CEL&P

Make your mobile home more energy efficient

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There are more than eight million mobile homes in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Although mobiles homes can be a cost-effective housing solution, they’re not known for their energy efficiency. In fact, mobile homes use significantly more energy per square foot of space than a typical site-built home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

If your energy costs are moving upward, consider these energy-saving measures. They’ll not only improve the efficiency of your home, but the comfort of your family as well.

1. Maintain your HVAC system

Mobile home HVAC systems are typically smaller than those in traditional homes, but they still need maintenance to run efficiently. Have your heating and cooling system inspected annually by a qualified professional. Change air filters regularly according to manufacturer’s instructions, typically every one to three months.

2. Add insulation

Poor insulation is a serious issue in many mobiles homes, especially older units. The home may have been manufactured with inadequate insulation, or it may have settled over time, creating gaps. Consult with a qualified insulation contractor about your options for adding insulation to your roof, walls and underbelly.

3. Install reflective roof coating

Reflective or “cool” roof coatings can reflect up to 85% of solar heat. This can make your home more comfortable on hot sunny days and significantly reduce your summer energy bills.

4. Remove window units in winter

If you use window air conditioners, remove them in the winter to reduce the amount of cold air leaking into your home. If you can’t remove them, use weather-stripping and an insulated air conditioner cover.

5. Repair the underbelly

Underneath your home, there may gaps around plumbing and wiring holes, leaky ducts or damaged insulation — all costing you money. Seal gaps with insulating spray foam or caulk and insulate any exposed ductwork. Repair or replace damaged insulation. Also, check for and repair any holes or cracks in the skirting, which lets in moisture or unconditioned air.

Low-cost saving solutions

Lower your energy bills with these simple, cost-effective upgrades:

• Switch to LEDs. LEDs use up to 75% less energy than standard lightbulbs and last much longer.

• Plug into advanced power strips. These “smart” power strips automatically shut off power to unused devices.

• Install water-efficient fixtures. Low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators reduce hot water use while still providing a comfortable flow.

Think about how you use energy, too. Simple changes such as turning things off, taking shorter showers and adjusting the thermostat can make a big difference.

 

Crawfordsville Electric Light & Power contributes a monthly column to the Journal Review.

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