Increasing Heat Efficiency in Manufactured Homes

ECT.COOP, published by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), says that many manufactured homes are wasteful when it comes to using electricity. A new report, Retrofitting Manufactured Homes for Improved Energy Efficiency, can help in many cases, but Brian Sloboda, of NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network (CRN), says there is no magic wand, and you have to take each case on its own to determine the problem. “And that means it’s time intensive, it’s resource intensive, it’s financially intensive …. You really have to get down and dirty to find out which recommendations apply to your specific situation,” Sloboda says. “You’re going to have to crawl underneath and climb up on top.” He notes one common problem is the crossover duct underneath which is prone to mildew, falling off, and critters. If it does not function properly, the winter heat will go under the house instead of inside. One inexpensive fix is to put plastic film over the windows, but he says another problem is most manufactured homes do not have heat pumps. In the long run it is worth it to make the more expensive upgrade. He also notes that moving a manufactured home causes it to lose structural integrity, “so you’re having more air infiltration.”

(photo credit: Skyak)

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