Although manufactured homes have a similar exterior appearance, their internal structure can be different. As a result, they may require different types of HVAC systems. Knowing what type of system you have in your manufactured home is very important mainly because some HVAC systems require additional maintenance tasks to be performed.
Basically, there are two types of HVAC systems that can be installed in manufactured homes:
central systems, which use air ducts and vents to distribute the cold or warm air throughout the home; or ductless mini-split systems, which connect an outdoor unit to one or more air handlers that are located inside the home. These systems allow you to control the temperature in individual rooms or areas.
HVAC Maintenance Tips to Improve Your Comfort While Lowering Your Bills
As a manufactured homeowner, you know already that part of staying comfortable in your home is making sure that your HVAC system is working properly. Whether you have a central or a mini-split system, the following tips will allow you to keep it running smoothly, increase its energy efficiency, prevent unexpected breakdowns, and prolong its service life.
Replace or Clean Your Air Filter – The air filter is one of the most important components of an HVAC system. That's because a clogged filter can negatively affect the efficiency of your system, which needs to work harder and for longer periods of time in order to reach the pre-set temperature. Besides putting extra strain on your system, a dirty air filter could lead to a series of problems, including reduced airflow, overheating, frozen evaporator coil, and premature system failure. Additionally, a clogged filter could increase the amount of dust and allergens in your manufactured home, as well as the energy consumption by up to 15%, according to the DOE. One way to prevent all these issues is to replace or clean your air filter regularly, according to the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule. A good rule of thumb is to check the filter once a month and clean or replace it as often as required.
Keep the Outdoor Unit Free from Debris – Dust, dirt, and debris, like leaves, twigs, and stems, could accumulate on and around the outdoor unit of your HVAC system, blocking the airflow and preventing your system from operating efficiently. As the outdoor unit includes the condenser coil, which plays a vitally important role in the cooling function of your HVAC system, it's important to clean it on a regular basis. To clean the unit properly, remove the dirt accumulated around it, and use a vacuum or a soft-bristle brush to clean the fins. If there is a lot of dust, dirt, and debris accumulated inside the unit, it's better to call in a professional HVAC technician, who will be able to inspect, clean, and identify any issues that may affect the efficiency and performance of your HVAC system.
Clean Your Ductwork and Vents – Depending on the type of manufactured home you have, the ductwork can be located within the belly board or in the attic. To clean your ductwork, you first need to remove the bolts that hold the air ducts in place. Then, pull the ducts free from the vents and drag them out for cleaning. You can clean your air ducts with a mold remover or a disinfectant and rinse them with clean water using a garden hose. Once your air ducts are dry, you can put them back into place. To clean your vents, you need to remove their covers and use a vacuum cleaner to suction out dust, debris, and dirt. Ductless mini-split systems don't have ductwork. However, you should clean your air handler(s) periodically in order to keep your HVAC system in top shape.
Check and Clean the Evaporator Coil – When the evaporator coil gets dirty, the performance and effectiveness of your HVAC system can be greatly reduced. A dirty evaporator coil could lead to different problems, including inconsistent airflow, lower cooling capacity, uneven cooling, higher energy consumption, and ice buildup that may cause higher operating pressures and temperatures. As a result, the system may fail unexpectedly. To prevent problems with your HVAC system and ensure that it can provide the cooling and dehumidification necessary to keep your manufactured home comfortable even during the hottest summer days, it's important to check the evaporator coil on a regular basis.
All these maintenance tasks will pay off in the end. But in addition to following these HVAC maintenance tips, you should also have your system serviced by a professional at least once a year. Regular maintenance will allow you to keep your HVAC system in good working order and prolong its life, while also making your manufactured home more comfortable year-round.