Manufactured homes, despite being a cost-effective housing option, are often associated with high utility bills.
In fact, utility costs can be up to 50% more in a manufactured home relative to a site-built home of the same size and age.
(In this regard) Why Do Manufactured Homes Have High Utility Bills?
While there are many reasons why manufactured homes may have high utility bills, the major causes stem from several issues latent in the construction and design of these homes. Inefficient heating and cooling behaviors plus limited insulation options are immediate blame for higher utility bills in manufactured homes.
If you are considering an alternative housing option, you’re in the right place. This post will discuss the causes of high utility bills in manufactured homes and some inexpensive ways to improve energy efficiency in mobile homes.
Five Reasons For High Utility Bills In Manufactured Homes
Despite the changes in technology and manufacturing processes, manufactured homes are terrible when it comes to energy efficiency relative to site-built homes.
That said, here is why manufactured homeowners have ridiculous utility bills.
1. Inefficient heating and cooling
This is undoubtedly one of the major reasons for high electricity consumption in manufactured homes.
Many manufactured homeowners, particularly those living in regions experiencing significant temperature variations, need decent HVAC systems to create a comforting environment.
This is true, considering that the materials used in constructing these homes aren’t optimized to prevent heat loss.
A report by BC Hydro revealed that about 20% of manufactured homeowners use electric portable space heaters to keep their space warmer in cold winter months.
While these heaters are efficient for small spaces, they are an expensive way to heat a home.
In addition, according to the BC Hydro report, many manufactured homeowners use portable air conditioners to create a cozy ambiance during the summer.
The bad news is that portable air conditioners consume about 10 times more energy than central air conditioning systems.
2. Leaving windows open
If your region doesn’t experience extreme temperature variations, you may benefit from keeping your windows open.
They help regulate temperature swings.
While this is not far from the truth, opening doors and windows can have adverse effects for people living in areas that experience inclement weather.
For instance, opening doors and windows can let warm air in your escape during the winter or cool air escape in the summer.
When the indoors and outdoors atmosphere mingle, they cause your heating and cooling system to strain to provide thermal comfort.
This apparently results in more energy use, which translates into higher utility bills.
3. Poor insulation and limited insulation options
There is no denying that manufactured homes are built following stricter standards.
While the HUD code ensures that these homes are designed and constructed to be strong, durable, fire-resistant, and energy-efficient, the interior air will not stay at the desired temperature for long without proper insulation. The open foundation (manufactured homes are a set of piers) also accelerates the rate of heat loss.
While knowing the importance of proper insulation, many manufactured homeowners do not install sufficient insulation in their walls, floors, and attic.
Insufficient insulation causes the HVAC system to work harder, which ultimately results in hefty utility bills.
Every type of housing can suffer energy efficiency issues.
That said, the structuring of manufactured homes makes them more susceptible to energy efficiency problems, particularly when they age.
Aged manufactured homes might have holes and other structural issues that force the homeowners to overuse or strain their cooling and heating system.
Apparently, this exaggerates the power bills.
5. Appliances and electronics
What kind of appliances do you have?
Are they energy efficient?
Honestly, your devices are consuming energy and probably more than you can imagine.
Here are some of the often-used appliances that could be making you pay more.
Although most of these hot water appliances look innocent, they might be contributing hugely to high utility bills.
Whether it is taking a hot shower or running a load of clothes in a washer, expect your power bill to surge because the hot water systems use a good bit of electricity.
This means it will drain a lot of power just to keep your milk, smoothies, and other foods cold. The long operating hours can quickly raise your power bills.
Washer and dryer
Even if you go for an energy-efficient model, it will still use a considerable amount of energy to heat the water.
These machines use electricity, and bills will certainly shoot up if you use your appliances daily.
Electric oven and stove
These appliances do an excellent job in helping you cook or warm meals.
They also help to make your space warmer during the winter. While their ability to heat the surroundings can be handy in winter, they consume a lot of power and can easily overwhelm your AC.
Appliances and electronics like your TV and media equipment could be the reason for high utility bills.
This is because they can cumulatively use a significant amount of your home’s energy.
To cut down the costs, you will need to go with energy-efficient options and use your appliances responsibly to avoid surging your power consumption.
Leaving your desktop or laptop plugged and switched on can also add to your power bills.
Four Tips For Cutting Down On Manufactured Home Utility Bills
All the work that went into forming the HUD and EPA rules has really paid off for today’s future homes.
Modern manufactured homes are designed and constructed with energy efficiency in mind.
This means people who invest in these homes end up saving some money on the upfront cost and long-term power bills.
All the same, it doesn’t mean that these homes are optimized for power usage.
So if you are a manufactured home resident looking to lower overall utility bills, here are tips that you will find handy.
1. Add proper insulation in your entire manufactured home
Poor insulation is certainly the most common problem manufactured homeowners face.
That said, installing sufficient insulation in your walls, attic, and underneath in the crawling space can significantly lower your energy use.
Proper insulation means better and prolonged retention of desired indoor temperatures.
This means you will easily create an ideal and comfortable environment without straining your HVAC system, which results in lower utility bills.
2. Upgrade your appliances
Old appliances overwork to get the job done, which could be the reason for high utility bills.
You can save yourself hundreds of dollars by upgrading or replacing your old appliances with new energy-efficient ones.
Although the upfront cost of investing in brand new devices can be significantly high, you will ultimately save in the long term.
3. Service your HVAC system
Even with decent heating and cooling systems installed, it is your responsibility to ensure that they are running efficiently.
To ensure that your HVAC system is not overworking and operates at optimal conditions, make sure it is clean and remember to replace parts regularly.
4. Replace your existing lights with energy-efficient compact bulbs
Also, consider investing in motion sensors or solar lights for outdoor illumination.
Install energy-efficient doors and windows.
Make general repair and seal duct ends, joints, cracks, connections, and other air holes.
Update your water heaters: Modern water heaters use advanced technology to reduce energy consumption, which can help you to keep utility bills down.
If you are a manufactured homeowner, it is very important for you to track your power consumption.
By keeping track of your utility bills, you will easily find out what could be contributing to ridiculous power costs.
The good news is that even if you live in a region that experiences severe temperature swings, you can still minimize your energy consumption.