How to heat a mobile home
Mobile home furnaces provide heat to the home through either burning natural gas/fuel oil or electric heating elements. Both electric and natural gas furnaces transfer heat to the air, which is then sent through the home’s ductwork and into different rooms. The ductwork is the system of ducts that forcefully transport air through the home. This system can look different depending on the home.
Mobile home furnaces are smaller than what you’d find in other homes and are typically stored in a dedicated closet within the home. Furnacecompare.com estimates that natural gas/propane furnaces start at $800 while electric furnaces can start at around $600. Furnace installation could add an extra $2,000.
A heat pump is a popular alternative to air conditioners due to their energy efficiency. The main difference with heat pumps is that they move heat instead of generating it. When it’s cold outside the heat pump will remove the outside heat and move it inside. It does the opposite during the warm weather, moving the hot air from within the home to the outside. Energy.gov estimates that heat pumps operate equivalently to conventional heating or cooling appliances at as little as one-quarter of the cost.
Heat pumps come in three different types: air-to-air, water source and geothermal. Each type has unique benefits and differs in operating costs, installation costs, and energy efficiency.
Cooling and heating window unit
A cooling and heating window unit is useful for when your furnace, heat pump or other heat source isn’t working. They can also be used to supplement your current heating. Window units can’t heat a whole home as they aren’t attached to ducts. However, they’re ideal if you only need heating for a specific room or area. The main benefit of a cooling and heating window unit is ease of installation. You will also be saving money if this is your only heating and cooling source.
How to make your mobile home more energy efficient
Install insulation in the walls and ceiling
This may be a pretty obvious tip, but some mobile home owners don’t realize that their home is under-insulated. You’ll know if you need to add insulation if the temperature is constantly fluctuating, you have unwanted pests in your home, the walls/floors/ceiling are cold to the touch, and if your energy bills are abnormally high. Look for these signs before adding insulation. Find out more about mobile home insulation here.
Mobile homes without skirting leave a wide open space underneath the home for cold air to enter. They’re also at a greater risk of losing hot water as pipes are located under the home where the air is colder and damper, making them more susceptible to freezing. You can make your home more energy efficient by installing skirting as a line of defense to the harsh temperatures. Insulated skirting is an even better option.
Look for air pockets in your doors and windows
Doors and windows are designed to seal shut and keep air out, but their ability to do so can decrease as time goes on. Check for any obvious pockets or cracks in the windows and doors that could be letting air in. Air pockets can increase your energy bill as your heater will have to work double time to compensate for colder temperatures.
Try holding something light like a feather up against seals to check for air flow. The solution may be as simple as pulling the window in tighter or locking the door. We suggest caulking your windows and doors if this issue persists. Try using a draft stopper for your door if the air is coming in from the bottom.
Clean your furnace
Cleaning your furnace regularly is important as you may spot problems you would’ve never even noticed. A quick clean can also reduce your energy bills depending on the condition of your furnace.
Take a vacuum and clean out any debris. You can clean those hard-to-reach areas by using the vacuum’s brush attachment. Make sure to clean the air filters as an excess of dirt will make it harder for air to circulate. Here is a complete guide to cleaning your furnace. If your furnace is attached to a duct system, inspect where the two meet and check for loose spots – a bad connection will also make your furnace work overtime.
In wintertime especially, it’s important to know how to heat a mobile home and keep the heat inside. Otherwise, you’ll be throwing your money out the window. These energy-efficient repairs should do the trick. While you’re here, take a look at our guide to thawing frozen pipes as that is a common problem and additional wintertime expense for mobile homes.