basically any sized place, which is why they’re common in cramped bathrooms, tiny houses and RVs. For light sleepers and those concerned about noise, another benefit is that electric radiant heated floors are completely silent with no moving parts and no maintenance needed. Just plug it in and experience the ease and comfort of radiant heat.
Gold Heat and Radiant Flooring
Here at Gold Heat, we’ve spent 20 years designing and refining customized electric radiant heat mats for RVs, and now we’re bringing our same technology to homeowners and tiny house dwellers that want an affordable and easy way to heat their living spaces without the annoyances and cold spots of traditional heating systems. Order today or contact us to see how a Gold Heat electric radiant mat can heat your entire tiny home.