Start with leaky furnace ducts, which are often a major source of energy loss. Make sure all supply and return registers are open and are not covered by furniture or rugs. You might also be able to save energy by sealing ducts at the floor registers. The biggest leaks, however, are likely under a manufactured home and could require a contractor to locate and seal them.
In the case of a doublewide home, one of the most common duct leaks is a torn or detached crossover duct. Wildlife and pets are known to damage these ducts in seeking warmth in the winter.
Remove any window air conditioning units during the winter. Install window insulation kits—those plastic, disposable sheets that stretch over windows, held in place with double-sided tape. Thick curtains also can cut drafts and add insulation around windows.
A more involved step is to fill cracks and holes in walls and around windows and doors with caulk, filler and/or expanding foam.
Furnace and water heating
Lower your furnace thermostat in the winter and clean or replace the air filter as recommended. If you have a heat pump, it’s important to maintain consistent temperatures. Set it to a maximum of 68 degrees during the winter.
If you heat your home with an electric or propane furnace, you likely can cut your heating costs dramatically by installing a heat pump, especially a ductless model, though this is a more expensive option. Many cooperatives in Kentucky offer a rebate to assist with this expense. Check with your local co-op’s energy advisor for details.
If your water heater has two thermostats, setting both to 120 degrees will help lower energy costs. Look at insulating the first several feet of the hot water pipe where it exits the tank, and if there’s room, wrap the tank in an insulation jacket. Caution: If your water heater uses gas or propane, be careful not to restrict the air needed for combustion or install insulation too close to the exhaust flue.
Purchasing a new mobile home?
When choosing options for your new home, upgrade to ENERGY STAR, most importantly, the heat pump discussed previously. ENERGY STAR-certified homes use substantially less energy for heating, cooling and water heating than a standard manufactured home.
Check with your local electric co-op to see if it offers rebates for new ENERGY STAR-certified homes, or to see if it offers energy audits.