Gabriel Parent-Leblanc heats his tiny house with an awesome solar air heater. He built his tiny house to prove it was possible to live in a tiny house year round in a northern climate. Not only did he succeed (he’s been living in it for almost 2 years) but he also has one of the smallest heating bills I’ve ever seen. In the winter of 2014/2015, which was one of the coldest in the last 100 years, he spent only $100 on heat thanks to his solar air heater panel which provided the bulk of his heat during the day.
Gabriel built his own tiny house with the help of friends and also started the first tiny house company in Quebec: Habitations MicroÉvolution:
The solar air heater he uses is distributed by EcoSolaris and they’re planning to release a new and improved model very soon (we filmed a video about it for you, coming soon!):
At night, Gabriel uses an electric heater that is plugged into an energy meter to track how much energy he uses for heat. This isn’t the exact meter he used but it was something like this:
His tiny house design was focussed on creating a spacious and comfortable living room with a massive u-shaped sitting area that has the option to put up a table up to make it a dinette, or put down the table to make it an extra bed.
He’s also got a galley kitchen, a sleeping loft, storage loft, and small bathroom with a shower and composting toilet.
The fact that Gabriel’s house is run almost completely on solar power is pretty impressive. He’s got 750 Watts on his roof that power the lights, fridge, water pump, and all of his electrical outlets; and his solar air heating panel provides a lot of his heating needs.
While he is living almost completely off grid in a suburb of Montreal, one thing Gabriel does find challenging is his small water tank. It only holds 100 litres so he often has to re-fill it with a hose. With his metal roof he could probably install a rainwater catchment system to provide some of his water needs.
You can find out more about Gabriel’s tiny house business and his workshops here:
For anyone interested in the products Gabriel mentioned in the video (his trailer, the vertical planter, tiny house plans, natural wood oil), check out his store here:
Thanks for watching!
Mat & Danielle
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Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives
Mat of Exploring Alternatives
Still shots of the tiny house in winter, and of Gabriel teaching his tiny house workshop were taken by Jean-Sébastien Poirier from Daedalos Media http://www.daedalosmedia.com/ minimalist