What Is The Best Air Conditioner For A Mobile Home?

by Oct 13, 2022


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When living in a mobile home, you are bound to experience a wide array of climates. We are talking about harsh winters to scorching summers and everything else in between.

Because of how varied it can be, you need to ensure that you and your loved ones are kept relatively warm and/ or cool when the situation calls for it. The most efficient way to control the temperature within your home is by investing in an air conditioner.

One of the main factors to consider is that a mobile home is much smaller than traditional properties, and it may cost you more in the long run if you do not account for the space and weight that your chosen air conditioning unit adds.

To help you narrow down your search, we are here to talk about the best air conditioners money can buy for any sized and type of mobile home.

What Size Air Conditioner Unit Do I Need for A Mobile Home? 

Mobile homes and manufactured homes have such a limited space to them that every appliance and object you bring into the area needs to be considered. Because of this, it is best to get a 2 in 1 unit that both heats and cools when necessary. There are a few ways to determine the size of the unit you should get, namely:

By Converting Maximum BTU’s To Tons 

One way to determine the size of the unit you need is by taking a look at the manufacturer’s data plate. There, you can find information on the recommended maximum BTU’’s of capacity that can be installed within your mobile home.

After which, you will have to do a little bit of math. If for example your data plate states that you cannot exceed 37,500 BTU in your mobile home, then you can only install an AC system no larger than three ton. We derived the value in Tons by dividing the BTU by 12,000.

The reason why this is a good way of measuring your unit is because the air conditioning system should not be more powerful than the recommended range. Otherwise, it can cool down or warm up your home way too fast, preventing the coils from removing moisture from the air and setting it at a comfortable level.

By Determining Your Square Footage 

Another way to determine the perfect size of your future air conditioner is by measuring your property, though this may take a little more footwork to get done.

First off, measure out the exterior length and width of your mobile home. Next, multiply those numbers with one another. This results in the square footage of your property.

Next up is determining the BTU’s by way of square footage. Generally, it takes 20 BTU’s to cool down 1 square foot of space. This can shift depending on the following factors:

  • How hot it is in your location
  • How effective your insulation system is
  • How high up your ceilings are
  • How many people share the space and contribute body heat

For instance, if you live in a 19 x 80 mobile home with average heat, insulation, and ceiling height, then you would need an air conditioning unit that can produce up to 30,400 BTUs. Divide this number by 12,000 in order to get the value of tons, which leads us to needing a 2.5-ton unit.

Undersizing or Oversizing 

Whichever way you decide to come up with the numbers, you need to consider oversizing or undersizing that value based on where you live. If you live in hotter regions, it is probably best to get a slightly bigger unit. Similarly, if you live in cooler climates, you can get a slightly smaller unit to prevent short cycling.

How Much Does It Cost To Put An AC Unit In A Mobile Home?

When installing an air conditioning unit, we highly recommend outsourcing to a professional. An air conditioner contractor would be able to safely and correctly install the unit, and ensure that it works just fine within your property.

The price of the unit itself would largely depend on the size and type you are going for. By getting an estimate of what you would need and quickly searching online for local units, you can get a better idea as to how much it would cost to bring home a unit.

Finally, the cost of your contractor would also depend on whom you decide to get. Ensure that you opt for quality over affordability. This way, you can make a good investment out of it and save yourself costly repairs in the long run.

Location of Your Mobile Home Air Conditioner

As important as it is to determine which air conditioner to buy, it is also crucial to know where you should have it installed within your mobile home. The location of which you set it up can greatly affect its overall performance, efficiency, and energy consumption.

The three factors that come into play when determining the location of your air conditioning unit are:

Where Your Mobile Home Is Facing 

If you are trying to cool down a mobile home that is in direct target of the sun’s rays, then you need your unit’s capacity by about 10%. Similarly, if you are in a location that is mostly shaded off, you can reduce the capacity of your unit by 10%.

If Your Unit Is For The Kitchen 

The kitchen is quite possibly one of the hottest areas in the house. If your unit is intended for that area, add about 4,000 BTUs to the capacity to match the temperature.

How Many People Live In Your Mobile Home 

People naturally generate body heat. The usual air conditioning unit may be good for about 2 people, and if you have more occupants, you can add about 600 BTUs per person to efficiently keep the home cool.

What Kind Of Air Conditioner System Goes In A Mobile Home? 

There are multiple kinds of air conditioning systems that can go in a mobile home. We’ve separated them into three categories, namely:

Ducted Systems

The two most popular air conditioning systems are central air conditioning and packaged air conditioning systems. Both of these make use of an exterior unit that connects to the mobile home through ducts.

The main difference is that with the central air conditioning system, you will need to install an indoor evaporator and furnace. While the packaged system is already an all in one unit, with its compressor, condenser, and air handler all set up outdoors.

Ductless Systems

While a lot of mobile homes are made up of ducting systems, there are still some others built without them. If you have one of these, you would know it’s very challenging to install a ductwork to an existing mobile home, which is why it is best to get a ductless air conditioning system.

These are also called mini-splits and have an outdoor compressor with multiple indoor units attached. The indoor system can fit in each room that you want to cool down.

Window Unit

Lastly, the window air conditioning units fit within your window and are most recommended for cooling small areas. However, depending on how big your mobile home is, you may need to purchase multiple units in order to effectively keep the entire property cool.

Pros and Cons Of Different Types of Mobile Home Air Conditioners 

To help you weigh out your options better, we prepared a handy guide of pros and cons for each of the air conditioning systems.

Central Air Conditioning 

Pros:

  • You can expect consistent temperature in all parts of your home all year round.
  • The air pushed through the ducts is filtered, which greatly improves the air quality within your home.
  • Lessens allergens and harmful gasses due to its filtering system.
  • Has the option for cooling and heating combination, which is great for those who live with such contrasting temperatures as the months progress.

Cons:

  • Because this type of unit pushes air to every single room, it can increase your energy bill.
  • The duct will need to be well maintained since it is susceptible to bacteria and mold.

Packaged Air Conditioning

Pros:

  • Best for those who have limited space
  • It is basically a mini split system in one outdoor unit
  • It can both heat up and cool down your entire property
  • It is affordable enough for its benefits

Cons:

  • It is not the most energy efficient choice

Window Unit Air Conditioning 

Pros:

  • It takes up zero floor space as it is hooked up through the wall or window.
  • They are available in a wide range of capacities.
  • Are easy to transport to other windows or walls within the home.

Cons:

  • It is not that easy on the eyes
  • It can block out the view of the outdoors
  • It can only cool one area of the home
  • It can be very noisy especially as the unit gets older
  • Most models do not provide a heating option 

Portable Air Conditioning 

Pros:

  • Highly portable as you can take it with you from room to room.
  • It is the cheapest option of all types of systems
  • They require zero installation

Cons:

  • They take up some floor space, which is very valuable in mobile homes
  • They are not that aesthetically pleasing
  • Some units can be rather heavy
  • They are not as efficient as other types of systems

 Ductless Air Conditioning 

Pros:

  • The most silent performing unit of all types
  • Very easy to transport and install
  • Can target multiple zones within the home
  • There is no need for any ductwork
  • There is no duct maintenance necessary

Cons:

  • This is the most expensive option of the bunch
  • The more air handlers you would need for different rooms, the more expensive it can get
  • The air is not filtered out compared to a ducted system

The Best Air Conditioners For Mobile Homes 

At the end of the day, the best air conditioning system to increase the value of your mobile home is totally up to you and your preferences! Based on your budget, interior design, location, and capacity, you can make a more informed decision through our handy guide above.



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