Learning how to make a mobile home more energy-efficient can go a long way in saving you money through reduced energy bills. Read on to discover incredible tips on how to make a mobile home more energy efficient.
The fact that mobile homes are relatively cheaper than site-built ones has made them quite popular across various states in the US. Their low costs are because these homes are produced in large volumes and in an assembly line. This makes them an affordable option for many people.
Currently, over 20 million Americans live in these homes, which is around 6% of the entire American population. However, despite their popularity, mobile homes (manufactured homes) aren’t without their share of problems – the main one being energy inefficiency.
In other words, they are energy guzzlers.
According to the US department of energy, manufactured homes incur 50% in utilities compared to site-built homes. But, this doesn’t mean you are doomed to paying the high energy bills forever.
Just like site-built houses, you can make your mobile home energy efficient and start enjoying the low energy bills.
But, how? Follow this guide and learn how to make a mobile home more energy-efficient in just a few simple steps.
How to Make a Mobile Home More Energy Efficient
Generally, there are enormous differences between the new mobile homes and the old ones built before 1976 (prior to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Code).
While modern manufactured homes can be built with energy efficiency in mind, the older ones didn’t have that privilege. However, you can also convert, remodel, or retrofit your old home to enhance its energy efficiency.
Here are some incredible tips you can try out:
1. Change your Home’s Roofing
Redesigning your roof can be quite an effective step in making an energy-efficient mobile home. You can do this by first installing a cool or white roof coating, which helps to reflect around 85% of sunlight and reduce smog.
By doing so, it means you’ve reduced the amount of heat entering your home, thus cutting down your home’s air conditioning demands. Subsequently, it means that you won’t have to worry about the skyrocketing cooling costs for your house during the hot summer months.
Roof cavity insulation is the second step in redesigning your roof to become more energy efficient. The insulation ensures that heated or cooled air remains inside your home, thus reducing the burden on your cooling and heating system.
If you want to add some extra insulation space on your ceiling, install a sloped roof. Most mobile homeowners do this, and the results are excellent.
The results of an insulated roof cavity are lower energy bills and more comfort in your home. Therefore, before you go searching for more complicated solutions on how to make a mobile home more energy-efficient, try to focus on the roof first. By insulating your roof, you can reduce your heating and cooling costs by even up to 15%.
2. Upgrade Windows and Window Panes
Sometimes, improving your mobile home’s energy efficiency is as simple as changing those window panes or adding some energy-efficient curtains.
For instance, windows with thin glass panes are a source of energy loss in your mobile home. During winter, the thin windowpanes lose more heat to the outside environment, leading to more heating costs. In summer, the windows allow more heat into the house, forcing your AC system to overwork to cool the house.
Replacing such window panes with more energy-efficient ones can bring a huge difference in your home’s energy efficiency. And, this is also a cost-effective method of reducing your home’s energy consumption.
When choosing the best window panes for your mobile home, remember to consider your location. For instance, if you live in the cold northern states, you need window panes that can handle the cold weather. The same applies to warmer regions.
You can include a professional to help you choose the best window panes for your manufactured home.
If the entire window is old and has some weak points that lead to energy loss, you can also decide to change the whole of it. Remember, even a small loss in energy can have a big difference in your energy bills in the long run.
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3. Update your Entire Mobile Home Insulation
When it comes to energy loss in a mobile home, poor insulation is among the major culprits. Most homeowners don’t even realize the extent of their home’s poor insulation until they see the escalating energy bills.
For this reason, ensuring that your home is well insulated will save you money during both the hot and cold seasons. This is because when your HVAC heats your home’s interior during winter, the warm air stays inside, and there is no energy loss. During summers, the cooled air inside will also not escape your house through cracks and cavities on your walls, doors, windows, roof, or underbelly.
For instance, when there are drafts coming around your mobile home windows or door frames, they must be sealed. This will prevent air from leaking in or out of the house. When insulating your windows and doors, you can use any of the two main insulating materials – fiberglass and insulation foam.
The underbelly is another major area that you must never neglect in your efforts to make your home more energy-efficient. A properly insulated underbelly can reduce heat loss by up to 11%. Blown fiberglass is the best insulating material for the underbelly, but it’s better to hire a professional to handle the task for you.
Also, add some skirting around the crawlspace to ensure that heat doesn’t escape your mobile home’s interior. However, make sure you leave some space to access the crawlspace.
Finally, research shows that well-insulated walls can reduce a home’s heat loss by up to 13%. Therefore, ensure that all your walls are insulated, preferably using blown fiberglass, to help maintain the best environment inside your house. It also helps you to save money on energy bills.
4. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
This one goes without saying. If you are still using the old energy-guzzling appliances like a dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, etc., your mobile home’s energy consumption is certainly high. In fact, various studies show that your home appliances consume between 20 and 25% of your home’s energy.
If you don’t have the right appliances, it can be the major cause of the huge monthly energy bills you are getting. Therefore, if you are trying to figure out how to make a mobile home more energy-efficient, start with replacing your appliances.
Replace your old appliances with Energy Star ones and see the difference. While it might seem like a huge investment, it’s certainly worth it in the long run. That energy-efficient TV, refrigerator, or dishwasher will consume between 10% and 50% less energy than your old ones.
Let me give you an even more elaborate example. A normal dryer can use the same energy in a year as an Energy Star washing machine, refrigerator, and dishwasher combined. Now, this is quite a big difference.
By replacing these old appliances with new ones, you will see a significant decrease in your energy bills, something you’ll appreciate in the long run.
See related: 10 Ways to Help the Environment in Everyday Life.
5. Change your Mobile Home’s Lighting
Lighting is one factor that will surely affect your manufactured home’s energy efficiency. And, if you want to start receiving lower energy bills, it might be the ideal time to change your home’s lighting.
So, which type of lighting are you using?
If you are still stuck on the incandescent light globes, consider changing these for the CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or the LEDs (light-emitting diodes).
With LEDs or CFLs, you can be sure to improve your mobile home energy efficiency by around 85% in comparison to traditional lighting. This, plus the other tips on how to make a mobile home more energy-efficient, will undoubtedly provide a significant change.
In addition, both LEDs and CFLs are way more durable than regular incandescent light globes. An LED light bulb has a lifespan of around 50,000 hours, while the incandescent one lasts for only 1,000 hours. This means that before replacing one LED light bulb, you’ll have replaced around five incandescent ones.
Besides the light bulbs, you can also incorporate smart lighting to make your mobile home even more energy-efficient. Smart lighting requires you to install light sensors, timers, or dimmers to ensure that no lighting energy goes to waste.
Smart lighting sensors can sense when you leave or enter the house, thus switching on and off the lights only when necessary. On the other hand, dimmers will switch on the lights only when it’s dark and off when there is natural light.
Note: Lighting accounts for around 12% of your home’s energy consumption. For this reason, those minor changes will have a big difference in the long run. You can try out SYLVANIA ECO LED light bulb or SYLVANIA Compact Fluorescent Spiral and see the difference.
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6. Service your Furnace
In most cases, the furnace is the main source of heating for your mobile home. And for this reason, it must be well maintained to ensure efficiency. If you don’t perform regular maintenance, your furnace might become another energy guzzler as it overworks to keep your home warm.
Also, you should note that furnaces for mobile homes face different conditions from those of site-built homes. For instance, trailer homes furnaces get air directly from the surroundings through detachable grilles. This increases the level of dust getting into your mobile home’s furnace.
Servicing the furnace includes changing the furnace filter, which ensures it stays efficient. A clogged air filter leads to blocked airflow, which subsequently leads to an inefficient HVAC system.
But, an efficient furnace means lower energy bills for your household.
Therefore, ensure you replace these filters twice or more in a year, depending on the amount of dirt and debris it’s collecting.
During the maintenance, also remember to check the squirrel cage blower to ensure it is dust and grease-free. The squirrel cage blower is located at the top of your trailer home.
And, if you are using an electric heater to warm your home, ensure you go for the eco-friendly ones. These ones will save you on energy bills and help save the environment.
7. Improve Your Water Heater’s Efficiency
Water heaters are also some of the main energy consumers in your mobile house. A water heater typically consumes between 10 and 20% of your home’s energy. This means that it’s one of the areas you should consider when looking for tips to lower energy consumption in your home.
Fortunately, there are numerous simple ways to ensure that your water heater remains efficient. For instance, proper insulation of your tank water heater can save you around $73 in a year, according to J. Krigger.
You can save even more by replacing that old tank water heater with a more modern and energy-efficient water heater. This helps you take advantage of the advancement in technology to heat your water more efficiently.
Besides insulating or replacing your tank water heater, you should also consider these effective tips.
- Cleaning the tank
- Insulation of pipes running from your tank
- Replacement of high-flow shower heads with low-flow ones
- Installing low-flow faucet aerators
- Lowering your water heater’s thermostat temperature
All these tips ensure that your water tank doesn’t become another source of energy loss in your manufactured home.
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8. Install a Solar System
Turning to solar power is an excellent option in making your mobile home more energy-efficient. While it might not work to reduce your energy consumption, it offers an alternative, cheaper energy source.
Sun energy is free and readily available. And, by installing solar panels on your mobile home, you can generate enough clean energy to power your home.
If you are trying to find out how to make a double-wide mobile home more energy-efficient, this is one ideal option. You won’t have to worry anymore about energy bills as long as solar energy is available.
However, before you install the solar panels and start generating clean energy, do adequate research first. With so many solar panels manufacturers, you need to make sure that you purchase the best, high-quality solar panels to guarantee efficiency and durability.
Also, find a qualified technician to install the panels for you. This way, you are guaranteed quality work.