Now that winter is well and truly on its way, I thought I'd give you an update on how things are going in my tiny house and on how I'm preparing it for the cold Vermont weather. I recorded the video below on a rainy day to show you the changes I've made to the tiny house to keep us warm this winter.
The first new addition to our tiny house for winter is the hay bales, which are to help us stay toasty inside. I'm using a slightly different approach this year. Last year I tacked plastic tarp to the house and then put uncovered hay bales in front of that. I happened to put a couple of hay bales in trash bags and I found that, after the winter, the hay bales in trash bags has held up much better and they were much more reusable than the uncovered ones.
I've therefore used covered hay bales all the way around the house this year. Once the snow falls, they'll seal everything up and prevent the cold Vermont air from blowing beneath the house, helping to keep things warm inside.
Apart from that, there hasn't been much change on the outside of the house and everything’s holding up really well. The house is in a pretty wet spot on the lawn right now, so I need to re-level the house. I’m going to wait until the ground freezes up to do that though.
The Ceiling Fan
Inside, we've got a new ceiling fan, which is actually running in reverse. I can’t emphasize how much it’s helping to distribute the heat around the house. Basically the fan draws air up and pushes the hot air off of the ceiling, so it really feels much more evenly heated in there now.
The biggest change inside is that I've permanently removed my Dickinson Newport Propane heater. I’ll be writing about this change much more extensively but, to summarize, this heater has not been meeting my needs and it's never been able to draw enough outside air in to burn cleanly.
Right now I'm doing the same as I did last winter, by relying on my Delonghi electric radiant panel. It actually does a pretty good job of heating the house and it’s nice and toasty if you stand in front of it.
Other Changes and Improvements
I've made a few other changes, besides the season-specific ones I've mentioned so far.
In the pantry, I've added some shelves that slide out, which means I can use a lot more of the space in there to store my food. The shelves were a pretty easy project to put together. I just picked up some draw slides from Home Depot, made some simple plywood boxes, and put them in place.
Everything’s still working well in the shower. The copper has started to patina and you can see water droplets on it. I really like this effect and I think it’s kind of cool that, as we use the shower, it’s going to change colour.
I’ve been very happy with the composting toilet. It really doesn’t smell and it’s really not that hard to deal with. Our first bin full of compost is getting full, so we’re probably going to start a new bin soon. If you're interested in using a composting toilet yourself, check out The Humanure Handbook.
Well, that about wraps up how I'm preparing my tiny house for winter!
What Would You Like to See in My Tiny House?
If there’s anything you would like to see in my tiny house, leave a comment below and I'll try to record a video for you.