Monday, July 23, 2018

Guide to HVAC for Tiny Homes

Image of a HVAC unit
Tiny homes are a fascinating new trend that offers many environmental, financial, and minimalist benefits. But does working in such a condensed space mean changes to traditional HVAC installation? Here's a quick guide to HVAC for tiny homes.

Approved Furnaces

Tiny homes have smaller and less ductwork than conventionally sized homes. Because of the condensed space, using furnaces is a heating solution that can offer comfort to the entire home, especially for our cold New York winters. These furnaces should be approved or specially made for tiny homes. For eco-friendly tiny house owners, these furnaces can use a variety of fuel sources, including electricity, natural gas, liquid propane, and oil. However, it's important to work with a qualified HVAC contractor to ensure that the furnace is efficient and safe.

Window Air Conditioning Units

Much like tiny homes need appropriately sized furnaces, smaller window AC units are a common HVAC product that can also offer plenty of cooling power for such a small space. Many tiny house owners find it easy to retrofit their home to add an AC unit, and window units will only set owners back a few hundred dollars.

Ductless Mini-splits

Mini-splits are a popular choice for many tiny house owners, as they are compact, easy to work into any minimalist's aesthetics, and don't require a home duct system. These units work much like HVAC systems for larger properties: they feature external condensers with fans running on the inside. For this reason, these ductless units are often very quiet, which is another plus for those living in small spaces. For those with tiny homes that have internal HVAC systems, mini-splits' pipes can also be run through the walls.

Roof Vent Fans

For those living in an especially small tiny home, a full HVAC system may not even be necessary. Heat naturally rises, and many tiny house owners find success by installing venting fans through a small hole cut into the roof. These fans use minimal power and are a common feature in many RVs. The only concern with roof vent fans is that if they aren't installed and sealed properly, they can result in leaks.

Desk and Ceiling Fans

Finally, a popular and budget-friendly option with many tiny house owners use is simply to use small desk or ceiling fans to keep air circulating. With a little trial and error, it’s possible to find the ideal placement where these fans will pack the most punch. There's one major disadvantage standalone fans have versus other cooling solutions, though: they can often take up quite a bit of space, which may already be in short supply.

Owning a tiny home is all about cutting back, but it doesn't mean cutting back on comfort. If you're interested in learning more about HVAC solutions for a tiny (or standard sized) home, or if you just need a repair, call Larson's Heating & Cooling, Inc at 845-344-3030 today!