I have recently purchased a 1975 singlewide mobile home (2x4
construction with aluminum panel siding). The unit has a Coleman
electric furnace (no heat pump), storm windows and rather minimal
insulation throughout. I am trying to decide what improvements
(if any) would be justified. The trailer is located in the
Seattle area where temperatures rarely get below the high 20's
and air conditioning is considered to be a (rarely necessary)
A heat pump is probably out of the question due to cost.
I am considering re-insulating the floor, removing the original
"rodent barrier" and R-7 (more/less) insulation, replacing same
with R-19 stuffed between joists plus duct insulation, etc. I've
figured the cost of materials at around $400.
I've also been told (but haven't confirmed) that it would be
possible to add "blown in" insulation to the ceiling for around
$300. I haven't determined the current insulation up there, but
it is probably R-13 or R-19.
I'm planning to replace both doors (hollow core) with current
R-5 (or better) models.
I have also thought about looking at a NEW electric furnace/air
handler. However, I've received mixed reviews as to whether newer
units are really any more efficient than the originals. (However,
a new one would likely be QUIETER.)
I would greatly appreciate comments on these issues or any other
suggestions that might yield improvement. Do-it-yourself
approaches are most likely to be implemented. <grin>
In the long run it may be the cheapest solution, especially in your
area. You also gain a very effiecent air conditioner.
Seems a little high for materials, but it may be right. If done right
it is a good idea.
If you are up to 19 now I would not bother, I doubt if you can get it up
far from there.
No help here. Any direct electirc (not a heat pump) will be exactly the
same efficency, 100% Heat pumps can go over 100% and in your area they will
operate over 100% almost all the time, often far over.
You are probably correct. The local electric company claims that
a heat pump can cut the cost of straight electric heating by
about half. Not bad, but since this savings is only in the winter
months (summer might actually REVERSE the trend if you start
relying heavily on air conditioning), the payback period is
rather long. By the same token, major insulation projects, such
as those I mentioned, might have equally lengthy paybacks.
Thanks for the comments,
Glad you said "local" as the overall efficiency depends on
where you live. The milder the winter, the higher the
efficiency. If you live where it is really cold, the
efficiency will approach 1:1 compared to straight resistance
Where a greatest percentage of heat is lost is up, If possible look into
foam roofing, R 35 is minimum R 50 best for your area. You will have
to figure an extension for the sides , but look into it , see if
trailers do it. I take it you have cheap hydro elec. .05 kwh . If
not consider gas. im 0.125 kwh , double the cost of gas. For most US
elec is double that of gas. Whatever your upgrades you will will
benefit and yes more insulation is better, as standards in place are
obsolete and far from optimum. The US is cheap energy compared to most
of the world, But its going up.
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