Retrofit your home for efficiency and savings
If you live in a manufactured home, chances are you may have a higher energy bill than a family living in a modular or traditional site-built home. The good news is there are many ways you can improve your home’s energy efficiency.
First a clarification – some use the term manufactured home and mobile home interchangeably. A mobile home is a factory-built home constructed before 1976 when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) set national standards that nearly every manufactured home must meet. Thereafter, factory-built homes were called manufactured homes and are engineered and constructed in accordance with the 1976 federal code administered by HUD.
Manufactured homes come in all shapes and sizes. They may be single- or multi-sectioned and are available in various sizes and floor plans. There are many differences between manufactured homes built before 1976 and those built afterward. One of the major differences is in energy efficiency. Those built before federal standards were put in place were generally not as energy efficient as later models. And, while your manufactured home may have been built to the energy efficiency standards of the time, significant progress has been made over the past decades with high-efficiency mechanical equipment, windows, insulation, siding and roofing materials.
In short, whether your homes is less than five years old or more than 50, most homes can benefit from energy efficiency measures simply due to wear and tear. Sunlight, seasonal temperature changes and wind can increase air leakage. Doors and windows may not close tightly and duct work can leak, wasting cooling and heating energy.
The Department of Energy & WFEC recommend the following steps to retrofit your manufactured home and improve energy efficiency:
• Install energy-efficient windows and doors – windows should have a U-value of <.30 & Solar Heat Gain Co-efficient (SHGC) of <.30
• Replace insulation in the belly
• Install a high SEER heat pump – you may qualify for a rebate through WFEC’s heat pump rebate program, so contact the cooperative before you install a new heat pump to find if you qualify.
• Make general repairs – seal bottom board, caulk windows, doors and ducts
• Install or seal belly wrap
In addition to the measures listed above, consider caulking and weatherstripping windows and doors, particularly if you are not able to replace them with more energy-efficient ones. Properly seal any openings around ducts and plumbing fixtures. Replace light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs and have your heating and cooling system professionally serviced. It is also a good idea to add insulation under the floor and crawl space. Mobile homes usually already have insulation, but they tend to be part filled, which means there is always room for more!
The energy experts at West Florida Electric also recommend checking the crawl space and ducts underneath your manufactured home. Make sure you look for loose ducts or joints and use metal Duct Tape to seal them. Adding skirting around the home will also provide a benefit for you.
If you have questions about energy efficiency improvements for your manufactured home, contact us at 800.342.7400 for more information.