Effective Winter Preparations For The Mobile Home
Winter’s here, and you need to winterize your mobile home. But winterizing homes are more than just insulation. Keeping the winter air out is crucial, so sealing areas that may allow the outside air in is especially important.
These are areas that you should seal to save energy and keep warm at the same time:
- Large air leaks in the ceiling, floor, and walls
- Floor cavity used as a return-air plenum
- Leaking water heater
- Leaking ducts
- Installing tight interior storm windows
- Caulking and weatherstripping
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Duct and Furnace Systems
If your house was built during the 1970-80s, you would have on the ceiling or on the floor large return-air ducts. In this case, it is worth hiring a professional to seal the return air plenums because you cannot do it on your own. Any furnace closet with a main return-air opening either in your floors and ceilings or the sidewalls of the closet should also be sealed.
Sealing your duct connector and furnace base can significantly save you some money because there are lesser air leaks. Forced-air ducts in particular are prone to leaking air. They are usually located on the floor but you might find them on your ceiling in some areas. If you don’t ensure that these ducts are regularly sealed, you will be allowing quite a bit of cold air into your house and letting it eat into your energy consumption.
How to seal ducts
These ducts can be sealed with silicone caulking when it comes to smaller-sized holes and aluminum foil butyl tape for larger holes and corners before covering it with a layer of mastic for long-lasting power. If the holes are too big for these, then you need to secure a metal patch over the hole before sealing off the edges with the mastic and tape afterward.
This process is ideal to be done under your home, but you can also seal from inside your house. Registers can be sealed with tape or mastic to decrease the air leaks as well.
Plumbing and water heaters
The plumbing system in a manufactured home will have pipes coming up from the floor rather than through the walls. As such, unlike a built-on-site home, a mobile home will see many cracks that allow the cold air to gush into the house. Thus, in order to prepare to live in a mobile home during winter, you need to properly seal all the ducts and drain pipes, especially around your washing machine and drain lines, bathtubs and sinks. Do not forget your water heater chimney as well – always check and seal them if necessary.
Absence of an underbelly
The underbelly is a sheeting under your mobile home and is either made of heavy tar paper or plastic. Underbellies are especially important because not only do they protect your house from the outside cold, they prevent any animals or pests from coming and camping under your house as well as prevent any ground moisture from seeping into your home. It will thus do you well to make sure that your underbelly is present and perfectly functioning, and if possible, add a ground moisture barrier for an extra shield.
Exhaust fans are compulsory in home kitchens but they are usually not visible from inside your homes, so many owners forget about them when winterizing their homes. However, be careful that you do not make this mistake because it is another way for the cold air to enter your homes as well. Make sure you caulk around the exhaust fan on your ceiling well.
When it comes to the marriage line, there is a rubber seal to tightly seal out the cold air. However, they do not work well if your home has become unbalanced. To prevent this, you should seal and surround the marriage line with some insulation just in case.
Talking about areas that most owners miss, light fixtures are another one. The light fixtures are very prone to leaking air. Mobile homes especially, are built such that there are gaps of air in between your inner walls, the ceiling, and the roof. Obviously, they all need to be sealed, either by caulk for smaller holes or to create a frame to rest between the ceiling or the wall and the receptacle.
Make your mobile home’s tie-downs looser
It is wise for you to loosen up the tie-downs of your mobile home a few inches before winter so that your house can shift around if the ground freezes. Otherwise, they might strain your tie-downs and eventually your joists and chassis as well.
Maintaining your furnace
As for your heating system, they should always be resistant to weather conditions. Luckily, ensuring this is relatively easy to do by yourself if you don’t have someone professional to help you.
- Change your filters at least once every month
- Clean outdoor coils
- Ensure that the drain from the system is free of debris and unclogged
- Discard any debris and leaves
Cleaning up your gutters is not the most pleasant thing to do, but this chore is absolutely crucial when getting your mobile home ready for winter. If the gutters are not clean and there are still tree branches clogging them, then they won’t drain. The problem worsens when the freezing temperature results in ice inside of the gutters and holds snow and ice against the seam of your roof. The ice is rather heavy and can damage your gutter as well as siding and windows as it falls. Again, this problem can be easily prevented by discarding any tree branches from your gutters and then spraying them with water until you see the water flowing out. Keep an eye on your gutters regularly even throughout winter so that there is no buildup of snow or ice as well.
Winterizing your mobile home may seem tedious and costly, but they are actually a great investment for you to stay warm and comfortable throughout winter and save a bit of money over time too. If you know your house is older, then it is worth investing more in winterizing your home. Now you don’t have to worry about splurging on your heating bills anymore!