Mobile homes or manufactured housing are popular for their affordability, but on the same note they are thought of being non–energy–efficient, thus incurring high utility costs.
Typically, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, manufactured homes have utility expenses that are up to 50% more than regular site-built residences of the same age and size.
The older the mobile home, the more a homeowner spends on energy bills/energy costs. This is why the HUD Code was passed, requiring manufactured homes to be built with more energy-efficient features.
How to Make a Mobile Home More Energy-Efficient
Fortunately, there are techniques to improve your manufactured homes’ energy-efficiency that will not only save you money, but also make you feel good about your purchase.
The best part about these methods is that most are do-it-yourself, with the exception of a few that require professional assistance. Generally, it is recommended to hire professionals to inspect your manufactured home.
An expert will assess your home’s energy-efficiency and make the appropriate recommendations. If you have a tight budget, this will assist you in finding cost-effective solutions to your energy issue.
As a result, here are some suggestions for lowering your energy bills and making your modular home/mobile home more energy-efficient.
Replace Your Light Bulbs
It’s vital to replace incandescent lights in your mobile home with LED bulbs if you want to save money on your electricity bill. LED lights are energy-efficient and provide a brighter lighting effect in your mobile home.
LEDs have the potential to boost your home’s energy-efficiency by over 85 percent, which can lead to a significant savings. The nicest thing about LEDs is that they don’t need to be replaced as frequently, saving energy and money in the process, unlike incandescent lights.
For example, LEDs can last up to 50,000 hours, compared to traditional lights that can only manage about 1,000 hours before you replace them.
Repair or Upgrade Kitchen Appliances
Your kitchen appliances are also energy guzzlers, consuming more energy and consequently accounting for 20 to 30 percent of your monthly utility cost.
To make matters worse, manufactured homes with rusty or old appliances are known to be energy-inefficient, which means that if you don’t fix or upgrade them, your cost will increase.
Your dishwashers, refrigerators, and other appliances, to name a few, are all items that should be inspected and repaired on a regular basis.
Here is one of the great mobile home maintenance tips, regular maintenance is required if you want to save energy or use it efficiently. You should clean and dust your appliances as needed to save the cost of replacing them, which could be substantial.
Improved Insulation in the Belly, Walls, and Roof
In general, the older a mobile home is, the more likely it is to be inefficient with its energy use. To be honest, an older home’s insulation is barely adequate to keep it from losing or trapping heat as it should.
Even so, old-fashioned insulation in manufactured homes can be hazardous to your health, which is why you should replace or eliminate it. Learn here how to super insulate a mobile home.
If this is the case, you should work on your home’s belly, walls, and roof right away to improve its energy-efficiency.
With that said, you should be aware that there are several types of insulation, so you should research your alternatives before determining which one best suits your requirements.
If you have air leaks or holes in your home’s walls, you should address them right once to keep the air inside. You should also be aware of how long a roof will last on a manufactured home.
Consider Solar Energy for Your Mobile Home
You can save energy and a lot of money by using solar energy instead of paying for power. The only catch is that purchasing and installing them comes at a cost. It may be significant, but in the long run it will be worthwhile.
Solar panels can be installed on your mobile home, but you must first conduct thorough research into the firms that manufacture the best solar panels for mobile homes/manufactured homes.
The fact that there is a considerable initial cost should not deter you from going solar. There are programs provided by the state, local governments, and utilities that can assist you in covering the costs.
Repair Your HVAC System
In a mobile home, heating and cooling are essential, but if you can’t repair the HVAC system when it begins to fail, you could be wasting money month after month.
To ensure that air circulation is efficient, you should replace your furnace filters at least twice a year and vacuum clean the vent ducts.
Not only can dust accumulate in your vent ducts, but it also creates an ideal environment for dirt, pet hair, and debris.
Energy-Efficient Doors and Windows
Your doors and windows should be one of your top priorities if you want to make your mobile home more energy-efficient. They’re one of the most common places in a mobile home where heat escapes. In fact, between 20 and 30 percent of your home’s heat loss is caused by windows and doors.
Hundreds of dollars in temperature control waste can be incurred each year due to thin, old-fashioned windows. This is why you should have good windows for your mobile homes/manufactured homes to avoid suffering the same fate.
Fortunately, the best windows for mobile homes/manufactured homes are reasonably priced, so replacing them should not be too expensive.
For windows, consider going for a triple pane window for better insulation. A single pane of glass acts as a thin layer of protection between your manufactured home and the elements.
The addition of a second and third pane will offer the necessary insulation against heat loss, thereby boosting your home’s energy-efficiency.
Also, think about alternatives to traditional foam core doors, such as fiberglass or insulated steel.
Install Roof Coating for Light Reflection
Considering cool roof coating will help make your manufactured home energy-efficient by lowering your air conditioning costs. A white roof coating will reflect up to 85 percent of the maximum sun exposure light that lands on your roof.
Instead of absorbing heat, your manufactured home will reflect it away, lowering the temperature of your home on hot days. As a result, you will spend less money on air conditioning, making your manufactured home more energy-efficient. Find more tips here on how to keep a mobile home cool in the summer.
Also, remember to insulate your roof cavity to keep hot or cooled air from escaping.
Go for Window Films
Windows films could be a great addition to your mobile home for energy-efficiency. On hot days, a window film will reflect light away from your manufactured home, absorbing just a small amount of heat from the outside.
The good news is that window films are affordable and simple to install, so upgrading your windows shouldn’t take too long to make your manufactured home energy-efficient.
Plant Trees Closer to Your Home
You might wonder how trees make your manufactured home energy-efficient.
The fact is that closer trees can act as windbreakers, so place them close to your mobile home, but not so close that you limit air circulation.
You might want to look for trees that develop fast so that you can have the solution sooner.
Buy Portable Fan
Adding a portable fan to your mobile home can be really beneficial. Portable fans can provide you with the needed coverage to cool the air inside the home if window coatings and insulation are not sufficient.
Improve Your Water Heater
Water heaters are responsible for 10 to 20 percent of your home’s energy expenditure. Improving your water heater might help you save money by helping keep utility bills low.
If your water heater is older, it could be wasting a lot of energy without you even realizing it, which is why you should upgrade or replace it right away.
Insulating with the correct insulation wrap is one of the things you should do to optimize your water usage. Insulate the water pipes that lead from the tank as well. In case you do get a freeze up, you need to learn how to unfreeze pipes in a mobile home.
In addition, you should make sure the tank is cleaned regularly to keep it functioning as required.
On-demand or tankless water heaters can be 24 to 34 percent more energy-efficient than traditional storage-tank water heaters for houses that consume 41 gallons or less of hot water each day, according to Energy.gov.
Furthermore, you may want to install low flow shower heads and faucet aerators in your bathroom for better energy use.
Check for Water Leakage
A mobile home’s worst nemesis is water. The life expectancy of a mobile home may be drastically reduced if it is exposed to water.
The presence of water in your home could be due to leaking pipes or rainwater. You should inspect your pipes on a regular basis to verify that none are leaking.
Your home’s foundation or how the home was placed onto its foundation could be the cause of leaky pipes. That is why it is vital to perform a home inspection soon after the home is completed to ensure that everything is in working order.
Manufactured housing is one of the most cost-effective housing options available. With that said, energy-efficiency/energy consumption has been a huge concern for manufactured homes, which is why you should think about the suggestions above to assist you in getting out of this mess.
If you buy used mobile homes for sale, you may expect them to be inefficient in energy usage. As a result, you should spend a significant amount of money upgrading your home’s energy features (such as room air conditioners and insulation, just to name a few) to reduce your possibility of incurring high monthly energy expenses.
Consider hiring trained weatherization professionals to do a better job. In many cases, the work necessary in a mobile home is a major weatherization job that necessitates specialized knowledge.