The small house (or tiny house) movement encourages homeowners to re-think their concept of a free living space. Families looking for extra floor space are also forced to settle with extra debt and loss of flexibility. Tiny house owners sacrifice square footage for free living, preferring homes less than 1000 square feet in size. Less space means less chores, greatly reduced upkeep costs and the ability to move on a whim. More and more families, including those with pets and children, are catching on to the tiny house movement. Investing in a tiny house also means choosing new appliances that maximize space, so tankless water heaters are a natural fit for tiny house owners.
Compact houses on the rise
Data collected by small house movement resource I Love Tiny Houses shows that the phenomenon is gaining significant traction on social media. Keyword searches for the phrase "tiny house" have increased nearly 700 percent since 2004, while almost 700,000 social media users respond to hash tags like "#tinyhouse" each day. The tiny house phenomenon is very much in line with millennials attitudes that associate success with a large home far less than their parents generation. Socio-economic impacts are driving the phenomenon as well. A mainstream shift toward tiny houses could greatly increase the disposable income of a that section of the population.
Tiny design challenges
The benefits associated with tiny houses are substantial, but homeowners must be comfortable with quite a bit of change before they can reap the benefits. One of those changes is new limitations on how a living space can be decorated and designed. The space restrictions are not the only design challenges associated with a small house. Several utility constraints exist as well, according to The Clarion Ledger. Traditional homes are wired for up to 200 amps of electricity, but a tiny homes often max out at 50 amps. Homeowners must also deal with new weight and with restrictions. Thankfully, compact home appliances like tankless water heaters are ideal for meeting the unique needs of tiny houses.
Attaching a traditional storage tank water heater to a tiny house would fundamentally defeat the purpose of the slimming down the living space. The heavy water tank reservoir would make it impossible to transport the home easily and its exposure to the elements would lead to costly heat loss. Tankless water heaters are just 10 percent of the size of last-generation water heaters, and can be mounted on free wall space inside the tiny house. Alternatively, some homeowners mount their water supply and heating appliance below the tiny house, says design blog Jetson Green. Tankless water heaters are also extremely efficient, boasting 99 percent thermal efficiency that beats out old school water heaters in terms of cost-effectiveness by over 30 percent. The compact size and minimal footprint does not impact the performance of tankless water heaters. High-performance models deliver endless hot water that is instantly heated on demand.