The tiny house craze is sweeping the nation. More and more people are deciding to live a different version of the American dream—a much smaller one. Depending on who you ask, the term "tiny" could mean anywhere from just 200 square feet (also called a "micro-house") to anything under 1,000 square feet. Considering that the average American home is 2,422 square feet, either definition works. The reasons for going tiny are as varied as the people that live in them. While some people choose to live tiny to reduce their carbon footprint, many others do it downsize their lives, live with less stuff, live below their means, or even to be able to travel more.
Living tiny, however, doesn't have to mean going without. It doesn't necessarily mean living without modern amenities. Everyone decides how tiny works for themselves. If sweating it out in the hot summer sun is not your version of fun in a tiny house, you are in luck. There are plenty of options to keep you cool.
1. Evaporative Cooler: An evaporative cooler, or swamp cooler as they are often called, works by drawing warm air into the unit and through water. The water cools the air, which is then blown out into the space. You can buy one at your local home improvement superstore, but they do require an electrical hookup. For mobile tiny house owners and those that want to live off-grid, a swamp cooler can be built for very little money with a Styrofoam cooler and blocks of ice.
2. Cross-Ventilation: When planning your tiny house, try to use its architecture to your advantage. If space allows, having a door that can be opened on each end of the house can help cool it. This is typically called a shotgun floorplan. You can also plan your window placement to allow for cross-ventilation. Two open windows directly across from each other will pull air through your tiny home and create a breeze with cooling effects.
3. Air Conditioner: If your tiny home is built on a foundation, you can have a traditional air conditioner installed. Modern air conditioning cools the air as it enters the house and can create nice, cool temperatures indoors even on the hottest day of the year. Air conditioning units are available in a variety of sizes to fit even the tiniest of houses.
4. Ceiling Fan: Most tiny houses have tall, vaulted ceilings to give the illusion of more space. Use that height to your advantage and install a ceiling fan. A fan can be used alone to create a breeze or it can be used in conjunction with another device to circulate the cool air that is produced.
5. Portable Unit: While it is possible to retrofit an existing home with an air conditioner, sometimes it can be cost-prohibitive to tear into walls and ceilings to install the ductwork. If you need a quick solution while you budget for a permanent one, try a portable air conditioner. Similar to a window unit, a portable AC is attached to an open window and works by pulling in warm air, cooling it mechanically, and blowing it out into the room. If you live in a northern climate where you only need to cool your home for a week or so each year, this option would work well for you as it can be wheeled away when not in use.
6. Mini-Split: One of the newer options on the market is the mini-split. This system can be used in new builds or retrofitted easily into existing homes because it mounts to an exterior wall and blows cool air into the room without the need for vents or ductwork. Unlike window units, it is neither large nor unsightly.
Deciding to make the move to a tiny house takes a lot of planning and a bit of courage. Luckily, you can do it while staying cool. For more information, get in touch with a company such as Sunshine Heating Air Conditioning Incorporated.