Manufactured Home Furnaces
Manufactured homes are built at a manufacturer's production headquarters and transported to the homeowner's building site. Furnaces designed for mobile homes function differently than those designed for traditionally constructed houses. Your heating and cooling systems should suit your manufactured home's size and type.
Because of smaller air ducts and tighter corners, forced air doesn't flow as freely in a mobile home as in a larger house. That means that buyers need to ensure that the fan blower is designed to suit their specific unit.
We use the terms "manufactured home" and "mobile home" interchangeably. While this is technically not accurate (mobile homes were factory-built dwellings produced before the 1976 HUD code enactment) it matches both terms' common usage.
Brands of Furnaces Built for Mobile Homes
Many of the same manufacturers that make furnaces for traditional homes also sell models for mobile homes. Some brands that are available include:
When shopping for manufactured home furnaces remember that standard home furnaces use different rating systems that are not relevant to a manufactured dwelling. Mobile homes furnaces need to be ducted, vented, and installed differently than furnaces for site-built homes. The ducting system in a mobile home is much smaller than in a site-built home. Mobile home furnaces use a venting system called "sealed combustion". Standard home furnaces do not take these differences into consideration and can be dangerous in a mobile home.
Energy Efficiency and Air Quality
For the sake of energy efficiency, the furnace's incoming vents should be placed where they will be able to function most effectively. For example, in a cold climate, heat ducts work best when placed around the external walls. The heating and cooling units must be built with sealed combustion to draw in outside air without releasing polluted fumes inside. Intake and exhaust vents must be sealed to prevent air from escaping. The air comes in through outlets placed in the floor, outside walls, or ceiling.
Don't waste resources and money by opting for heating and cooling systems that work too hard or not hard enough to keep a pleasant atmosphere. If you live in a more extreme climate and purchase a system that is too small and must work overtime, you'll waste energy and money. It's important to have your manufactured home sized before choosing a heating system.
For more information about mobile home furnaces, log on to the Consumers' Union website.