Living in a tiny house on wheels comes with so many advantages.
You’ll have less clutter, spend less time cleaning your home, lower energy use which leads to even cheaper bills, and the freedom that comes with total mobility of your home.
But to create a liveable environment within your tiny house, it needs to be properly ventilated.
Expert tiny house builders recommended installing a ventilation system on the roof of your tiny house to avoid detrimental damage to you and your home.
In this article, we go into detail about the benefits of tiny house roof ventilation and how to get started. Let’s go.
Does a tiny house roof need to be vented?
Yes, if your tiny house roof allows it, you should vent it.
Depending on the shape, material, and incline of your roof, you should utilize it for venting purposes. One of the main reasons for venting your roof is to improve and maximize air circulation.
Hot air rises, and whenever you’re cooking, showering, or have a few more bodies in your tiny house than usual, the humidity will build up and engulf the rooms, making your tiny house feel more like a tiny sauna.
Excess moisture from humidity can mess with electronics, give way for mold to grow, destroy personal items, and furniture.
A lack of moisture in the air can also cause harm, resulting in dry, itchy skin and attributing to asthma and allergy symptoms.
By properly venting your tiny house, you can be assured that you’re creating a healthy environment within.
How do you vent a tiny house roof?
The idea of tiny house roof ventilation may seem intimidating at first, but by following our guide you should have a seamless install.
First, you should decide what type of tiny house ventilation system will meet your needs. There are two different balanced ventilation systems you can use:
Heat Recovery Ventilation
HRV’s are better for cooler climates with lower humidity levels, HRV’s pump and pull the air from inside and outside through different hoses into the ventilator’s core.
While the air from inside and outside never mix, the channels run next to each other to create heat through conduction.
Energy Recovery Ventilation
ERV’s function by capturing the humidity left in the air of your tiny house and transferring it to the dryer air from outside that it pulls in. They tend to keep homes at about a 40% to 60% humidity rate at all times. These units are best for more humid climates but can be used in cooler climates as well.
How to install tiny house roof ventilation
Once you’ve decided what ventilation system works best for your tiny house’s needs, it’s time for the installation of the airflow channels.
Begin by installing baffles, the channels that air will flow through, between your insulation and the roofing structure.
Baffles can be found at any local building supplies store. These create a space for air to travel between the main ventilation system, the insulation, the ceiling panels, and the tiny house roof sheathing, moving the air from the lower end of the roof to the upper end of the roof.
This prevents condensation which leads to mold and mildew growing on your insulation.
Here’s a helpful video on how this tiny house owner installed their roof venting with baffles:
Your baffles will lead to ridge vents, these are usually made of plastic or polycarbonate materials.
The ridge vents create an opening for fresh air to move into the house and ventilation system, as well as the expenditure of stale air from inside.
These tiny house roof vents also prevent the formation of icicles in the winter.
Tiny house roof venting considerations
There are a few other items you can install with your tiny house roof ventilation system that help keep the air quality and moisture levels where they need to be.
Installing a hood-vent for your stovetop, a fan in your bathroom, or investing in a small air purifier.
Hood vents are also another tool to help avoid carbon monoxide buildup from any gas-running kitchen appliances. Installing a ceiling fan can also help with circulation.
It’s important to remember that while all of these items aid in ventilating your tiny house, they should not replace a ventilation system.
Not all shapes of roofing for tiny houses on wheels are compatible with venting systems. The slope of the roof does not only contribute to how air circulates within your home, it can also retain and attract more heat from certain angles.
Going with a classic gable roof, rather than a flat roof on your tiny house, will guarantee you a chance to properly add tiny house roof ventilation, as the pitched sides will aid with airflow.
Other types of tiny house roof, such as curved roofs, don’t allow for as much ventilation.
It’s also important to make sure your tiny house is properly insulated before finishing your ventilation.
Make sure to seal any air leaks you may have around the house, common culprits are window frames and electrical sockets. You can use a sealing gel to further insulate these parts of your house.
Be sure to check you haven’t covered any vents with your insulation installations.
Sometimes tiny homeowners make the mistake of insulating too much and covering up their ventilation sources.
Every tiny house on wheels needs a quality ventilation system. The air, if left unfiltered and unventilated while living in such a small space can become host to bacteria, toxins, carbon monoxide, and allergens.
Soon enough excess moisture will eat away at your insulation, proving a place for mold and mildew to prosper.
Tiny house roof ventilation is a technique used by many builders.
Be sure to understand the type of climate or climates your tiny house on wheels will be exposed to before deciding if an HRV or ERV is best suited for your needs.
It’s also important to note that some other alternatives can further improve the quality of the air in your home. If you can opt for a ventilation strategy that involves several elements, such as checking your house for insulation breaks, adding a fan to your bathroom, or a hood-vent to your stove.
These will help keep energy costs down and your air quality up.
By making sure your tiny house on wheels is properly ventilated, you will be elongating the life of your tiny home, making sure that the air quality can support both the people living in the home, but also the house’s materials and innards as well.