Mobile homes leave room for improving their insulation. Big savings on energy bills with these easy underpinning, walls, window, and roof projects.
Mobile Home Underpinning
Every mobile home needs underpinning. Metal roofing is the best material for the money period. A DIY insulator may be intimidated by metal because it is more difficult to cut. It is worth the difficulty for the added durability over other materials like PVC.
PVC is the next best option for the money. It installs much easier than metal. Its main drawback is that it is easily damaged by just about anything.
Mobile homes can have more house like exteriors for their crawl spaces. Brick or other stonework can be used. These are the absolute top of the line options. Just have your checkbook ready. Not only are the materials much more expensive, they require a solid concrete footing for proper installation.
Storm Doors and Windows
Storm doors and windows improve the R-value for any opening. Mobile homes often sport windows and doors with very low R-values and need a little assistance. Storm windows reduce both noise and heat transfer. They are available in both interior and exterior models. The interior models are more expensive than the exterior ones but are still far cheaper than replacement windows.
Storm doors also reduce noise and heat transfer. They are one of the number one ranking home improvement projects. A good storm door also adds quality cosmetics to the mobile home. Be careful when tackling a storm door project; it can be complicated.
Insulating Mobile Home Walls
Mobile home walls are often not insulated as well as they should be. The main factor being their thickness. Improving on their performance is more efficient when doing an exterior makeover to the siding. During this project, strip the walls with 2 x 2’s so battens or foam can be added before the siding. Their is little that can be done to the interior of the walls for any practical performance benefits.
Adding a Roof
Due to the process of heat transfer known as convection, heat rises. Most heat loss for mobile homes is attributed to the roof. The roof usually consists of small trusses which supply the shape and strength for the roof and ceiling. It would not be feasible to add any insulation to the “attic” space.
Some gains in temperature maintenance are seen with high performance energy efficient roof coatings are rolled or spayed on. Some of these products boast incredible savings that are not likely to be seen in a real world application.
The best way to improve the effectiveness of the insulation in a mobile home is to build a completely new roof on top of the existing one. The best way to do it is by simply nailing down 2 x 4 plates down the length of the two long walls. Add some rafters, insulation, decking, and roofing and the mobile home becomes much more house like. It does require more initial investment than any of the other projects, but its immediate monetary gain will be appreciated.