In recent years, energy-efficient homes have attracted an increasing amount of interest. Although there are many reasons why you should consider improving the energy efficiency of a manufactured home, most manufactured homeowners seek out energy-efficient alternatives mainly because an energy-saving manufactured home can lower energy bills year-round.
As a continuation of a previous blog post, this article reveals five ways to retrofit your manufactured home and improve its energy efficiency.
Add InsulationAs more than half of the energy we use in our homes goes toward heating and cooling, insulation plays a critical role in making a manufactured home more energy-efficient. If you intend to purchase a pre-owned manufactured home or you already own an older manufactured home, there are three effective ways to insulate your home, according to EERE.
- Install rigid foam boards: Rigid foam insulation boards, like expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS) and polyisocyanurate (ISO), have R-values that range from R-3.6 to R-8.0 per inch of thickness. If you’re looking for a more affordable insulation alternative that’s also water-resistant and non-flammable, you could opt for fiberglass insulation, which comes in rolls, batts, and loose-fill. Keep in mind, however, that the R-value of fiberglass is lower than that of rigid foam boards, ranging from R-2.9 to R-3.8 per inch of thickness. Rigid foam insulation boards and fiberglass insulation that comes in batts or rolls can be easily cut to fit inside the walls, “belly” and roof system (with little obstruction from beams) of a manufactured home.
- Apply injection or spray foam insulation: Spray foam insulation is a liquid foam that can be sprayed onto different surfaces or injected into cavities, where it expands and hardens to create an air barrier. Foam-sprayed insulation is well suited for enclosed spaces and small cavities where it would be too difficult to install other types of insulation. Spray foam insulation has R-values between R-3.7 and R-6.5 per inch of thickness.
- Opt for blown-in or loose-fill insulation: Blown-in or loose-fill insulation is composed of small particles of fiberglass, cellulose or mineral wool, which can fit into virtually any inaccessible space, including oddly-shaped spaces and spaces with obstructions. This type of insulation is best to insulate the area under the floor and the space between the ceiling/attic and the roof.
Replace Old Windows
Replacing old windows with new, high-performance products is a wise retrofitting decision that won’t only affect your manufactured home’s interior and exterior appearance, but also reduces energy consumption by preventing air leaks.
The windows with insulated vinyl frames are some of the best products you can select for your manufactured home. Compared to conventional wood and metal frames, vinyl frames have UV protection, do not require painting or maintenance, and have good moisture resistance. Opting for insulated vinyl windows, which are also double- or triple-pane and single-hung, allows you to get a more reliable seal that reduces energy loss, while potentially eliminating the need for storm windows. Triple-glazed windows, which consist of three panes of glass, with both external glass surfaces having Low-E coatings, deliver an even better option. Because these windows reduce emissivity considerably, it takes less energy to heat and cool your manufactured home.
Replace Old Exterior Doors
To make your manufactured home more energy-efficient, you should also replace old exterior doors with new doors that insulate better. For greater energy efficiency, it’s essential to consider the energy performance ratings of the doors you intend to purchase. According to Energy Star, multiple glass panes, magnetic strips that create a tighter seal and improved core materials, like polyurethane foam insulation, are the elements that can make a door more energy efficient.
Convert Your Roof into a “Cool” Roof
Based on recent research, a “cool” roof can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s rays. As a “cool” roof absorbs less heat, it protects your manufactured home against solar heat gain, keeping it cooler. The easiest way to convert your old roof into a “cool” roof is to apply a reflective roof coating. If your roof is near the end of its lifespan, it’s best to replace it with a new “cool” roof.
Opt for Tankless Water Heating
According to EERE, opting for an Energy Star-certified tankless water heater can be more energy efficient than using conventional storage water heaters, particularly for households that use up to 41 gallons of hot water daily. Besides saving energy every day, tankless water heaters have longer service lives than conventional storage water heaters, which could translate into hefty savings in the long run.
It’s also important to know that a manufactured home’s HVAC system accounts for about 48% of the total household energy use. As you’re trying to make your manufactured home more energy-efficient, opting for a high-efficiency HVAC system could help you get closer to achieving your goal.