Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 18
  1. #1

    Making a mobile home more efficient

    I'm getting ready to buy a 1988 Norris Parkland model 24x60(?) manufactured home for $18k. The home isn't really in need of much work but I want to make it my own so I'm going to gut it and start new. What I'm curious about though is since all the ceilings are vaulted would I save any on my heating / cooling cost by reinsulating and making the ceiling flat to add more space above. I'd also be installing a ridge vent and maybe some large gable vents to allow air to flow through the 'attic'. I will also fur the walls out to 2x6 to allow for R21 insulation instead of R19.

    The current homeowner say's they are spending about $300 a month in utility bill and when I went over there she had a/c set at 74 and it felt like 88. I know the a-coil is probably partially to blame because of restricted air flow but if I'm going to be gutting it I'd like to do whatever I can to make it as efficient as possible. Is my thought process correct? This will be in Illinois.

    Thank you,

    And if this is considered a DIY post then my apologies.

    Also, would adding a return vent across the other side of the house help? The only return is the furnace door itself.

  2. #2
    John Culpepper's Avatar
    John Culpepper is offline CHANGE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS Professional Member*
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Posts
    1,776
    Take some pictures of your set up because I've seen some horrible things with mobile home a/c.
    Nemo me impune lacessit.

    How much blood do I have to bathe in to get clean?

    Don't look down on anyone unless you're helping them up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,559
    You're buying a 25 year old trailer for $18K and you're gutting it? Why bother. Just go buy a new one. I wouldn't upgrade something that drops in value. Aside from that. Anything you do to a trailer to improve it's insulation is going to help it.
    I like DIY'ers. They pay better to fix.

  4. #4
    John: I don't have possession yet but it has 2 rooms at one end with furnace just outside hallway near kitchen thats part of a big open area that is the kitchen, dining room, and 2 living rooms seperated by a dbl sided fireplace. Master bed / bath is at the other end (which was where I was thinking of adding a return).

    Bmathews: A new one isn't going to be setup how I want it and I'll be in it for a few years so yeah I won't get my investment back but it'll be my perfect pad for a while. Besides a new dbl wide is going to run me $45k+ this will be $18k + another 8-12k invested.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,670
    Step#1:

    Have the HVAC system evaluated by a qualified professional. Do this PRIOR to making the purchase. If the HVAC system is beyond repair, you might save a couple $k on the purchase price.

    Step #2: insulate. This includes skirting. Makes a huge difference.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,967
    Look into some auctions for a better price. Around 6 years ago I purchased a 2 bedroom single wide that was 2 years old for $4,300.00. I think the owners of the trailer park were selling the land to someone building a subdivision.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,280
    Agreed, $18k sounds high for a 23yr old mobile home in need of gutting... Does it include the land also?

  8. #8
    Guys I appreciate all the anwers but none have touched the original questions I had.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,967
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_v View Post
    Guys I appreciate all the anwers but none have touched the original questions I had.
    Find someone in your area that is BPI certified in manufactured homes. The first step is testing to see how tight your home is. The next step is determining the insulation levels, so you know what can be improved upon and what would be a waste of money on. R-19 is better than R17, but not if it cost a lot of money. There are software programs that energy auditors use to calculate this kind of stuff for you.
    The sun is your big enemy in summer, so look into what you can do to the roof to reflect the suns rays rather than absorbing them, along with exterior sun blockage for the windows.
    Try and find an HVAC pro that has experience in sizing your a/c replacement and correcting duct issues. Where this home will be located at will play a huge part in determing the size of a/c you will need. One surrounded by shade trees is not going to need an a/c as large as one that gets non-stop sun all day.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,345
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_v View Post
    I'm getting ready to buy a 1988 Norris Parkland model 24x60(?) manufactured home for $18k. The home isn't really in need of much work but I want to make it my own so I'm going to gut it and start new. What I'm curious about though is since all the ceilings are vaulted would I save any on my heating / cooling cost by reinsulating and making the ceiling flat to add more space above. I'd also be installing a ridge vent and maybe some large gable vents to allow air to flow through the 'attic'. I will also fur the walls out to 2x6 to allow for R21 insulation instead of R19.
    If you don't make this new "attic" airtight to the interior spaces, you will set yourself up to have the same "stack effect" issues that stick built houses have. If your primary concern is heat gain in summer through the existing roof, consider, if the existing roofing material is asphalt shingles, replacing that material with a heat reflecting metal roofing material like galvalume or similar product.

    Air leakage is the biggest heat robber in winter, and cooling robber in summer, in most residential structures, be they stick built or mobile home. You can insulate and replace windows but if the place still leaks it will be difficult to keep comfortable.

    The current homeowner say's they are spending about $300 a month in utility bill and when I went over there she had a/c set at 74 and it felt like 88. I know the a-coil is probably partially to blame because of restricted air flow but if I'm going to be gutting it I'd like to do whatever I can to make it as efficient as possible. Is my thought process correct? This will be in Illinois.
    Sounds like the existing a/c is badly neglected. I agree with others who say get the a/c inspected by a pro before you purchase the house. If it's shot, you can use that to negotiate on price.

    As a service tech I worked on many mobile home a/c systems out in California. If they're clean and set up properly, they keep the home comfortable. Unless the existing owner of the trailer you're looking at simply likes living in 88 degree rooms, I'm sure at some point that a/c functioned better than it did while you were there. The 300 bucks she is spending per month could have gone toward proper maintenance on that system.


    Also, would adding a return vent across the other side of the house help? The only return is the furnace door itself.
    It's the same whether a mobile home or conventional single story house...where rooms that can close a door against the central return exist, ensure there's some way for air to escape the room when the door is closed. This can be either via door undercuts (not as good) or transfer ducts in the walls (better, but only if done properly to reduce sound transfer and leakage).
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,670
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_v View Post
    Guys I appreciate all the anwers but none have touched the original questions I had.
    Yes, I did.

    You can contact a qualified professional to examine the unit and recommend repairs.

    We cannot see your unit from here, and even if I could, my instruments won't reach that far.

    $300/month for the comfort levels you describe is obscene and can be improved upon, but it's going to cost you. Possibly a system replacement.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824
    Thats a lot of work. You should check out when newer construction standards for mobile homes went into effect. Get out a pad and paper, add up all your costs. Seems like a high price for the home.

    To save money:

    Have the A/Coil in the unit inside the house. A package unit with heat an a/c out is more to maintain. Make the decision to either have it all outside or all inside.
    Always here

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    Exterior solar screens on the windows will reduce cooling costs more than improvements that you plan for the walls and ceiling. The air conditioner has problems: age, neglect and possibly leaky ducts. I agree with posts 9,10 and 11 above.

    Is the land included in the price of the home? The bare home is not likely to be worth 18K unless you are looking for a hobby.

    What kind of heating comes with the home? Electric, Gas or Oil or furnace?
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event