Consider the normal things you do everyday that create moisture. Cooking, bathing, breathing–all of these activities can create unwanted moisture in a tiny house. The square footage of a tiny house is also a lot smaller than a standard home. Without proper ventilation, your health as well as the structural integrity of your tiny house can be compromised.
Why Is Roof Ventilation So Important?
For starters, taking a shower in a tiny house can create steam that travels into your kitchen. Cooking in the kitchen can then generate moisture and oils that travel into the bathroom. You get the point; a tiny home spreads moisture more easily than in a standard home, making roof ventilation all the more important.
Different Types of Tiny House Ventilation
Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) uses the temperature and condition of stale air inside to heat or cool air from outside. The outgoing and incoming air never integrate, as they exchange through separate channels to push and pull air. These systems are generally good for cooler climates.
Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) works similarly to HRV, and functions well in both warm and cool climates. This unit functions by pre-cooling and dehumidifying or humidifying and heating air.
Balanced Ventilation Systems facilitate the distribution of fresh air throughout the tiny house through a system of ducts and fans. The idea is that fresh air is sent directly to rooms that need it the most, while polluted air is directed outside. While this system does not remove moisture from the air, it does filter it. Balanced Ventilation Systems are appropriate for all climates, but tend to be more expensive to install than recovery ventilation systems.
How To Be Sure Your Ventilation Is Efficient
Not all roofs are created equal, and factors such as roof shape, square footage and climate all play key roles in energy efficiency and energy costs. The pitch of the roof, or the way it slopes downward, can contribute to how sun or heat affects a structure. It also influences the way air travels around your tiny home. How big a tiny house is also directly related to the amount of energy that is needed to regulate air temperature and humidity in any given climate.
Things To Remember When Building Your Own Ventilation System
Proper insulation of a tiny house is extremely important. Ensuring a tiny house is airtight is essential to keeping moisture from destroying the infrastructure. Here are some materials and extras that are also important for your ventilation:
- Vapor barriers
- House wrap
- Hood vent (for your stove top)
- Fan or vent (for your bathroom)
Common Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
Roof:Although some roofs look great, not all shapes are aerodynamic enough for a tiny house on wheels. A classic gable roof has pitched sides that are popular in the tiny house community. Be sure that your roof shingles also go with the airflow and are properly installed!
Air Leaks: Plug sockets may seem small and insignificant, but even the tiniest gaps can drastically alter the efficiency of your tiny home. Use foam seal gaskets to plug any leaks and don’t rush through the job!
Covering Vents: If you’re in the building stages, make sure you don’t cover up vents or other important openings with insulation! Again, taking your time on the project will pay off in the long run.
The shape of your roof, square footage, and the climate where you live all contribute to the type of roof ventilation system needed for your tiny home. A good ventilation system should be energy efficient, prevent unwanted moisture, and be cost efficient in direct relation to the size of your house. Luckily, with a little research and construction know-how; you too can have an efficient and well-ventilated, tiny home.