10 Ways to make your Mobile Home more Energy Efficient
You have seen the many posts and interest generated in the tiny house movement. Here you will see a list of ways for mobile homes to save energy. Tiny houses are typically more expensive, yes, because they are made to be able to travel on the highway more regularly, and most of them have addressed the efficiency issues that you see here. They are built more like a home, and less like a trailer. That makes them an efficient solution, though, yes a smaller one. A decision to live in small spaces is easier in warmer climates where you make more use of the outdoors. In cold climates, or places with cold winters, small spaces are not as cozy if you get stuck in there all winter long, so deciding where and how to live has as much to do as climate as it does terrain.
We live in a world where it is hard for the poor to get a leg up. The government wants to give free food, but inevitably, they are stuck in a system that is hard to break out of. Especially when there are lots of kids involved. Poor credit means higher interest. Cheap housing often means a mobile home which is highly inefficient. When you pay your bills late, that means cutoff fees and late fees. No credit means you need extra money for deposits. When your car doesn't work, and you don't have a credit card, you have extra deposits, and its hard to rent a car with many compaines, so when you drive a car that breaks, it's hard to find a backup. I lived in a mobile home after college like this with a $250.00 electric bill in the Hot Oklahoma Summers. So this post goes out to those of you who are struggling to make ends meet, or are living in a mobile home, and can't afford a piece of land, but you have what you have and you need to make the most of it. We are all here to better our lives, to think differently, and to find a better way. You can begin with these to reduce costs, and begin to save more:
Save energy in your mobile home by following these simple tips
Mobile Home Roof & Ceiling
Starting from the top down there are many changes you can make to your mobile home to save energy and cut the cost of fuel and electricity bills.
Some changes are easy and inexpensive, some may take a little work, but the costs savings and benefit of increased mobile home energy efficiency are worth it!
Here are our top 10 tips for making your manufactured or mobile home more energy efficient.
1. Save energy by changing your Mobile Home Roof Covering
Did you know that a cool roof coating can lower mobile home temperature, reflect up to 85% of the sunlight, reduce smog and save your electric bill by cutting down unnecessary AC Costs?
Installing a White Roof or Cool Roof Coating on your mobile home reflects the heat from the sun back out helping to cool your home. Also, on the extreme efficiency side of things, you might consider building a sort of carport over your mobile home, so direct sunlight will not even hit the roof. The shade will further reduce your energy costs, though there is an upfront expense and labor there.
2. Add Mobile Home Roof Insulation
It takes a little more work, but you can save up to 15% of heating and insulation costs simply by insulating your mobile home or manufactured home roof cavity. Installing a sloped roof allows extra room for insulation in the ceiling of your home.
The interior of your mobile home or manufactured housing can be a cause of much wasted energy. From doors, windows, walls and lighting, to the kitchen, bathroom, furnace and appliances – there are a lot of ways to lower energy bills and save money inside your mobile home.
3. Save Energy in the Kitchen
Did you know that you can speed up cooking and save energy by using lids on pots and pans? Pressure cookers can reduce cooking time even further.
Other ways to reduce energy in the kitchen include; defrosting in the fridge in advance instead of using a microwave, not using your full oven for small meals, choosing Energy Star® appliances and not overfilling your refrigerator.
Induction cooking used to be an expensive purchase, but now there's a company on tv that sells induction cooktops for about $39.00. By the time you get away from them, you have spent $180 on two of them with all the free pans they send, but the energy reduction is tremendous!
4. Replace Light Bulbs with Energy Efficient Lighting
All homes can benefit from energy efficient lighting. With most homes using 10%-12% of the entire home energy on lighting, making savings could lower mobile home energy bills.
Simple ways to improve the energy output of your lighting include: changing light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s) – CFL’s use up to a quarter of the energy of a regular light bulb. Switch lighting off when it is not needed; clean lighting fixtures to maximize lighting output.
See our article Energy Efficient Lighting for more tips.
5. Service your Mobile Home Furnace
Unlike site built homes, mobile home furnaces draw air directly into the furnace through removable grilles. Cleaning or replacing the furnace filter inside can drastically reduce energy costs and make the furnace more efficient.
It is also a good idea to inspect the squirrel cage blower at the top of your mobile home furnace for any dust, or grease.
6. Make your Mobile Home Windows more Energy Efficient
Simple plastic window coverings can help reduce energy costs and cut out drafts. The disposable plastic covering can be removed for the summer.
Storm windows – extra glass panes fitted to the interior of mobile home windows can also be installed for permanent energy saving. Internal storm windows are also more protected from the elements. Make sure the frame is tightly sealed. Additional insulation can be achieved with foam tape.
7. Mobile Home Cooling (inside & out!)
Air conditioners not only cool the air, they take out moisture to make the air more comfortable. You can lower AC running costs by lowering the moisture in your mobile home so that your AC unit can run more efficiently. Moisture comes from two main sources: the ground, and air leakage from Air Conditioning units.
Another way to reduce air conditioning costs is to prevent the heat before it gets to your home using a cool roof solution (see point 1), and employing effective use of shade trees, Trellises and Window Films.
8. Add Insulation under the Floor
Mobile homes often already have insulation, but they tend to be part filled which means there is always room for more!
It is a good idea to hire an insulation professional and ask for Blown Fiberglass to reduce the potential corrosion of any metal parts from cellulose insulation.
9. Check your Crawlspace & Ducts
The Crawl space underneath your manufactured home is often neglected, but there are energy savings to be had beneath the floor. Adding skirting around the mobile home can prevent excess heat from escaping but make sure you can still access the crawl space.
Check the area underneath the furnace for loose ducts or joints and use metal Duct Tape if possible as traditional gray fabric tape can come loose.
10. Check for Water Leakage and Seepage
Leaks in your mobile home’s roofs and walls allow for water to seep in and cause mold, mildew, and rot. By sealing your roof, installing gutters, and taking steps to seal around leaky seams and around water and drain pipes, you can make your home last longer and save lots of money on costly repairs.
Read more on Water Leakage and Seepage
Source: Saturn Resource Management
It is after you have done all you can to make your mobile home efficient that it makes sense to move ahead with the addition of solar panels, and to begin weaning off the system of energy usage. That will continue to reduce your costs as you add. You can just add panels, and tie them into a breaker in your system very easily.