Maybe you already live in a mobile home, or perhaps you think you might like to retire into one.
But wait a minute, what about winter?
Winter in your state is punishingly cold, and you don’t want to spend all your money on heating it.
Do mobile homes get colder than traditional homes?
Why is Your Mobile Home So Cold in Winter?
The reasons why your mobile home gets cold in winter match the reasons any house gets cold – principally, the weather is freezing, and your house has an issue with thermal transfer or an inadequate heating system.
1. Thermal Transfer Makes Your Mobile Home Cold
You may not remember your high school physics, but the heat flow principle is that hot moves to cold.
The natural urge of everything from the universe to your mobile home is for everything to cool down through thermal transfer.
Heat travels from your mobile home directly through air gaps as hot air rushes out and cold air flows in.
Heat moves indirectly through your windows, floor, walls, and roof depending on how effectively you insulate your house.
Thermal transfer is the mechanism for heat transfer, but plenty of other contributing factors make your mobile home cold in wintery weather.
2. Inadequate Insulation
Manufactured homes must meet the HUD standards for insulation levels. The builder puts in precisely the amount of insulation specified as part of the standard provisions.
But there are three thermal zones in the US, and the level of insulation in your mobile home depends on where the manufacturer built your house.
If a house meant for a warm zone moves to a cold zone, the level of insulation for warmth purposes is inadequate – you lose more heat through your external surfaces than a neighbor.
Another contribution to inadequate insulation levels is age (insulation starts dropping off its supports in the walls around 10-20 years) and damage.
Your insulation can get damaged during a remodel or from pests digging into the insulation to make nests or searching for food.
3. Heat Loss Through the Windows
Most heat in any home goes through the window.
You can mitigate the heat loss by using thermal glass, double (or triple) glazing, and using thermal drapes or blinds.
Plus, check your window frames are in excellent repair as leaky window frames push cold air into your home.
4. Inefficient Heating System
If your heating system stops working efficiently, then the temperature in the house will drop rapidly.
The hot air systems are efficient and durable but still benefit from an annual inspection and regular maintenance.
The heating system needs to match the capacity of your home to maintain a steady indoor temperature with the minimum energy requirement.
Signs Your Mobile Home is Too Cold
You may think it is evident that when your mobile house is too cold, you can see your breath and wear enough layers to make a hibernating bear comfortable.
Typical signs that you have cold issues include:
- Excessive energy bills – are you leaking heat?
- Different temperatures in different rooms – you expect a consistent, uniform temperature throughout.
- A cold wind blowing on your neck or ankles – there is a hole or a crack somewhere.
- Frozen pipes – highlights issues with insulation.
- Damp, cold walls inside your mobile home.
- You and your family feel cold all the time.
- When you are outside, the walls feel warm because of heat loss.
How Can You Make Your Mobile Home Warmer?
Improving the energy efficiency of your mobile home works to keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather, so you win all year round.
An energy audit will help you pinpoint the most effective way of improving your energy efficiency.
The top tips for reducing cold in your mobile home include:
- Use spray-on foam insulation to plug any gaps in your walls and insulation.
- Repair and maintain your external skirting – cold air blowing under your mobile home removes heat through the floor.
- Service your HVAC system – keep all parts clean and in excellent condition.
- Use heavy thermal drapes at your windows to keep the heat inside.
- Reduce internal moisture – run an extractor fan after showering and consider dehumidifying to reduce condensation.
- Consider upgrading your insulation.
- Consider upgrading your windows – at least double-glazed and maybe thermally efficient glass.
- Consider installing an economical solar heating panel – it adds extra heat, but it is more affordable because it doesn’t generate electricity.
The one thing you must not do in your quest to stay warm: block the air vents.
Your mobile home needs a constant supply of fresh air.
Blocking the air vents results in pressurizing the inside of the mobile home, stops your heating unit from working efficiently, and risks the buildup of toxic gases.
You need your air vents to be clean and working freely to keep you and your family healthy as well as warm.
What Else Can You Do to Stay Warm in Your Mobile Home?
There are practical steps you can take to make sure you stay warm in your mobile home that involves your lifestyle and approach to being comfortable:
It may be tempting to huddle on the sofa and watch Netflix when the weather is cold outside, but physical movement warms you up.
When you sit still, your body temperature drops, so even if the weather is too hazardous to go for a bracing walk outdoors, get up and move inside.
It does not have to be a monumental workout – simply move your body for ten minutes every hour – walk into the kitchen, do some stretches, dance, or take up juggling.
Physical movement gets your internal body heat working more effectively and is a general health booster helping you fight off winter colds and other ailments.
Several small thin layers trapping an insulating layer of air around your body are more effective than one thick layer.
Your body heat warms up the air around you, and these air pockets mean you benefit from your body heat by keeping you warmer.
In wintertime, you can heat your mobile home to tropical temperatures so you can wander around in shorts and a t-shirt, but why would you?
Dress appropriately to the season, so you stay warm indoors and out.
Hot Food and Drinks
Fuel your body to stay warm and happy.
Psychologically warming winter soups, hot chocolate, and delicious puddings all boost your mental health in winter and provide your physical energy to keep warm and healthy.
Plus, using your oven puts more heat into your home.
Seasonal eating works to satisfy your appetite and provide you with what you need for a healthy lifestyle.
Keep Your Feet Warm
If your feet are cold, you will feel colder than the temperature inside your mobile home indicates. Winter is the time for fur-lined slippers and thick wool socks.
Pop a hot water bottle under your feet if you need to sit and work for a couple of hours at your computer.
Keeping your toes warm makes all the difference to how warm you feel during the day.
Blankets and Hot Water Bottles
A warm snuggly blanket when watching TV or reading a book in the evening adds a warm air layer to counteract the cooling effect of sitting still.
Plus, it gives you that cozy feeling the Danes call Hygge.
Putting a hot water bottle in your bed a couple of hours before you go to sleep warms up the sheets and is less costly than an electric blanket.
Cold weather is time to indulge in nesting behavior, snuggle with a loved one to share body heat, and enjoy the benefits of wintery weather in your warm mobile home.
Close the Curtains
If you are in the house during the day, you will want to benefit from natural light to boost your serotonin levels and keep you happy and lively.
A staggering amount of heat passes from your mobile home to the outside through your windows.
Leave your curtains closed to keep the heat inside your mobile home and reduce your energy costs if you are out working all day.
As it gets dark in the evenings and before it gets light in the mornings, leave your blinds and drapes covering the windows and insulating your home.
Don’t Wear Your Outdoor Clothes Inside
Unless your heating breaks and it is an emergency, you need to add more layers of clothing when you leave your mobile home to go outside.
It is that thing your mother used to tell you about taking your coat off inside, so you benefit from it outdoors.
Outdoor adventurers undress to get into their sleeping bags because you need extra layers to put on in the morning when you get up.
When you go outside, put on extra layers, and you will feel warm while moving around.
If you wear those layers inside, the cold will affect you more when you go outside.
It is a physical effect, not a mental one, but the act of adding and removing outdoor layers as you go out and come in will make you feel warmer inside your mobile home.
Stay Warm in Your Mobile Home
Modern mobile homes are more energy-efficient than older ones.
Staying on top of your maintenance and thermal efficiency means your mobile home provides the best indoor environment in summer and winter.
The actions you take to improve your energy efficiency benefit you in retaining cool and warm air, depending on what you need to be comfortable.
Cold weather can be fun if you adapt to live a warm lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of cozy nights in your mobile home with your loved ones, hot chocolate and marshmallows, snuggly blankets, and a heartwarming film or book.