Furnaces for Manufactured Homes
Updated Jan. 21, 2017
By Chris Brooks
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. Mobile home furnaces can burn gas, propane or oil.
Mobile homes furnaces need to be ducted, vented, and installed differently than standard residential furnaces. 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. 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:
Furnaces build for mobile homes will have a label or a metal data plate stating that they are approved for use in manufactured homes -- don't buy a furnace that doesn't have the label.
The total cost of installing a new furnace includes the labor cost and the equipment cost. Equipment costs include:
- Oil furnaces operate at about 80% efficiency, and cost around $1,500
- Natural gas / propane furnaces start at around $800 for an 80% efficient furnace, and range up to around $1,500 for a 95% efficient furnace
- Electric furnaces for manufactured homes start at around $600