Mobile Home HVAC Systems Installation Guide


Jake Smith, Online Marketing Strategist
Technically Reviewed by Jake Smith, Online Marketing Strategist on Nov 01, 2022 | Written by Alpha Mechanical Editorial Contributors

With mobile homes becoming an increasing purchase in the Sacramento area, we want to break down the different manufactured home HVAC systems and provide a homebase for myths around the subject of furnace installation in Sacramento, as well as installation guidelines.

HVAC For Mobile Homes

Option #1: Window AC unit

Although a window air conditioner for mobile home is definitely the least desirable option for optimum energy efficiency and overall comfort.

If you are balling on a budget, this may be a great choice for you to a large extent, however, this varies home by home. The units are usually loud, are limited at capacity to cool only a specific area, and use up a lot of energy. This is not a valuable option if your goal is to reach a similar temperature throughout the home. In order to cool multiple rooms, you would have to purchase multiple units and it does not guarantee that the space will reach the desired temperature as your home has less control over each unit overall.

Option #2: Central air conditioning

If you have a forced-air furnace for heating, this unit will capture the heat inside the home and transport it to an outdoor unit where the heat is released. In most instances, you can also add a central air conditioning system. Cooled air can be circulated around the home using your existing ducts. Central air conditioners are popular and usually cost efficient solutions.

Note: This type of system requires regular maintenance and upkeep to function properly. One of the important parts to maintain is the condensate safety switch. This device shuts off your air conditioner if the condensation that forms on the coils has nowhere to drain, either due to a blockage or a clogged drain pipe. This helps to prevent flooding and damage to your home.

Option #3: Ductless mini-split unit

Some mobile homes in the Sacramento area do not come with ductwork already installed. In this case, it may be wise to install a mini-split. These systems are mounted on the wall with a small unit outside, which is directly connected to an indoor unit. Mini-splits are substantially the better option for a manufactured home ac unit in that they are compact, easy to install, operate quietly and provide more flexibility when cooling your mobile home.

Option #4: Packaged air condition system

Lastly the packaged air conditioning system is a popular choice for cooling mobile homes. With this all-in-one system, the compressor, coils, and air handler are combined in a single unit that is installed outside. Since there’s no indoor unit, it takes up less interior space. However, a packaged AC system may require ducts to be installed. Sacramento duct services can be done effectively and efficiently by Alpha Mechanical.

Mobile Home HVAC Units and Misconceptions

Misconception #1: Central AC is More Efficient than Mini Split Systems

Although it is generally true that the larger the HVAC system, the better the efficiency, mobile homes do not need larger central air conditioner units. A mobile home’s central air conditioner is about 13-15 SEER only but with multiple mini splits running at 20 SEER are more effective and do not have to run as often.

Misconception #2: Central Air Conditioner is Cheaper than Mini Splits

If you have existing ductwork, a central air conditioner can be cheaper than multiple mini splits in terms of purchase and installation cost. On the other hand, if the ductwork in your trailer home needs to be replaced, fixed or upgraded you can save money on all of these services by buying mini-splits is a more cost-effective solution. Mini split system installation is an investment that pays you back in a few short years. If you have a mobile home that has no ductwork altogether, purchasing mini splits is the way to go.

Misconception #3: Mini Splits are Not Sensible for Mobile Homes

Some people suggest that mini splits are only good for small spaces, and double-wide mobile homes are not suitable for this equipment. Mini splits typically have a multi zone system. One outdoor unit can be coupled with 3-5 indoor units. A single multi zone unit has a capacity of around 4 tons or 50,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit) which is more than sufficient for single-wide and double-wide mobile homes.

Need Mini-Split installed at your residence?

Mobile Home Furnace and Air Conditioning

You may be wondering what the best heater for mobile home would be?

Let’s discuss popular heating systems for mobile homes.

The most popular mobile home heating sources are furnaces and heat pumps although wood stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters are also common to find. Majority of mobile homes use a forced-air heating system. This just means that the air is driven through the ducts with a motorized blower. The hot air is pushed out of the furnace and into the ductwork to then come through the vents in each room, this cycle repeats until it matches the temperature set on the thermostat. The warmed air in the home is then sucked back into the furnace via a return duct and the cycle repeats. While the blowers are always powered by electricity, the heat itself can be fabricated from different sources. Natural gas and electric furnaces are the most common but oil-burning furnaces are still around.

Another heating source used in mobile homes is an electric furnace. With a furnace for mobile home heating, however, you must ensure that you choose one that fits your specific home.

Looking for the Right Size for your Mobile Home Furnace?

Trane shares the following list of variables that must be considered to calculate the right heating and cooling systems:

Factors In Mobile Home Furnace Sizing

  • Square Footage
  • Climate Zone
  • Ductwork Size
  • Number and style of windows
  • Natural shade or sunlight
  • Quality and amount of insulation
  • Number of people using the space
  • Heat-generating appliances

Heat pumps can be added to an existing mobile home furnace. However, the components must be properly sized for efficiency. It is easier to buy and install your mobile home furnace and AC all at one time rather than over several years. That includes ductwork. Mobile home heat pumps (and heat pumps in general) are more expensive because they produce both cool and warm air. However, heat pumps might be the best option for you if you are in Northern California.

There are also options within heat pump units:

Packaged heat pumps contain all the heating and cooling elements in one large outside unit. Packaged units are easier to install than split systems but the more rooms and space your home has, the more energy and cost efficient a split system becomes.

Split unit heat pumps are another option as well. A split system has the heat pump sitting outside of the home while the furnace, evaporator coils, and air handler are inside.

Will Trane products work for my home?

Consider Alpha Mechanical Your Trusted Partner

At Alpha Mechanical our goal is to leave you with lasting appliances, peace of mind and comfort in your homes.We never seek to upsell unnecessary equipment or rip off our customers financially when it comes to their HVAC units. Our technicians can break down what’s needed for your heating or air systems to run properly again, the cost of the repair and equipment and what would be most efficient for your mobile home. Our equipment is top of the line and all of our technicians are NATE certified. We even offer coupons and financing through partnered banks.

If you are looking to extend the life of your unit, please take a look at the heating and cooling tune up checklist, and when ready call us to schedule a visit.

At Alpha Mechanical we strive to not only inform our customers before completing the job but keep communication open with our clients so that you’re in the know of the work that needs to be done. Our company does not want to leave you shocked or in despair with a price you did not expect. We ensure that you will have quality service as it is our highest priority.

Final Thoughts

Whether you choose a mobile home electric furnace and air conditioner or a mini-split system, any new mobile home heating system must be approved for your manufactured home. You cannot use a unit designed for a site-built home because not only will it not fit, it will not function in the way it was designed to.

With the new technologies and EnergyStar guidelines, we have some really amazing mobile home heating systems and air conditioning options on the market. Typically all HVAC systems are an up-front investment but with the high-efficiency rating, you can recoup your investment in a few short years. If you are in a position where you are looking for air conditioner installation in Sacramento, look no further than Alpha Mechanical.

Contact us 916.848.5980 and we will get your AC system working great again.

Read here to find out which HVAC clichés to avoid when making decision on purchase or repair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular unit amongst all the mobile home HVAC systems for installation?

The common HVAC system that works optimally for mobile home owners is the mini-split system as it is cost efficient, energy-saving, easy to install and runs quietly in the setting of your home.

Can I install an air conditioner for mobile home use?

Although there are a few AC options, overall whether you have central air conditioning or a packaged air conditioner unit, both of these systems work and can be installed in mobile homes. Some manufactured homes come without ductwork and in those cases it is a more expensive investment upfront. Nonetheless it can be done by a licensed HVAC contractor in Sacramento

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