One of the few hurdles that comes with living off-grid in a tiny home is finding a reliable way to fulfill your energy needs without the convenience of the electric grid. Many tiny homeowners may opt for using reusable energy such as solar power. However, it is unrealistic to power an entire home with solar energy alone.
Another great way to power an off grid tiny house is by using propane. It is one of the cleanest, most flexible and most energy efficient options for tiny homeowners. Not to mention, there are several appliances made specifically for propane that help to make the transition easier.
What are the benefits of propane?
A nice perk of going propane is the ability to easily move it around and store it. It can be stored in a tiny house without taking up too much space and can be conveniently refilled whenever it is empty.
Propane is the way to go if you want to take the current energy efficiency of your tiny home to another level. A single cubic foot of propane contains about 2,516 BTUs while one cubic foot of natural gas only contains about 1,030 BTUs. This means that propane contains almost 2.5 times the amount of energy as natural gas. Not to mention that it is much more environmentally friendly.
As well energy efficient, propane is also a cost-efficient energy source, especially once you consider its flexibility. The average cost for a gallon of propane in the U.S. lies between $2.00 and $2.75 which means that the average user may see big savings in utility bills. These savings can be increased with the more propane appliances used.
Propane is capable of fueling all of your household needs such as clothes drying, cooking, water heating, refrigeration and generating back-up energy. It does not take much planning as anyone can go propane at any time for a quick and reliable energy solution.
One of the most notable qualities about propane is its eco-friendliness. It is actually widely considered the “green gas” as it produces much less greenhouse gas byproduct than other fossil fuels. In addition to its low gas byproduct production, propane is also non-toxic so it can be disposed of in water or soil with no damage.
In what ways can propane be used?
Hot Water Heater
Propane provides one of the best energy sources for tiny home water systems. This is because of its low cost and device lifespan. This combined with its speedy water heating abilities make propane water heaters both functional and convenient. For an unlimited supply of hot water that takes up less space, consider a tankless water heater.
Many tiny homeowners choose to go without a clothes dryer all together. However, if someone does opt for a for a dryer in their tiny home, a propane-fueled one is the right choice to make. The cost to use an electric dryer for a full load is the energy-equivalent of about 40 cents. However, propane-powered dryers cut that cost in half.
Cooktops and stoves that are powered by propane are better suited to produce an even heat distribution than their electric counterparts. Furthermore, propane eliminates the wait time usually associated with letting the burner heat up. You can count on propane to heat up and cool down your cooktop immediately.
Propane refrigerators are ideal for many tiny homeowners. In fact, some refrigerators on the market allow for both electricity and propane use. This is especially useful for mobile tiny homes where a homeowner may find themselves on and off the grid quite frequently. Due to their size and need for constant electricity, refrigerators can be pretty hard to power with just solar energy. With a propane refrigerator, homeowners will be able to save their solar power for other smaller electricity needs.
Whether you use a boiler, furnace or space heater, propane is a great way to fuel the heat to a tiny home. One of the best benefits of using propane to heat a home is that you do not have to worry about potentially overworking the heater. Its clean and efficient energy output helps to make propane heaters last a bit longer than electric and oil devices.
Once you know how to use and store propane, you will maximize the experience of smaller living. It is important to keep safety in mind. Though tiny homeowners can DIY the process of hooking up a propane system, it is still best to have the help of an expert to ensure that there are no leaks, and that the tank is stored in the best location, away from potential heat or fire hazards.
In many areas of the county, legislation is changing or updating to encourage homeowners to think differently about their living space. Tiny homes offer the opportunity to own a home at a fraction of the typical price and the freedom to spend time and money living a life of adventure and ease instead of upkeep and maintenance. It’s a great opportunity for trade professionals to widen the scope of their offerings to include the specific needs of tiny home owners.
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