Transcend low energy tiny homes -propane gas discussion
Do you use propane gas systems?
Not at this time. After months of deliberation and input from hundreds of users, we have concluded a couple of things...
Our low energy composite tiny home is so energy efficient, that a discussion of reducing energy costs starts to go down the road of splitting hairs right away. Our tiny home is so well insulated and airtight, that you will use very little if any heat in the winter. When you are living in the home, body heat from a couple of people and heat from cooking is usually enough. Heating water with electric, when setup properly, can also be efficient. The answer to this is not the same for all tiny homes.
Factor 1: Convenience.
I lived in an RV fulltime for 10 years, and we had to go out and get propane tanks sometimes filled as often as once a week when it was cold. It takes about 2 hours to take off an empty tank, go get it filled, and lift up a heavy tank and re-attach the connection. This is inconvenient in bad weather or icy conditions. They always run empty at the worst time.
Factor 2: Simple is better.
Having another full system of propane tanks, brackets to hold them, hoses, regulators, an automatic switch over valve, delivery lines with joints, flexible feed lines, shut-off valves, and low point moister traps, adds a lot of fixed and moving parts. Tiny home living is supposed to be about simplicity and convenience.
Factor 3: Counting the costs.
The cost of the propane parts and systems can add $1,500 to the price of the home. (Not counting the extra costs in appliances). In an Ultra Low Energy home, the return on investment for the additional propane equipment may never pay back.
Factor 4: Maintenance.
The more parts you have, the more ongoing expense and maintenance that goes along with it. Gas lines need regular maintenance to be sure they are operating properly, and efficiently. Propane regulators have a limited life and need to be replaced from time to time. Propane tanks have a date stamp, and also have a limited lifetime.
Factor 5: Safety and peace of mind.
Electric is a safer and a more elegant solution. If propane is used, you need a propane gas leak detection system installed in the house to monitor for propane leaks 24/7/365. More to maintain, and batteries to change out. No need to worry about a gas leak in your house, if you don't have propane.
Factor 6: Weight.
Our unit was born in composite, aerospace technologies. Adding a propane system adds a lot of weight. Everything in this home, down to the smallest item is carefully weighed and debated to be sure it fits the top level goals of the whole project. The lighter it is the less it costs you to tow it because you need less fuel. The largest savings comes from using a smaller and lighter truck. If you can buy and maintain a 3/4 ton truck, instead of a dual wheel one ton truck, you are way ahead of the game saving thousands of dollars.
Money saved beats money earned. You don't pay taxes on money saved.
We consider all aspects of tiny living to find the best balance of price, cost of ownership, and simple convenient living.