Tiny houses are all the rage these days for many reasons. For those who want to minimize their lives and value an off-the-grid existence, tiny houses are a perfect solution. Tiny houses are quite popular with younger generations due to the low cost, the freedom that mobility offers, and green aspects.
There is quite a bit of evidence that tiny houses can also be a safer option for people who suffer from allergies or other respiratory afflictions. If you live with a lot of stress or have difficulty breathing, you can use specific breathing techniques to help you calm down. However, a more permanent solution to the pressure might be to move into a tiny house for a much healthier, less stressful lifestyle.
The tiny house movement is catching on in a big way all over the world. However, safety and building code standards have yet to catch up. In the meantime, here is what you need to know to keep your tiny house safe.
Safer Building Materials, Cleaner Air
Moisture can be a big problem in tiny spaces. Preventing mold and mildew that can pollute the air in your tiny house, starts with proper building materials. Many tiny house owners insist on safer, sustainable, recycled building materials. The first thing you want to be sure of is to use top-quality interior and exterior house wrap and sealing tape.
These two items make up the primary barrier between your tiny home and the outside world. Good, quality tape and wrap protects your walls against moisture and prevents mildew or mold, which can damage air quality quickly. The next material to consider is insulation. Be sure yours is VOC-free, meaning it has no toxic chemicals like asbestos that can leach into your home and decrease air quality, resulting in a dangerous situation.
During the building process, be sure your contractor knows that you want only chemical-free, sustainable materials used in the building of your home. You can even buy a Healthy Tiny House Kit online that contains all the safe products you need. The goal is to ensure that the foundation of your tiny house is built on high-quality, healthy products that guarantee the best air quality possible for years to come.
Heat, Humidity and Venting Concerns
Heat and humidity can become trapped quickly in small spaces, and your tiny home is no exception. One tiny home builder uses a Newport gas boat heater in every house he builds. Not only are they efficient at heating small spaces, but they are also properly vented to supply the unit with fresh oxygen instead of using the air within the home.
Be careful of Radiant heaters, sometimes used in small spaces; they are not vented properly and could result in dangerous air quality or worse. A gas heater is often a good solution to warm up small spaces quickly, but be sure they are installed and vented correctly first. Experts in the field always suggest having at least one CM detector in your tiny home.
To help control the level of humidity and moisture in your tiny home, consider a high-quality dehumidifier. Another benefit of small spaces is it’s easier to control your environment. Therefore, you can afford smaller, yet more efficient devices that keep your entire home nice and dry.
Instead of a shower curtain, a ceiling-to-floor glass door helps contain excess moisture as well. When showering, run the bathroom fan to help vent the steam outside. Don’t forget to have a kitchen fan installed to vent moisture while cooking and exhaust food smells.
The last must-have item on the list is an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilation) unit. Using only the power of two laptop fans, the ERV circulates the air in a tiny home, recovering 90 percent of the hot or cold air and replacing it with fresh air. This low-energy unit is crucial for fresh, clean air in your tiny home.
Move to a Better Air Quality Area
One of the great benefits of a tiny house is the fact that is is built on a trailer, and you can move it, anytime, anywhere you want. If you suffer from COPD or other serious breathing conditions, you have the option of picking up and moving to a cleaner area instantly.
The Canadian Medcenter offers a complete guide on how to select the best location for you. Some of the things they suggest considering are smoking laws, pollen, pollution, and altitude, while also making sure you have ample access to medical care should you need it.
Depending on where you move to, how you build your tiny home might differ. In warmer climates, you can get away with different types of building materials, but you might have to vent more stringently. In colder temperatures, insulation is going to be a key element to keep you warm and your air clean.
Consult the Professionals When Building Your Tiny House
A lot of people decide to build their own tiny houses. The experience of building your own home can cement your commitment to the lifestyle and teach you some valuable things along the way. Plus, you get complete control over every single material that goes into your home.
However, to be sure you aren’t missing any steps with heating, cooling, and venting, you might want to consult an HVAC technician or other skilled experts to ensure the safety of your home and air quality. It is important to hire quality professionals who know how to bring in fresh oxygen without losing heat. Exhaust fans are essential also for disposing of moisture, pollutants, and cooking smells, and they can be tricky to install if you don’t know what you are doing.
One final piece of the puzzle is making sure you have proper makeup air vents to bring in fresh air while blocking toxic chemicals like carbon monoxide from entering your home. Tiny home consultants can help steer you in the right direction so that your tiny house is not only your dream come true but also a safe haven where you can spend time comfortably while breathing easy.