Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What AC Unit is Right for My Mobile Home?

Finding the right central air conditioning system for a mobile home is important to maintaining a comfortable environment. An air conditioner performs two functions. The first is to lower the temperature of the area by removing heat. The second is to remove excess humidity from the air. If the unit is too small, it will labor to cool the home especially during the warmest times. However, if the unit is too large, it will have difficulty removing the humidity that builds up in the home, which can result in mold, mildew and condensation around the floor registers. To determine the best system, you will need to consider the following factors.

What is the square footage of the home?

The home's square footage should appear on the sales contract, title, tax statement or the permanent tag affixed to the home. If you have made alterations, such as adding a room, you will need to add that square footage to the original home's number. Should you be unable to locate a document with the footage, you can calculate it by multiplying the home's width by its length.

When was the home manufactured?

Mobile homes made during or after October 1994 have had to meet a higher standard for insulation. This means that older homes may need a bit more cooling power. If you have an older mobile home, you might need to consult with a contractor who has experience with HVAC systems for mobile homes.

Here are some more tips to help you find the right system:
  1. Purchase your unit from a company that specializes in mobile home parts. A unit built for a traditional home often costs more for the same capacity than a unit designed specifically for mobile homes.
  2. A package unit that includes the furnace is typically a better investment than trying to purchase the heating and cooling units separately.
  3. The permanent tag affixed to your mobile home may indicate the size of cooling system that the manufacturer recommended. These are often stated in terms of BTUs, while systems are normally stated in tons. To convert, divide the BTUs by 12,000. To illustrate, if the tag recommends a unit not to exceed 36,000 BTUs, you will likely need a three-ton central unit.
  4. Purchase a unit with a rating of at least 13 SEER, which stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. Higher SEER ratings indicate better energy efficiency. If you live in a hotter climate, you will likely be better off to purchase a unit rated at 16 SEER.

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