Some manufactured homes do not come with air conditioning and are usually bought separately. The type of system needs to be considered by the buyer based on their available volume space, total cost and square footage needed to heat or cool. Newer manufactured homes may be built to accommodate HVAC systems that need ducts.
Manufactured homes today come in several shapes and sizes. Do note however, which HVAC systems your home style can accommodate.
Having enough space for ductwork or an accessible indoor cabinet are great considerations to choosing your HVAC system. It comes down to what space you have available in your home. (1)
If your manufactured home can be ordered and made with air conditioning, this allows you to have the whole HVAC system replaced when needed as a stick built home would! (2)
Brands like Coleman, provide gas and electric furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners specially made for manufactured homes, made smaller than the typical units to fit nicely into the space: (1)
“For instance, Coleman’s electric furnace for manufactured housing requires zero clearance. This allows it to fit in much smaller spaces. And their MG9S series gas furnace achieves 95% AFUE efficiency in a 33” compact cabinet, proving good things do come in small packages!”
Packaged or “Window” units are the most popular system for older homes. They are forced air units that only take up a small space indoors and don’t require any ceiling space for ducting and a furnace. (2)
It is called “packaged” for having both compressor and air handling unit all in one box, making it the ultimate money and space saver. (3)
This leads to many opting for the packaged unit, giving both heating and cooling functions and being the most compact — a single cabinet with a vented door beside your home. (1)
However, do note these can be noisy and less energy efficient than the newer HVAC systems.
Central HVAC System
These systems tend to be the most popular amongst all residential models. It utilizes an indoor evaporator and an outdoor unit to absorb and expel the heat. Central HVAC systems are typically cost efficient but require an indoor furnace, not making it suitable for all manufactured homes if they don’t have the ductwork for it. (3)
If you want the Central HVAC system, this needs to be considered as early as when it’s in the factory and installed on site by a subcontractor and electrician as a site-built home would. (2)
Another issue encountered is people sizing their air conditioning much higher than their square footage requires, so have this consulted to save you money and energy!
One of the biggest benefits of this system is allowing for a different temperature setting per room or area! (2)
These also have two main parts, an outdoor compressor/condensing unit connected to one or several indoor air handling units. Unlike the typical split type air conditioners, these can be smaller and without any ducts, making installation much easier! This can save you up to 30% in energy loss, which will be great on the electric bills.(3)
The temperature zoning is achieved by the indoor units being wall mounted, giving each user their own control in the space. These are typically more efficient and quieter than window type units, but more expensive. It’s definitely an investment that will give financial savings for the future. (1)
Got an Old Manufactured Home?
Older models are typically less energy efficient, so it pays to have HVAC systems that burn less energy and wasted money. (1)
Most homes also lack the space for ductwork and ventilation, limiting their HVAC options to a packaged type and portable air conditioner. Also note that even if your home does have ducting, it may be too small to accommodate the duct requirements of the systems today, so always have that checked. (2)
You may even have “crossover ducts”, or large flexible ducts running beneath the home. This was due to having little to no attic space or ceiling headroom, which sadly also makes them prone to damage from moisture and rodent pests underneath. If you notice your cooling or heating efficiency dropping, take a look at your underbelly to check if some ducts are leaking or disconnected and need some sealing and taping. (2)
Tips to Keep Cool
The biggest takeaway is to have your air conditioner sized correctly in two ways:
- The right horsepower to your square footage per room
The heating and cooling power may also be found on the data plate of your manufactured home! (1)
- To see if the systems can fit in your space.
The U.S. Department of Energy has a guide for HVAC sizing for manufactured homes made after 1994, based on home size and climate. (1)
You can also head to HVAC manufacturers, give them your specs and see what will work in your space or systems specifically made for manufactured homes.
- Conditioned Air Solutions. (2020, December 9). HVAC systems for manufactured and mobile homes, HVAC-Tips. Conditioned Air Solutions. Retrieved June 2022, from https://www.conditionedairsolutions.com/hvac-systems-for-manufactured-and-mobile-homes/
- Kolifrath, J. (2021, August 31). The differences in HVAC units in Mobile Homes and regular housing. Hunker. Retrieved June 2022, from https://www.hunker.com/12388545/the-differences-in-hvac-units-in-mobile-homes-regular-housing
- Pattie Electric. (2018, December 9). 3 best air conditioning options for mobile & manufactured homes. Pattie Electric Heating & Cooling. Retrieved June 2022, from https://www.pattieelectric.com/3-best-air-conditioning-options-for-mobile-manufactured-homes