Heating Your Tiny House

Four Ways to Heat Your Tiny House

When you build your own Tumbleweed, heat is one issue you need to think about. The type of heating you choose will depend upon where the final destination of your tiny house will be.

Normal central heat or large wood stoves, etc., just produce too much heat for your small space. So what are some of your options? In this article we will look at some ideas for using four types of heat. Wood, gas, propane and electric heat.


The original Very Small Woodstove is the Jotul 602, from Norway. This model is a mere 12 inches wide, 19 inches deep. They are found most often in cottages and cabins in the woods, where the 602′s good looks are a highlight. It’s been around almost forever. Although very small it can heat amazingly well.

Jotul 602

12 x 19


Available from Jotul

The tiniest very small woodstoves are those built for boats. These are designed for very tight quarters, and often have a railing on the top to keep pots from rolling off. Here is a typical one from the Canadian coast measuring all of 12 inches by 12 inches. They are made of cast iron and porcelain and are so cute and enchanting, folks have thought of getting a sailboat just so they need one. You can use one in your tiny house just as easily.


12 x 12


Available from Marine Stove


Propane is also popular in tiny houses and Tumbleweed uses the Dickinson heater. This lovely little heater/fireplace. Ideal for boats or houses up to 32 ft. The combustion process is completely isolated from the inside of the structure by the unique, direct vent design. A built-in blower provides good heat circulation. Heater is sold with all accessories including a stainless steel backing plate and 28″ of flexible, double stainless chimney. Safe, easy to use and extremely economical.

Newport Propane Fireplace (P9000)

17 x 9


Available from Dickson Marine


Gas is also an option and Woodstock Soapstone Company has the perfect little stove for tiny spaces called the Cottage Mini Soapstone Gas Stove.


      It’s 8,000 BTU heat output is perfect for a cozy, intimate area. It takes up little space (it can be installed on a stand or wall- mounted shelf). It’s a handsome design.


The Mini Franklin(tm) will bring warmth, grace, and style to any room setting. Its small fire will add ambiance and though it is just 17″ tall, it will produce almost 8,000 BTU/hr!

Cottage Mini

17 x 14


Available from Woodstock Soapstone Company


There are many small electric heaters that will work extremely well in your tiny house. Following are a couple examples available at your local Walmart. Electric heaters cost much less than the above wood stoves and propane or gas stoves. If electricity is easily available this might be your most affordable option.

Oil-Filled Radiator De’Longhi EW0715W Safeheat Oil-Filled Radiator features Patented Easy Snap Wheels, Adjustable Thermostat and Three Heat Settings


Available from Walmart

Titan Ceramic Heater with Thermostat #TCM16W-U

Compact yet powerful, this ceramic heater sports a thermostat that lets you choose how much heat you want.


Available from Walmart Toe Kick Heater

Qmark QTS1500T

Electric Kickspace Heater (120 Volts)


A toe-space heater will fit where no other heater will. It can be recessed into toe space areas under kitchen or utility room cabinets or into the soffit area above them.

It can also be recessed into the risers of a stairway or under the vanity in the bathroom. It is convenient for checkout counters, ticket or toll booths and many other places where no other heater seems to fit.

Hopefully this will give you some ideas and a starting point to figure out what type of heat is best for your tiny home.

  • Wall Mount Fireplace

    I like the Cottage Mini

  • Mike Ross

    Most of these options will not work if you are not home. Are you going to let a propane heater go all day when your at work? A mini-split a.c. unit with a heat pump will double as a heater, and solar heating will help offset the electric heat demand during the day time while your at work. When you come home you can switch to the above mentioned.

  • tunnelportterror .

    if you heat a room or small home with propane or natural gas, make sure you vent the heater. the nonvented units make the house stuffy and create co2 and co gas, and make you dizzy if you stay in the house. we monitored a nat gas insert that is unvented and it typically creates 15-25 ppm co gas in the house, and this is heating 3 rooms and a hallway. the vented heaters work much better, because they can burn hotter without suffocating the occupants. the nonvented heaters have co detectors built in that kick off the unit if it goes to high, but even at low levels it makes you sleepy and dizzy

  • Daniel Kleinman

    Espar Diesel (or Kerosene) heater (D2, or larger depending on Sqft)
    Pros- , 1300$ Quiet and heats through arctic winters for less than 1$ a day.
    cons- required 12v electricity like the propane heater.

  • Tinyhousewife

    Great post. Our Tinyhome is in the Subzero climate of Alaska. We chose a laser 30 Toyostove that runs on diesel [they retail about $1300 at our local store] This is our basic heat system. We stay very cozy.

  • 8o88y

    The Jutul 602 is too big for most tiny houses, I think, unless you want to leave the windows open a crack. I used to heat a 1200 sq. ft. house with one. The installed heating system was electric baseboard, and the cost of that heat gave me the incentive to install the Jotul. At first, I had it hooked up through the fireplace, and had a sheetmetal guy make me up a sheet traced from the damper, with a stovepipe collar and s-shaped clips around the edges like those used to hold the screen in a storm door. That worked pretty well. Later I ripped out the fireplace and built a full-height semi-circular brick wall set back into the chimney and insulated the space between this inner wall and the outer chimney wall. At the top, I put a thin, reinforced, semi-circular concrete slab with a hole for the stovepipe, and above that, 6″ clay thimbles instead of the big rectangular flues. That arrangement eliminated the need for any electric heat, despite living in an area with occasional blow-zero lows and average January lows of 20 degrees. We did have 14″ of attic insulation, but the walls only had 3-1/2″. The house wasn’t especially tight, having been built in 1971. At any rate, this should give people a sense for the heating capacity of the Jotul 602.
    – I was able to buy log slabs from a local sawmill, a much cheaper source of firewood than larger stoves. It may take a while to learn how to set the stove to last all night, but we were able to wake up to a reasonably warm house even on below-zero mornings.
    – For a tiny house, I’d recommend one of the smaller stoves made for boats. These might be tough to set up to burn all night, though.

  • Leah

    Is it necessary to put thermal drapes on the large south windows be prevent heat loss evenings/nights? I would think heat loss would be a problem in the northern climates of Ontario (where I will be living) and also the northern states.


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