Best Heating Systems for a Tiny House


Tiny homes are on the rise. They’re a response to the housing crisis, with a lack of affordable homes becoming a chronic issue across the Western world. Today, 63% of millennials said they would consider living in a tiny home.

While these homes have many benefits, there are also a variety of practical issues to account for. Heating is a priority for these homeowners, but as technology has advanced, there are more heating solutions than ever.

Here are some of the heating systems for a tiny house.

Photo by Spacejoy on Unsplash

Pellet or Wood Fireplace

Many tiny homeowners are unabashed idealists, which is what has led to so many people choosing this way of life in the first place. The classic pellet or wood fireplace is a rustic heating solution that can work in any tiny home.

While opting for a full-size fireplace will be unsuited to your limited space, a professional hearth & fireplace installer can provide recommendations for models that would work within a tiny home.

Pellet or wood fireplaces are relatively pricey, but you can cover the upfront cost by significantly saving your energy bills. These are also atmospheric heating systems that can add value to your tiny home.

Propane Heaters

Tiny homes are among the most environmentally friendly dwellings, short of living in a tent. On average, a tiny house produces 5,578 pounds of CO2 less than the average house. Due to this issue, you may already have discounted propane heaters, but others feel they can compromise in this area.

Good propane heaters cost less to install and come with a clean burn, leaving no mess behind. Although they use fossil fuels, many people consider them a more convenient option because they’re easy to refill.

Be careful which model you buy. There’s a massive disparity in quality when comparing models. For example, some propane heaters don’t even come with a thermostat and offer no temperature control.

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Radiator Heaters

Not all tiny homes are off the grid. Radiator heaters are an excellent heating option if you want to stay on the grid during the fall and winter months.

Radiator heaters can easily be installed and deconstructed as and when needed. Feel free to store radiator heaters in a self-storage unit until you need them again. The obvious downside is that you’ll need to be connected to the grid to use these heaters.

Radiator heaters can be found for as little as $100, but this doesn’t consider efficiency. Older models tend to be less efficient. Radiator heaters burning all the time rely on efficiency to avoid leaving you with huge electricity bills at the end of the month.

These heating options also rely on you being in a static location during the year’s colder months. If you’re a free spirit who likes to move around, discount this tiny home heating option.

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Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are among the most popular heating options for tiny homes. The pros of an electric heater are many, but there are downsides.

Initially, most tiny homeowners are impressed by how affordable they are. You can purchase electric heaters from practically anywhere, including department stores, hardware stores, warehouses, and larger retailers. You can also select the best-suited electric heater for your space. Plus, there are no complicated installations required.

Note that you’ll need a power source to use them, meaning you’ll get the most out of an electric heater if you’re connected to the main grid. There’s also the issue of efficiency. Heating your home with electricity is always harder on your energy bills than other forms of heating.

However, despite the downsides, electric heaters are convenient, inexpensive, and require little to no effort to maintain.

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Mini Split

Tiny homes are based on the idea that multifunctional design is the way forward. Using a mini-split enables you to embrace multifunctional design because they operate as heating and air conditioning units.

To operate, a mini-split will use an air handling unit mounted on the wall or ceiling. It’s then connected to an exterior heat pump.

Mini-splits are the most expensive tiny home heating options around. The upfront cost can set you back as much as $5,000. However, be aware that you’re getting both heating and cooling for this price.

Maintenance and repair costs are similarly high, with these units taking up a considerable amount of interior space. So, why would someone choose a mini split as their heating option of choice?

Despite the high costs, these thermostat-controlled units are multifunctional and energy-efficient. So what you lose on the upfront investment, you can gain back in the form of lower energy bills throughout the year.

How to Choose the Right Heating Option for You

Ideally, tiny homes will need very little heating because they have already been built with high-grade insulation. Due to the size of your home, insulation can keep you toasty without needing to turn on your heating to begin with.

All of the above heating sources are perfectly viable options. However, your choice depends on two factors: budget and priorities.

With such variation in upfront investment costs, you’ll need to examine your budget and figure out what you can afford. Consider not just the initial purchasing costs but also the estimated maintenance costs in the future.

You also have your priorities to consider. For example, if caring for the environment is your priority, choosing a cleaner heating source is essential. Likewise, you can discount options like mini splits or radiators if you live in a smaller tiny home.

Talk to other tiny house owners to learn more about their recommended heating options.


The tiny homes trend has demonstrated a shift in the housing tastes of younger people. As ordinary homes rise in value, many younger people are turning to tiny homes to move off the grid and overcome the conundrum of housing affordability.

With so many heating options dedicated to heating small spaces, you have more choices. Thanks to Ebyland for consutling.


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