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How to Make Your Manufactured Home More Energy Efficient

 

If you’re like the rest of homeowners out there, you don’t want to pay more in energy bills than you have to. There’s nothing that will ruin a day in the winter or summer like opening a power bill and seeing that it’s 2-3 times what you thought it would be. If you’re manufactured home isn’t energy efficient, a couple cold days in the winter or a couple hot days in the summer will crank up your home’s power usage. And even if you don’t have any high power bills because of extreme temperature, it would be nice to shave 5-10% off your monthly bill to have some extra cash for more fun purchases.

If you want to make your manufactured home more energy efficient, you’re in the right place! Check out some of our tips below to help you make your more efficient and put more money in your pocket.

Upgrade windows and doors

The first step to improving the energy efficiency of your manufactured home is to check your windows and doors. These are the largest openings in your home, and as a result, they are the most likely to leak cold/warm air outside and make your HVAC work harder than it needs to. Once per year, walk around to each door and window and make sure there are no visible gaps to the outside. On a cold day, run your hand along the edge of each door and window to feel if there is any draft and cold air is getting in. If you see any gaps or feel any draft, you need to get that fixed.

The easiest, and cheapest, solution is to add storm doors and windows to your home. This adds another layer of glass between your door/window and the outside air, and can keep the outside air from getting in. Some homes can take storm doors/windows, but some cannot. If storm doors and windows are not an option, you need to consider replacing the doors and windows that are allowing air in. If you replace them, make sure you purchase an energy star rated replacement. These windows and doors are rated to improve your manufactured home’s energy efficiency and are high quality products that will work for years to come.

Upgrade Insulation

If fixing the windows and doors in your manufactured home didn’t do the trick, the next step is looking at the insulation underneath and above the living area. These areas come with insulation from the factory, but it degrades and deteriorates over time, and will eventually need to be replaced. Because of the laws of thermodynamics, we know that hot air rises, and cool air falls. We can use this principal to see where your insulation needs work. If your manufactured home is expensive to cool in the summer, we know that the cool air is escaping (falling), so you need to check the insulation under the home. If the home is difficult to heat in the winter, hot air may be escaping (rising), so you need to check the insulation above the ceiling.

To improve ceiling insulation, you can blow in more and add to what is already there. If the floor insulation is bad, you will likely need to pull out the existing insulation and install new insulation with a higher R value. Replacing insulation can be a dirty and difficult job, so if you don’t feel comfortable, we recommend you hire a local professional to take care of the job.

Fix The Skirting

You’ve checked your windows, you’ve checked your insulation, so what’s next? You need to look at the skirting around your home to check for damage. Damaged, or missing, skirting can cause air to blow under the home, which can weaken the insulation under the home. When you inspect the skirting, make sure to look for missing pieces, large cracks, or gaps between the bottom of the skirting and the ground. If you find anything wrong, contact your local manufactured home retailer to see if they can order some more. If they can’t, there are oftentimes manufactured home supply stores located in larger cities and metro areas.

Purchase Energy Star Appliances

Everyone likes good new, good looking appliances in their manufactured home. A nice, shiny stainless-steel refrigerator can really make a kitchen pop, and a bright red washer and dryer can add style to any home. But can new, energy star appliances actually save you money?

“Absolutely,” according to Matt Daigle, founder and CEO of Rise, an online sustainable home improvement site. “Energy Star appliances will save you 10% to 50% of the energy required, depending on the comparison model – and much more if you are replacing an old appliance.” Energy Star is a program by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Appliances with the Energy Star label are certified to save energy, lower utility bills, and help protect the environment. 

New appliances are especially valuable if you have older appliances in your manufactured home. If you’re worried about the cost, you may qualify for a government program that will apply tax credits toward your purchase. Click here for qualified programs in your area.

“Smart Home” and NEST thermostat

There’s nothing like new technology to help you save some money in your manufactured home. Smart Homes technology, and specifically the NEST thermostat, are products that learn what temperatures you like, and adjust your home thermostat to help you save money AND keep you comfortable. According to NEST, “[it] knows how and when to save energy. To prove it, [NEST] looked at the energy bills of real people in 41 states before and after they got Nest Learning Thermostats. Then [they] watched the data roll in from two independent studies – from real homes with real families and real Learning thermostats. The results were clear: on average the Nest Learning Thermostat saved 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, we’ve estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year. That means the Nest Learning Thermostat paid for itself in under two years.”

If you make your home as energy efficient as possible, you will really save on energy bills. However, you will also have a lot more invested in your home, and that investment needs to be protected. Click Here to apply for Covertree’s Manufactured Homes Insurance, and let us help you have peace of mind that your investment in your home is safe and insured.

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