Yurts were made to survive the harsh winters in Mongolia, and while modern yurts are a bit different, there are key ways to insulate and heat them. I wanted to explore more, so I did some research. Here’s what I found.
Yurts can be heated with off-grid alternatives such as wood stoves, pellet stoves, or solar panels and insulated with materials such as wool and rugs. Modern-day yurts can be heated the same way houses today are with heating methods such as electric heating, propane, or gas heating.
Let’s get into how you can use and set up these heating and insulation methods in your yurt.
1. Wood Stove
A wood stove is a popular heating option for yurts because it provides both ambiance and is an off-grid solution to heat that is pretty reliable and cost-effective.
When choosing a wood stove for your yurt, consider the size and output of the stove. A smaller stove may not provide enough heat, while a larger stove could lead to overheating and wasted energy.
If I were buying a wood stove, I would find a local wood stove seller rather than a large corporation. They’re likely to be more knowledge about the different requirements and installation practices for your area.
When installing the stove, it’s important to make sure you have clearance from walls and ceilings. You’ll also need to install a chimney that is correctly insulated, is tall enough to create a draft, and meets local fire safety codes.
It also helps if you have your own source of firewood. Just make sure it is dried and seasoned wood to have efficient burning and minimize buildup in the chimney.
2. Propane Heater
A propane heater is a convenient heating option for yurts, especially for those who don’t want to deal with the maintenance of a wood stove.
Propane heaters require a propane tank to operate. The size of the tank will depend on the size and output of the heater, as well as your usage needs.
Propane tanks can be purchased or leased from propane suppliers. It’s important to see if the tank is properly installed and that you have a reliable source for refilling it. They are relatively easy to install and require minimal maintenance.
They should be positioned in a safe location away from combustible materials and have enough clearance from walls and ceilings. A carbon monoxide detector is also needed for safety.
One drawback of propane heaters is the ongoing cost of propane fuel. The cost of propane can vary depending on your location and the time of year.
3. Electric Heating
Electric heating is a popular option for yurts, especially for those who have access to electricity (the grid) and prefer something that is convenient.
There are several types of electric heaters to choose from, including baseboard heaters, wall heaters, and portable electric heaters.
Baseboard heaters are a common type of electric heating that can be installed along the baseboards of your yurt’s walls. They are relatively easy to install and can be controlled with a thermostat.
Wall heaters are similar to baseboard heaters but are installed directly on the wall. They are a good option for those who don’t have space for baseboard heaters.
Portable electric heaters are also an option, but they can be less efficient and more expensive to operate than baseboard or wall heaters.
Electric heating can be expensive to operate, especially during cold winter months. It’s important that your yurt’s electrical system can handle the additional load and that you have a reliable source of electricity.
4. Pellet Stove
A pellet stove burns compressed sawdust pellets, which are clean-burning and efficient. It’s similar to a wood stove except instead of burning seasoned wood, it burns recycled wood.
Pellet stoves require electricity to operate, so they may not be the best option for off-grid living. When choosing a pellet stove, look for one that is sized appropriately for your yurt’s square footage.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have proper clearance from walls and ceilings, and that the chimney is insulated and meets local fire safety codes.
Solar heating is a sustainable and eco-friendly option for yurts. There are several ways to use solar energy to heat your yurt, like solar panels and passive solar design.
Solar panels can be used to power electric heaters or a radiant floor heating system.
When choosing solar panels for your yurt, it’s important to take into consideration the size and output of the panels, as well as your energy needs.
A passive solar design involves using the sun’s energy to heat your yurt naturally. This can be done by positioning your yurt to capture the most sunlight, using insulation to retain heat, and incorporating thermal mass materials such as concrete or stone to store and release heat.
A passive solar design can be a cost-effective way to heat your yurt, as it requires minimal energy and maintenance.
When using solar heating, it’s important to consider the upfront cost and long-term energy savings. Solar panels can be expensive to install, but they can save you money in the long run by reducing your reliance on traditional energy sources.
A passive solar design may require some upfront investment in insulation and thermal mass materials, but it can provide efficient and sustainable heat for your yurt.
Insulation keeps your yurt warm and reduces heating costs over time. Insulation helps to prevent heat loss and keep warm air inside your yurt.
There are several types of insulation to choose from, including wool and fiberglass.
Wool insulation is a natural, eco-friendly, and sustainable option for yurts. Wool insulation is also fire-resistant, and moisture-resistant, and has excellent soundproofing properties.
Fiberglass insulation is a common and affordable option for yurts. Fiberglass insulation is easy to install and has good insulation properties. However, it can be irritating to the skin and respiratory system, so it’s important to wear protective clothing and a mask when handling it.
You can purchase insulation from a variety of sources, including home improvement stores, online retailers, and insulation contractors. When choosing insulation, consider the R-value, which is a measure of the insulation’s resistance to heat flow. A higher R-value means better insulation.
7. Gas Heating
Gas heating is another option for yurts, especially for those who have access to a natural gas line. There are several types of gas heaters to choose from, including radiant heaters, convection heaters, and forced air heaters.
Radiant gas heaters are a popular option for yurts as they provide heat through infrared radiation, which is a form of energy that is absorbed by objects and surfaces, warming them directly.
They can be mounted on walls or ceilings and are relatively easy to install.
Convection gas heaters work by heating the air around them, which then circulates throughout your yurt. They can be freestanding or wall-mounted, and they come in a variety of sizes and styles.
Convection gas heaters are efficient and quiet, and they are a good option for those who want to heat a large space.
Forced air gas heaters work by blowing hot air into your yurt through ductwork.
8. Reflective Insulation
Reflective insulation is a type of insulation that reflects heat back into your yurt. This can be especially useful if you’re using a passive solar design to capture heat during the day.
Reflective insulation can be installed on the walls, ceiling, and floor of your yurt and can be used to either maintain heat or block out heat.
If you’re looking for a guide on how to cool your yurt, check out my recent post 11 Ways To Cool Your Yurt!
9. Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating involves installing a heating element under your yurt’s flooring. This can be an expensive option, but it provides consistent, comfortable heat throughout your yurt. Consider the upfront cost and long-term energy savings when choosing underfloor heating. Make certain that the heating element is installed properly and meets local building codes.
10. Window and Door Insulation
Windows can be a major source of heat loss in your yurt. Double-paned windows and window insulation film can help to retain heat. Window insulation film is a thin, transparent film that can be applied directly to your windows. It can help to block drafts and retain heat.
Doors can also be a source of heat loss in your yurt. Door sweeps and weatherstripping can help to prevent cold air from seeping in. Consider installing a storm door for an extra layer of insulation.
Do Yurts Stay Warm In The Winter?
Yurts are designed to be efficient and comfortable living spaces, even in colder climates. With insulation and heating, yurts can be warm and cozy during the winter months.
Insulation is key to keeping your yurt warm in the winter!
Wool, fiberglass, and spray foam are all popular insulation materials. When installing insulation, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes.
Insulate the walls, ceiling, and floor of your yurt for maximum heat retention. Reflective insulation can also be installed to reflect heat back into your yurt.
In addition to insulation, heating options such as wood stoves, propane heaters, electric heaters, and solar heating can be used to keep your yurt warm during the winter.
Do Yurts Hold Heat Well?
Yurts can hold heat well when properly insulated and heated. The unique design of yurts, with their circular shape and high ceiling, can actually contribute to better heat retention than traditional square or rectangular structures.
Insulation is key to holding heat inside your yurt. Wool, fiberglass, and spray foam are all popular insulation materials. When installing insulation, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes. Insulate the walls, ceiling, and floor of your yurt for maximum heat retention. Reflective insulation can also be installed to reflect heat back into your yurt.
Heating options such as wood stoves, propane heaters, electric heaters, and solar heating can be used to keep your yurt warm and hold heat inside. It’s important to choose a heating option that is appropriately sized for your yurt’s square footage and heating needs. Installation and maintenance of heating options are also important for efficient and safe operation.