How to Cool a Mobile Home in Summer
As busy as you were trying to keep warm through the cold winter months, you might not have considered how to cool down your mobile home. You might be looking forward to the comforts of some summer warmth. Before you get too excited, imagine this scenario:
Your whole family is ready to have some quality time together. Everything is planned out. You buy the food and prepare the bbq. The weather is sunny and you take out the football/baseball/slip-n-slide. You even invited over friends and family. Gleefully you start the day without a care.
In the shade of the morning, everything goes well. But as the summer sun nears its peak, the temperature begins to climb and you’re feeling the heat. Perhaps you and your guests want to cool down. Where better to take shelter from the summer heat than your mobile home for some ice tea, soda, or maybe a beer?
Make sure your mobile home is ready to keep you cool! Follow our tips below and avoid lying tired and sweaty on the couch with only a fan to comfort you.
In the following article, we share tips from current owners on how they learned to cool a mobile home in summer. A mobile home is all about efficiency and we will make sure to mention the most efficient methods of cooling. This guide provides ways to cool your home that range from less than $100 DIY projects up to high-end equipment that requires professional installation. No matter what your budget, we’ve got you covered.
How do I cool my mobile home now that summer’s here?
First, let’s start with the easiest and cheapest ways you can cool a mobile home in summer.
With the first few tricks, you can start lower the temperature in your home right away, by yourself, within a matter of days. So if the heat has already arrived, don’t fret.
1. Cover your windows in window film
One of the cheapest and easiest solutions is to apply film that provides insulation, glare protection and privacy to your mobile home. Window film is especially useful during sunrise and sunset to block the intense rays through your windows. This page includes a DIY “How to” video, descriptions for all the terms you will need to know, as well as step-by-step instructions to apply the film.
For your convenience we’ve summed it up below:
- What are the advantages of using window film?
- Rejects 70%+ of the sun’s heat
- Blocks 70%+ of the sun’s glare
- Blocks up to 99% of UV rays
- Not only helps keep your home cool in summer, but also retains heat in in winter
- Some window films also appear dark from the outside to discourage nosy neighbors! Privacy guaranteed, no curtains needed!
- Very easy to install after some practice
- You can remove and reuse most brands
- Types of window film:
- Insulating film – Adds year round comfort to your home as they block the sun’s heat in summer, keep heat inside your home in winter.
- Glare-reducing or static-cling film – We all like to sit down and watch some sports on the weekend. We also know the frustration when the sunlight washes out your screen! This type of film takes care of that. In most cases, it’s also reusable.
- Privacy films – Ever get that feeling you’re being watched? Take care of that immediately and sleep easy. Privacy film acts as a one-way mirror. It allows you to see outside and blocks any peepers.
- What to look for:
- Total Solar Energy Rejection – measures the film’s ability to keep infrared heat, UV rays, and visible light from entering the living area.
- Light Transmission – How light or dark the film is. A 49% value is an excellent balance for most people.
- Visible Light Reflectance – The amount of light reflected outwards. The higher, the shinier your windows appear.
- UV Rejection – measures how much of the ultraviolet A and B rays the film blocks.
- Shading Coefficient – the total heat gain prevented by the window.
- How much will it cost?- This is a hard question to answer as it depends entirely on the dimensions and number of windows in your home. The type of film will also affect the price slightly. Also keep in mind that some film brands are reusable, but here are some examples of what you can get:
- 36″ x 180″ Titanium Heat Control Window Film = $44.60
- 48″ x 1200″ Titanium Heat Control Window Film = $219.00
- 36″ x 1200″ Black Privacy Window Film = $153.46
*(Prices are from The Home Depot.)
In general, window film will give you some level of protection against glare and heat. 99% UV protection is pretty much universal. You can also cut most brands into smaller pieces that fit your windows’ dimensions. At the prices listed above, and with the minimal effort involved this is a worthwhile addition to your mobile home.
While we are on the subject of windows…
Here are some bonus tips:
- Window shutters are not only stylish, but they are very effective at keeping light out when needed. Install these on your sunniest windows and control the light in your rooms with a flick of the wrist.
- If you enjoy gardening and doing the environment a favor, plant some shade trees. You can research popular shade trees according to the density of shade and their speed of growth. Plant these in front of your windows, and you will feel the difference.
2. Use a cool roof coating to cool your mobile home in summer
In summer, the sun’s rays fall more directly on the surface of the earth. Naturally, this causes increased heating compared to other times of the year. One of the most effective ways to deal with this is to give your home a cool roof coating. There are many advantages to investing in any type of roof coating:
- As an added bonus, you improve your home’s longevity and water-tightness.
- The effects are immediate, your home will feel cooler the same day after applying the roof coating!
- It has a significant effect on the temperature of your mobile home, even compared to very expensive cooling appliances.
- You are also doing your neighbors and the environment a favor. Check out this nice infographic on why that is.
Here are two of the different types:
- Aluminumized asphalt roof coating – The most common type of roof coating, it sticks to everything and is easy to install over asphalt and metal roofs. The price and quality depend on the number of aluminum particles added to a 5-gallon bucket. This type of coating only reflects around 60% of sun rays, and this drops to 40% after dust collects on the sticky surface.
- Elastomeric roof coating – This is a much better option, so let’s focus on it. This type of bright, white latex coating can reflect anywhere from 70%-85% of the sun’s rays. As a result, you can save 10% to 20% on air conditioning costs. Suppliers accredit a single two-coat application with 10 years of protection! Much more than the metallic coatings.
Roof coating has some minor disadvantages:
- If you have an asphalt roof you will need to treat it with a special primer.
- You need to put a bit more effort into cleaning it than the aluminum coatings.
Kool Seal is generally accepted as one of the best suppliers out there. You can also buy a variety of other materials you will need to successfully coat your roof there.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
Well, not so fast…
First of all, any kind of roof coating requires your mobile home’s roof to be in tip top condition. For a full list of potential and common mobile home roof problems to check before you apply the coat look here. You will need to fix all these problems before applying a new coat. Before you sigh and call it a day, remember that these are problems you should fix anyway.
Secondly, make sure you have enough roof coating for your home. Generally, a 4.7-gallon bucket covers one coat of 250-350 sq ft. Remember that suppliers recommend two coats to get the best out of your coating. A 4.7/5 gallon bucket is usually priced around $90 – $140, depending on the quality (usually determined by the number of solids).
Thirdly, make sure you have all the other necessary materials and equipment. Reference the list of problems above as a guide. This is also a handy step-by-step guide that counts for any type of roof coating. It also covers what equipment you need.
In conclusion, a cool roof coating is an effective way to clean your mobile home in summer, the amount effort and time needed it’s definitely worth it. Especially if you consider the added benefits it gives you. One last thing to keep in mind is that the coating will need to be redone every 2 to 10 years, depending on strain and the quality product. With some planning, however, you should be able to include this in your usual roof maintenance.
In case you’re interested, here is a great guide on roof maintenance from our own blog:
Now we move on to the more high-end ways to cool your mobile home:
In contrast to the options given above, the methods mentioned below could cost up to thousands of dollars and may even require city or county permits to install (as some of them are stationary and would be left behind if you move). That said, they are also the best ways to cool your home. Some of these systems require a professional to install, so prepare for the extra cost.
Undoubtedly, this is the solution you would think of first when it comes to cooling any home. A good “air con” (AC) is still one of the most effective ways to provide heat relief, but also one of the most expensive. There are two main types of air-con systems:
1. Central AC
As the name implies, this system uses two main components: a compressor/condenser located outside and an evaporator with a fan attached to it inside your home. The compressor collects air from outside and distributes it through your home using floor/wall ducts. The evaporator removes humidity from the air inside your home before the fan blows it back out.
Incidentally, central AC is a complete setup and is meant to operate throughout the entire home.
- The evaporator dehumidifies the air, which means it especially gives relief in humid areas. Just beware of the extra operating costs.
- You can cover your whole home with one installation.
- Most components stay hidden.
- It’s a permanent solution. You can also use it in winter to heat up your home.
- It is very expensive. It can range from $2600-$15000.
- It’s a permanent solution. In some cities and counties you will need a permit because it will stay put in your home should you move.
- The installation is very complicated. You will need a professional.
2. Window AC
In many ways, a window AC unit is completely unlike central AC. First, it is more compact. The two parts of the AC combine into one unit. Secondly, it is not a permanent fixture. The window AC unit fits into the window by either replacing it or cutting a hole in it.
Lastly, a window AC unit does not cool the entire home but works on a per-room basis. Subsequently, every room you want to cool needs at least one unit fitted to one of its windows.
- This is one of the cheapest cooling appliances. It costs around $350-$1200 per unit.
- Most suppliers provide an installation manual so you can do it yourself.
- The units are portable, and you can move them with you to a new home. Just remember to replace the window!
- It might completely block your window.
- It is a real eye-sore.
In general, you’ll need to maintain any AC unit annually. While that may sound inconvenient, for the cooling power that an AC unit give, there is simply no alternative. Refer to this handy page for some extra tips and considerations.
Sometimes called a “mini-split,” a heat pump’s method of operation is easy to grasp. It pumps heat out of your home in summer and into your home in winter. Original, isn’t it? Here is an easy-to-understand illustration of how heat pumps work:
Let’s take summer as an example. The heat pump sucks in the warm air from your home. Next, it uses pressurization, vaporization, and air from outside to make the air cold, which it pumps back into your home. Finally, the heat pump boots the heated air outside.
- Heat pumps have the best efficiency to cost ratio. The average installation cost is around $5100 but can run up to $11000.
- Because heat pumps use a renewable geothermal process, you can qualify for a tax rebate. In the long run, you get refunded for cooling your home and helping the environment!
- You can also use heat pumps to heat your home in winter.
- They are completely hidden.
- Except for the slightly high cost, there are none!
Finally, keep in mind that heat pumps retain the moisture in the air. For those of you living in humid conditions, AC might be the better option. On the other hand, those of us that get sick of breathing in dry air can sigh with relief!
Here is a comprehensive page providing extra information on heat pumps.
This is basically a cooler that cools dry air by evaporating water. Since they are uniquely suited for dry climates, we don’t advise anyone living in a humid climate to invest in one.
You can get them as separate portable units, window units or more permanent roof/wall mounted units. You can buy a portable unit anywhere from $100, and it should do a decent job of cooling down a small room. The mounted units cost in the region of $100. Be sure to check whether the motor is included or not! It goes without saying that the roof/wall mounted units also require professional installation.
Finally, enjoy the relief of a cool mobile home!
Whatever the size of your home, budget or climate there is undoubtedly a mobile home cooling solution that suits your needs! From easy and affordable DIY projects to the more complex, high-value systems, we hope you find the best way to cool your mobile home this summer!