Let's get techy.
Many of the smart home gadgets you see for sale online and in stores are targeted toward the owners and tenants of traditional homes. While most gadget manufacturers may not actively incorporate tiny home dwellers into their marketing materials, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the same technology. On the flip side, some products are marketed for tiny houses that aren't really a good fit based on bulky size.
When it comes to home tech, sometimes the simple solutions can be the best for the greatest flexibility. Not everything has to be WiFi-enabled, but there are lots of convenient perks to that functionality...
When you're looking to welcome new tech into a tiny home you're purchasing or currently living in, the following top options are worth considering.
Smart speakers with voice-controlled intelligent personal assistants like Alexa are among the most popular forms of home technology. Not only can you ask your speaker what the weather is doing or the name of a song, but you can also make your speaker perform functions around your home.
These speakers can be established on your WiFi network to control your lights, appliances, security, and more. In a tiny home, you'll be able to set up your speaker in a central part of the home and have it hear you no matter where you are inside the house.
We love our simple Bluetooth speaker for listening to music or podcasts while cooking in our tiny house or just hanging out, and we take it with us on road trips too.
Smart Home Security
If you travel around the country in your tiny home, visiting different tiny house communities, or travel without your house, you likely want your home to feel as safe and secure as possible. A smart home monitoring system can help. Fortunately, there are many options on the market to choose from.
As noted above, these can also include a smart speaker that doubles as a security station, like our Honeywell Smart Home Security System. It's an easy DIY all-in-one system with motion and sound sensors. For us, we use this mostly when we leave our tiny house on shuttle bus road trips or to keep an eye on our dog, Winnie when we're out running errands.
Any activity is detected in or outside our tiny home triggers alerts and images sent to our smartphones. Even though we have never been too nervous about home security, but we appreciate the real-time monitoring of our most significant asset.
However, many smart home security systems require consistent WiFi and power. If you are off the grid, look into a battery- or solar-powered video security camera. For more tiny home safety tips, check out our guide here.
Smart Door Lock
A smart door lock can also help with home security, and it's also an excellent option for tiny house vacation rentals. Importantly, these door locks allow you to monitor who comes and goes while even letting you lock and unlock the door from your smartphone. Some models also come with voice activation if your hands aren't free to lock or unlock the door yourself.
A simple keyless deadbolt also provides incredible convenience for easy locking & unlocking. We absolutely love having one on our tiny house and shuttle bus conversion!
Mini-Split Heating and Cooling Units
The average size of tiny houses for sale in the U.S. is 225 square feet, but anything under 400 square feet can be given the title of 'tiny.' Heating and cooling such a small space is not challenging, but does require thought to ensure you're doing it in the most space-effective way possible.
Some of the most advanced systems for tiny homes are mini-split heating and cooling units. These have indoor units and outside condensers and take up minimal space. Fortunately, they only need a small three-inch hole in the wall, and no ducting has to be installed.
They are also energy efficient while heating and cooling spaces up to 400 square feet and acting as a dehumidifier. Keep in mind, air circulation to all parts of a tiny home can be challenging depending on where the indoor mini-split component is installed. But well-placed fans can help solve this issue.
Air Quality Technology
When you've built an air-tight tiny home to keep yourself warm, air quality can be an issue. You may experience problems with humidity levels, not to mention carbon monoxide, low levels of oxygen, and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). One of the best tech investments you can make for your home is an air quality monitor. They can monitor the quality of air to make sure what you're breathing in is perfectly safe.
You can also find skylights with an air quality monitor built-in, so they'll open when ventilation is needed.
An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is another a powerful tool for maintaining healthy air quality in tiny houses. ERVs replace stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air and transfer heat and humidity from the air being exhausted to the incoming air, saving energy to condition the outside air. As a result, they reduce the concentrations of all pollutants, control CO2 concentrations, reduce all VOCs.
With light switches almost always within arm's reach, you may be wondering why smartphone-controlled lighting is necessary for tiny home technology. However, there is value in the ability to set timers for your lights to turn off and on at certain times of the day and night, and it can be ideal for security purposes.
Smart WiFi Mini Projector
A smart WiFi mini projector is a fun option to consider a tiny home with indoor/outdoor viewing capabilities. Perhaps the best part, there's no need for a TV or corded projector setup—the fewer cords, the better!
We recently tried the Nebula Capsule; it packs a huge punch for home entertainment with image size up to 100 inches big with remarkable clarity and contrast, even in semi-dim environments. Importantly, it comes with a powerful 360-degree, omnidirectional speaker built-in.
You can download and stream content right from the projector, and your phone acts as a remote via an app. With all that said, there are numerous other options available too.
Tech for your Tiny Home Conclusion
While everyday technology is generally never targeted toward tiny home dwellers, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of options to choose from. Now might be the right time to look at technological upgrades that could make your tiny home living experience even better than before.
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