Question

How can I make a doublewide mobile home more energy efficient?

Asked by Sherrie
Gadsden, AL

I am looking at purchasing my first double wide mobile home. I am concerned about high electric bills. What steps can I take to make it more energy efficient?

Answer

Sean Lintow Sr

Answered by Sean Lintow Sr

Naperville, IL

SLS Construction & Building Solutions

January 14, 2013

First off Sherrie, I would ask if you are planning on buying a new or a used one and if so how old.

For new ones you can buy an upgraded or “energy efficient” one from the factory.

  • Generally what this means is they will build it with 2x6 walls & increase the insulation in them.
  • While there are ENERGY STAR programs for manufactured homes, to my knowledge no one here is involved with them.

DOE's advice

With that said let me first give you the Department of Energy's weatherization guidance for mobile homes in our area:

  • Switch to CFL’s
  • Replace the Refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR one
  • Seal the HVAC ducts
  • Fill the roof cavity with insulation
  • Air Sealing
  • Patch any holes in the belly & fill with insulation
  • Clean or replace room air conditioners
  • Install solar screens on the East, South, & West windows

Do-it-yourself steps

From a DIY perspective, my suggestion would be switch out the standard appliances with ENERGY STAR ones as you can which includes light bulbs (go with CFLs or LEDs) and any fans.

Also, there are numerous areas you should air-seal immediately which is where water pipes or other items enter the trailer – generally you will spot a cover or escutcheon plate which can be popped up allowing you to fill that area with foam. If your tub has a cover plate you should pop that loose and see about sealing up that area.

The next item is conservation. It really is amazing how much energy you can consume by just leaving a light on here, your DVR on, etc. I would also recommend that you set your water heater to 120°. Be sure to keep up on your maintenance.

 

For more information:

Read Sean's blog post about weatherizing a modular home here and conservation tips and tricks here.

Also, check "I have a 2,000 sq. ft. mobile home that I'd like to transform to a self-sustaining structure with solar power. Help!" a Q&A answered by Sergio Grado.

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