What Are Your Best Insulation Options For A Manufactured Home?
Purchasing your own gently used manufactured home and placing it on raw land you already own can be a great way to achieve homeownership at a low cost. In other cases, you and your family may move into a manufactured home for a year or two while your dream home is being constructed. However, manufactured homes are designed to be much thinner and lighter than stick-built homes, making them less thoroughly insulated -- and more prone to heat loss during winter and stifling temperatures during summer. What can you do to improve your manufactured home's insulation and lower your heating and cooling bills for years to come? Read on to learn more about some aftermarket insulation options that can increase the comfort and efficiency of your home.
In many cases, wrapping your home's ductwork with insulating film (often aluminum-based) can stem a great deal of the winter heat loss between your furnace and vents. This film can be purchased at most hardware or home supply stores and installed relatively easily by a homeowner with a free weekend day. To access the ducts, you may need to do some crawling inside your utility closet or beneath your home's skirting so that you can thoroughly cover all surfaces with this reflective insulating wrap.
When wrapping your home's ductwork to protect against heat loss, you may want to give your windows some attention too. Many hardware stores sell a clear wrap for your windows that shrinks to fit each nook and cranny, blocking drafts and preventing the glass from siphoning warm air from the inside to the outside during winter. In many cases, simply insulating the main duct traveling from your furnace and all your home's windows with insulating wrap can improve your manufactured home's efficiency enough to put a noticeable dent in your electric or gas bill.
UV-reflecting window shades
For homes with windows that face due south, east, or west, purchasing reflective window shades or curtains can go a long way toward keeping summer sun from heating your home to uncomfortable temperatures during midday or evening. In winter, you'll be able to reverse these shades so that they absorb the sun's rays, heating your home from within while preventing any heat loss to the outside. As a bonus, because these shades are able to block nearly the entire spectrum of ultraviolet rays that would otherwise penetrate your window glass, they'll be able to minimize any fading or discoloration of couches, tables, carpet, or other furnishings.
Although heat tape can keep your manufactured home's pipes from freezing to bursting during the winter months, they may not provide enough insulation to keep your water flowing when the outside temperature is well below freezing. Replacing your manufactured home's thin or flimsy skirting with a thicker, insulated skirting (like one made of fiberglass or PVC) can go a long way toward keeping your pipes cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Replacing damaged skirting can provide a number of other benefits as well, from keeping neighborhood pests (like feral cats or raccoons) from nesting beneath your home to preventing erosion from storm runoff.
If your home's skirting has already been replaced recently and you like its look but not its insulating properties, you may be able to create your own insulation with recycled cotton or denim batting. By shredding old blue jeans, cotton blankets, towels, and other old items of clothing, using these shredded strips to fill pillowcases, and strategically placing them around your pipes and the border of your skirting, you'll be able to shield the air beneath your home's floor from even the smallest drafts.
For more information, contact a company like Mincin Insulation Service Inc.