Nothing beats a hot shower to start the day. If this is true for you, then you’re going to have to consider adding a water heater into the planning process. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the best tiny house water heaters on the market to help you choose the right one for you.
The Different Types Of Water Heaters
Propane or Electric
Propane hot water heaters tend to be pricey, but they pack a lot of heating power and require less electricity to get the water hot. On the other hand, electric water heaters consume more energy but are less expensive to buy. If you have access to grid-tied electricity, then an electric water heater is the most affordable option. Just keep in mind–if you use solar energy to power your electric water heater, you’ll have to strategize the best times to use hot water.
Tankless Hot Water Heaters or Traditional Hot Water Heaters
In a tankless hot water heater, the water is heated as it moves through the appliance “on demand.” Keep in mind, an appliance like this utilizes a lot of power to do the job. With a traditional hot water heater, the water is heated and stored in a tank until it’s needed. The downside to this is that after the water in the tank is used up, you’ll have to wait until more hot water is made.
Solar Water Heater
Solar water heaters are uncommon in tiny houses–there aren’t many examples of them out there. This could be because most of the units in current production are too large for a tiny house. As mentioned previously, solar energy can be an option to consider if you want to power your water heater electrically. If you’ve got your heart set on an actual solar-powered water heater, consider speaking to a solar company about customizing a unit for a tiny house–you never know what they might say!
How To Choose a Good Water Heater for a Tiny House
The right water heater for your tiny home is based on many different factors. When choosing the best one for your tiny house, you want to be sure to consider the following points:
- How much space do I have? A water heater with a tank takes up more space than the tankless options.
- Do I have access to grid-tied power? If so, electric may be your best option!
- Do I want my tiny house to function off-grid? Consider a propane-powered water heater.
- What climate will my tiny house be located in? A tankless water heater in colder climates is at risk of freezing and rupturing. Some of the higher-end models come with freeze-protection!
- Do I need hot water? Not everyone needs hot water in their tiny house.
- Will I need hot water often? Think about how long and how often you shower. A tankless water heater will allow you to get your shower hot and steamy on-demand for longer time periods–while with a tank system, you need to be more conservative!
The Best Propane Water Heater for a Tiny House: The Precision Temp RV-550NSP Tankless
This water heater is specifically designed for RVs, trailers, and…you guessed it–tiny homes! The Precision Temp not only takes up half the space of a 10-gallon tank, it also has a freezing-prevention function. An additional 80 degrees temperature increase capacity is also handy for those toasty shower temps!
Features we like:
- High propane efficiency
- The only tankless water heater with built-in freeze protection
- Only operates when hot water tap is turned on (saves propane!)
Pro Tip: Be sure to keep extra propane tanks on hand so you’re never without hot water!
The Best Electric Water Heater for a Tiny House: Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24-Plus Tankless Water Heater
This water heater provides consistent, constant temperature and adjustable water flow. The unit will still work perfectly even in the coldest temperatures where a smaller unit may struggle to function. The digital temperature control makes adjusting the heat user-friendly and easily accessible.
Features we like:
- Requires no venting
- 3 year warranty
- Reduces hot water costs up to 60% over other electric water heaters
Pro Tip: Be sure to install this water heater with a professional for a valid warranty.
Have you found a water heater option that works well for your tiny house? Each of the recommended water heaters are tankless options which not only save space, but also allow for a continuous flow of hot water. The electric option is recommended for grid-tied water heating, while the propane option is ideal if you want to get off the grid from time to time(or have largely propane appliances). Also, there’s no rule that says you must have a water heater in your tiny house–or even running water for that matter! But for those of us who like our showers hot, hopefully this article will help your decision-making process!
For more information on tiny house heat, check out this article!