Tiny homes are
portable houses used for off-grid living. They allow only a small living space
for the occupants and are marked with an austere and utilitarian design. Living
in a tiny home is basically a lifestyle choice and people make this choice more
as a way to protest the consumerist culture than as a way to minimize spending.
appliances in a tiny home is quite a challenge both because of space
limitations and because it is so hard to bring energy to an off-grid vehicle
and then store it there. Small-sized portable appliances are the most common
solution and for energy, you would have to choose between propane, battery and
solar energy. The same limitations also apply to water heaters and a review of
available choices reveals that a portable propane tankless water heater is the
only viable option.
Why tankless is the best option
us make it clear that you cannot possibly run a tank water heater in a tiny
house. It would take away your precious living space and you would be keeping a
tank full of dangerously hot water in your bedroom. Needless to say, the
inefficient tank water heater would empty any battery or propane tank before
long. Some tiny home dwellers consider solar water heaters but that takes a lot
of space and will not work when the sun is not shining. This leaves tankless
water heaters as the only alternative.
propane and electric are the three fuel options for a tankless water heater. In
an off-grid location, you should not expect to have natural gas so we have to
choose between propane and electric. An electric tankless water heater requires
at least 10 kW to run properly to heat water for a single hot water fixture.
You can have that kind of electric power in a tiny house with a good battery or
generator but it would still be a big burden on your home. That leaves propane
as the best option. Using a propane tankless water heater in off-grid occasions
such as camping is not an uncommon practice so there are plenty of products for
you in the market if you are looking for one. What you need to keep in mind is
some of these portable propane tankless water heaters are made for outdoor use
so you have to carefully assess the product features and how you will be using
it to avoid any risks.