Ventilation and Tiny Housers

I have had concerns about ventilation for my tiny home.  With the current building technology, homes are pretty air tight, which keeps your heating costs lower.  The downside to the air tight home is that your house can’t breath – moisture, which can lead to rot,  and poor air quality, which can lead to illness, become a concern.  When building a larger home, there are mechanical aids which help to reduce moisture and improve the air quality.  Unfortunately, these mechanical aids – heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) – are too big for a tiny house.  BoneyardStudios have a great blog post about air quality (click here for the link for that blog post) and in that post they mention an ERV unit that is small enough to be used in a tiny house.  Unfortunately, that ERV unit is rated for a much warmer climate than mine.

In my quest to find some answers regarding ventilation this week, I contacted Yestermorrow Design/Build School.  They in the middle of a 12 day Tiny House design and build course.  I contacted the teachers of the course who were understandably busy, though busy they told me they would get back to me with some answers to my queries. Not only did one of the instructors answer my questions, but he also put me in touch with one of the students of that course who lives in Montreal.

I can breathe a little easier knowing that my plan to have exhaust fans for both my oven/range and bathroom should handle the moisture issues.    I also have 2 of the students from the Yestermorrow Tiny House course helping me this weekend with my build.  Reaching out and talking to people can be really wonderful.


8 thoughts on “Ventilation and Tiny Housers”

  1. Thank you for your information!

    “BoneyardStudios have a great blog post about air quality (click here for the link for that blog post) and in that post they mention an ERV unit that is small enough to be used in a tiny house. ”

    I clicked on the link to the blog post, and it says that I need to be invited to view it. Can you provide the name of this unit? I would be forever grateful 🙂

    1. Hi Seth,

      I didn’t keep the name of that particular ERV unit because it wasn’t rated for below -5C, I do recall that it was a panasonic. I hope that helps.

    1. I didn’t end up choosing a range fan or a bathroom fan. The heat recovery ventilator that I went with has 2 fans, one of which is in the bathroom and it clears any excess humidity or cooking fumes out of the house fairly quickly. I also have a window over my range which I crack open when I am simmering something for a long time, which helps with the immediate issue. That is all in the winter, in the summer I simply go with opening up windows with good success.

      1. What was the HRV that you ended up going with? was it the Panasonic one or something different. I too am running into the problem of not being able to find anything sized for a tiny house that is also designed to handle the cold climate.

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