Because they’re so highly engineered, cooling and heating tiny homes is not without its challenges. Even though they’re built to exceptionally high energy efficiency standards, such a home could become uncomfortable without some kind of comfort system.
Ductless Mini Splits
Of all the comfort system options, ductless heat pumps offer the highest efficiency and convenience. They work like central air conditioners and heat pumps, but they don’t require ductwork to deliver the air. However, they must meet the same energy efficiency ratings as central systems. Their lack of ductwork increases their efficiency, and in a tiny home, won’t take up valuable space.
A heat pump is the ideal appliance because it provides energy efficient cooling and heating. Although Florida isn’t known for cold winters, they do require supplemental heating periodically. A mini-split provides ample energy efficient heat without using combustible natural gas or propane.
The mini-split has a small outdoor condenser, a flexible conduit and an indoor air handler. The conduit connects the air handler and condenser, carries the drain line for condensation, the refrigerant, and the power supply. Ductless systems for tiny homes plug into a 110-volt outlet and the placement of its components is flexible.
Portable Air Conditioners
Vented horizontal air conditioners are another option for cooling these small homes. Their only disadvantage is that they don’t provide heat. Some models come equipped with an electric heating coil, but their efficiency is a third or less than that of a ductless heat pump.
If you use your tiny house as a winter vacation home, you may be looking at high energy costs for heating by using a horizontal air conditioner with a supplemental heating coil. The advantage to these air conditioners is that they are easy to install and cost slightly less than ductless systems.
Maintaining year-round comfort in tiny homes is essential to your full enjoyment of the lifestyle they afford you. To learn more about your options, contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating, providing HVAC services for Palm Beach, Martin and Indian River County homeowners.