Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Make Your Mobile Home More Energy Efficient

Mobile home improvements typically fall into one of two categories: aesthetic or functional. Aesthetic improvements such as new flooring or a fresh coat of paint look great, but they won't add storage or help save you money. Functional improvements such as energy efficient mobile home upgrades happen largely behind the scenes to improve your quality of life while reducing your monthly utility bills.

New Windows and Doors

Unless you've replaced your windows and doors in the past 10 years, there's a good chance that they're single-pane, which means that they protect you from the elements with only a single pane of glass. Double-pane vinyl windows start at just over $100, can pay for themselves in just a few short years, and will make you more comfortable year-round. To further increase energy savings, choose low-E or argon gas models.

Air Conditioners

Air conditioners are notorious energy hogs and can account for as much as 60 percent of your utility bills. You can save 5 to 10 percent on your cooling bills by turning the thermostat up a few degrees during the summer, but to slash your energy consumption, you'll need to invest in a new energy efficient AC system. Look for models with a high SEER rating — a 16 SEER air conditioner will use about 20 percent less electricity than a comparable 13 SEER unit.

Heat Pumps

Most people can't tell the difference between air conditioners and heat pumps. They look exactly the same, and both systems keep your home cool. However, heat pumps can work in reverse during the winter to draw ambient heat from outside into your home, which is more energy efficient than firing up the furnace. Just like air conditioners, high SEER heat pumps can save you hundreds of dollars a year in energy bills.

Ceiling Fans

Moving air helps keep your home's temperature uniform throughout the structure. Ceiling fans use a fraction of the energy that air conditioners require, and you can bump the temperature up a few degrees without feeling any warmer.

LED Light Bulbs

In the past few years, LED light bulbs have dropped in price. Many consumers remain on the fence because LEDs are still more expensive than comparable incandescent bulbs, but they will last you between 20 and 50 years depending on use instead of a year or two. LEDs also use about 25 percent of the electricity while generating less heat.

Seasonal Maintenance

A little caulk can go a long way towards making your home airtight. Make sure that your doors and windows don't have any cracks along their edges, and consider installing some insulation behind your skirting to prevent heat loss through your floor.

Some of these tips you can implement tomorrow while others may take a year or two given the investment involved. Either way, taking the time to make a few of these energy efficient upgrades will go a long way in reducing your utility bills.

5 comments:

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  2. Thanks for the tips! This year, in preparation for winter, we're making sure that our mobile home is warm and toasty. That's why we're investing an excellent and working home gas furnace, an option that is perfect for our family. Ours is fueled by propane and is very efficient and cost effective. We decided to replace our old one since we've compared costs and it would be cheaper to just buy a new one than to have it repaired. To give you an idea on costs and some tips, see: http://modularhomeblog.com/diy/mobile-home-gas-furnace.html

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