How to Keep Your Yurt Warm in the Winter

Yurts make great dwellings, and it is easy to stay comfortable most of the time. However, if you are using your yurt with snow on the ground or in the middle of winter, they can help keep them warm.

While the Mongolians used open fires, these won’t suffice, so you need another form of heating if using your yurt across four seasons. You may wonder how you can fight off the chilly mornings as winter approaches and summer has long gone. Luckily, it’s not too challenging to keep a cozy, warm cold weather yurt environment during the winter months.

Many don’t know about yurts because they are not hard to heat, and with the design, yurts are designed with energy efficiency in mind. In our guide, if you are camping or even using your yurt as your house, you can learn more about yurt living in cold climates.

Techniques of heating a yurt

By the end, you’ll see the best ways of insulating a yurt for winter and how to heat a yurt in winter without adding too much humidity while staying warm. The ultimate aim is to deliver an all-weather yurt where you can go yurt living in winter as easy as staying cool in summer. (Learn How Much Does A Yurt Cost)

What Is The Best Way To Heat a Yurt?

Radiant heating is one of the most effective techniques of heating a yurt. Some heaters of this type can use solar energy to heat Yurts to a comfortable temperature without consuming a lot of electricity.

No matter the option you select, remember to have two heat sources present.

Maybe you think an insulated yurt is just for the winter, but you can get an insulation package designed to keep you warm and cool all year. When you use such yurt insulation, the insulation can reflect up to 70% of the sun’s rays away.

Another great technique to keep your yurt warm in the winter is using a propane heater suited to smaller yurts.

However, you can find that these are not as cozy as a wood burner heating system. The heat never goes out when using propane, and the flames are turned on as the temperature drops below zero.

It is quick to turn on the heater, and you get hot air from the fire in a few minutes. Anyone wanting an instant heat source can find propane one more accessible.

Before looking at the best heat source for your yurt, more is to keep heated yurts livable in the cold weather. A lot depends on many of these factors.

  • Insulation. Seven-layer reflective insulation was developed and creates an attractive interior finish by covering the insulation with ivory-colored fabric.
  • Insulated Window Covers. You can get easy-on, easy-off insulated window covers when your yurt has fabric windows. Such insulators are made from the same reflective insulation.
  • Stove flashing. When you have a stove, you need to ensure the stovepipe can exit through the side cover safely. As there is a wide range of sizes of stovers, you’ll find such pipes and flashing to match.
  • Ceiling Fans. A ceiling fan is one of the most valuable tools for controlling temperature year-round as heat rises toward the dome. A ceiling fan pushes hot air downward, keeping your yurt warm while maximizing energy efficiency. In summer, they help you remain cool.

Heating techniques for winter yurt living:

  • Traditional home heating methods work for yurts as well. For example, heat pump ducts or ductless heat pumps can be put beneath the yurt’s floor.
  • Propane, pellet, and wood stoves can be used, but vented through the wall rather than the roof to make chimney cleaning easier and limit the chance of embers damaging the roof.
  • Electric heaters are also popular if you’ve installed electricity. Radiant central heating via below-floor or wall units is also excellent for yurts.
  • Regardless of your choice, always have two heating sources. If your heating system is electrical, also have a wood burner or generator to safeguard against power outages.

Architectural design for Yurt to reduce heat loss

Stop Heat Loss

As in all constructions, a tight architectural design will reduce heat loss. However, most yurts may need some help to seal any gaps where heat can escape. Fill air gaps by applying foam weatherstripping to the bottom of the top cover valance, the side cover, and platform.

Cinching the top cover valance cord helps the side cover sit snug around the perimeter, thus closing potential air leaks. (Read Living In A Yurt)

To further prevent heat loss, you can buy foam board to cut and sit between your yurt rafters. However, accessing these can be challenging as you have nothing to lean your ladder against in your living space.

Pick the Right Location

Yurts are mobile, yet many individuals sit them in permanent locations. The right location goes a long way to fighting off the winter weather. When heating a room, something as simple as facing your door away from the winds or using surrounding trees as a windbreak can make a huge difference.

While shaded areas stop the wind, your yurt space needs to catch winter sun to help heat your yurt earlier in the day. In the summer, your deciduous trees offer shade, although they provide passive heating in the winter.

Insulate Your Floor

You will lose heat as the cold seeps up from underneath unless you add insulation to the yurt floor. Many yurts are now placed on a concrete pad as a semi-permanent fixture. As temperature drops, this concrete soaks up the cold, which then passes it into your yurt.

Installing rigid foam insulation between your floor joists is one of the best ways of insulation. Once you stop seeping cold air from beneath the floor, your yurt we’ll instantly feel warmer. It is also possible to add skirting around the perimeter also helps your insulation efforts.

Can You Use a Yurt In The Winter?

Even when the weather is cold, or the temperature is cold, the best insulation helps customers keep their yurt safe and secure. But, of course, all of this needs quality construction and enough insulation.

The placement of your yurt will have a significant impact on its comfort from season to season. The most common location for yurts is on higher ground, in an area with excellent drainage.

Unless your camping excursion comprises only one brief trip, keep your yurt on an elevated platform. (Learn How Long Do Yurts Last)

Yurt with wood burners

Wood Stoves

Yes, given some safety precautions, is the basic answer. For example, many clients heat their homes with wood burners in the winter.

The dry heat emitted by a wood burner is ideal for wet winters, and it can even help keep moisture out of your yurt, extending its lifespan. A wood stove can also be the most cost-effective option to heat your yurt home for customers who live in the woods.

However, while constructing and operating a wood burner in your yurt, there are many important safety and legal factors to remember. Therefore, the following advice is just that: advice, and You should never use it to conduct your research and check local rules.

Your wood stove must be vented through the yurt’s sidewall, never through the roof or center rings.

Where you will vent the wood stove, you will need to replace a part of the wall covering with a high-temperature insert. Venting your wood stove via regular yurt coverings is exceedingly dangerous, and it should never be done.

  • The wood stove must be installed on a raised platform to protect your yurt’s floor and platform from the stove’s heat.
  • To reflect heat away from the walls, you may need to place a heat-resistant backboard behind your stove. In addition, installing a spark arrester on the outer top of your chimney is always advised, and in many states and counties, it is required by law.
  • The wood you may burn and any additional vents, filters, or safety features required will differ from one location to the next. Before putting a wood stove in your yurt, make sure you verify your local fire codes.
  • With the proper preparations and adherence to safety and regulatory rules, a wood burner might be a great option to keep yurt dwellers warm and dry during the winter.
  • If you wish to avoid feeding your stove during the night, larger diameter yurts (7-wall and up) may require a larger stove. Slow-burning wood stoves are recommended; you can also use however pellet stoves.
  • In the event of extreme humidity, electrical or propane heat may work in yurts but may not be hot enough to dry it from the inside out.
  • A modest wood stove with an electric (or gas) heater for support during cool nights can be a great combination if you live off the grid.
  • When picking a stove, aim for one that can heat three times the surface area of your yurt. For example, a 5-wall yurt is about 300 square feet (env 27m2), so choose a stove that can heat around 900 square feet (env 80m2).

Heating Tips

  1. Adding windows to your yurt will limit its ability to keep in the warmth, but customers often choose insulating covers to compensate at night.
  2. It is advised that the stove pipe be run through the dome. The exterior draft will be stronger, and the heat will be more dispersed. Another helpful bit of advice is that the longer the stove pipe inside your yurt, the less heat loss you’ll face in your living room.
  3. You’ll need an insulated stove pipe to comply with most North American requirements. When installing a stovepipe, you must have at least a 2″ clearance from the closest wood portion.
  4. 6″ stovepipes usually are standard; however in some circumstances, such as with the 4-wall dome, you may need to lower to 5″. With a simple camping stove for warmth, a 3-wall yurt requires a smaller stove pipe.
  5. The larger the yurt, the more air space you’ll need to heat, so you’ll need a bigger burner. Mongolians primarily live in 4- and 5-wall yurts year-round because of their cold climate. Whether on the size of a yurt or if you are using wood, or a propane heater, a ceiling fan can be a blessing.
  6. These fans disperse heat from stoves, help eliminate hot spots, and can fill all your yurt with warms from your stoves.

How to Keep Your Yurt Warm in the Winter