New Tiny House Owners: Choosing The Best Water Heater For Compact Spaces

2 August 2016
 Categories: , Articles


When you own a tiny house, every square foot of the home must be truly accounted for and used. Hidden storage compartments, conversion areas, and raised lofts are just a few of the ways that these homes can take advantage of the extra space. When considering the everyday living situation of the home, you need to think about basic needs like access to hot water. In a tiny home, a water heater is the best way to achieve this goal. There are multiple water heater options to choose from for your tiny house. Each one comes with advantages and features that can cater to the tiny space. Browse through these different water heaters and help make a decision on which one you want installed in your tiny house.

Tankless Water Heaters

Traditional water heaters typically have a large tank where water is heated up and kept until it's ready to be distributed through the home. The space in a tiny house cannot typically house water heaters with that much size. An alternative option to the traditional water heater is a tankless water heater. These water heaters operate on electric power and instantly heat up the water as it is processed through the piping. A regular water heater is constantly heating and cycling water, but a tankless water heater will only heat water when it is needed. This can result in energy savings for the tiny home. It depends on the model that was purchased, but tankless water heaters typically perform at least 20% more efficiently than ones with tanks. If your tiny home relies on a lot of renewable energy, then this could make a big difference overall.

Point-of-Use Water Heaters

A tiny house is typically limited on the areas where warm water is needed. A shower, a sink, and possibly one extra sink is typically the most that these miniature homes feature. Instead of connecting piping through each area and creating a water heater network, you can set up each water source with its own water heater. Known as a point-of-use water heater, one of the biggest advantages of using these heaters in a tiny house is their compact design. The point-of-use systems can be installed directly near the water source inlet pipes. This will help deliver hot water a lot faster than when it has to travel from a central point in the home. These systems typically operate on electricity. Some may have a small tank attached to them while other are a tankless design and ideal for quick water access like washing your hands in a sink.

When you need to adjust the temperature of the distributed water, it's easy to access these point-of-use heaters and make adjustments using easy-access knobs. This allows you to have the perfect shower temperature and perfect dish washing temperature while keeping the two temperatures separate and not having to constantly adjust.

Hybrid Water Heaters

If you live in a warm climate, then one of your other tiny house water heater options is a hybrid water heater. This water heater combines different options to create an efficient system that works well with a tiny house set up. Hybrid water heaters use fan technology to suck warm air into the heater and convert that energy into heating elements for the water. The air and electricity combine to create hot water without the need for oil or gas resources. These heaters are typically compact and feature a tall vertical design, ideal for installing in a small closet or floor panel area. The heaters come in various sizes, allowing you to purchase one small enough to fit in the compact spaces of your tiny home.

Contact a water heater contractor to get more information on prices, models, and installation methods for your tiny house.