The average life span of a furnace can range from ten to thirty years, while mobile home furnaces will last for an average of fifteen years. Whether you are upgrading to a more energy efficient model, or your old furnace has stopped working, it is vital to pick a new model that is sized appropriately for your home. Modular homes require a different type of furnace than regular homes, and there are a few things you need to know in order to properly size a mobile home furnace.
Start by calculating the square footage of your mobile home. If you are not certain, you can always check with the manufacturer for your particular model. Most mobile homes range in size from 900 to 3500 square feet, while newer models may be even larger. It is important to make sure that your calculations are accurate before proceeding to the next step.
Calculate the size of your furnace storage area. Mobile homes will typically have a small closet where the furnace is located. Newer central heating units may be different in size than your old furnace. Measure the area to ensure that the unit will have proper clearance and ventilation.
Decide which type of furnace you want to buy. There may be a slight difference in the heating abilities of gas and electric furnaces. While there is some argument as to which is more efficient, the best rule of thumb to follow is to stick with the type of furnace that was already installed in the home. This will make installation easier.
Calculate how many BTUs you will need to heat your mobile home. This will vary according to your climate. If you live in a warm area, the rule of thumb is 25 to 30 BTU's per square foot. In colder climes, this goes up to 45 BTUs. Take your square footage times the appropriate number to size a mobile home furnace for your home.
Purchase a new furnace. While shopping for a new furnace, remember that the actual output is 80% of the listed BTUs. As an example, if you are looking at a furnace rated for 60,000 BTUs, the actual output would be 48,000 BTUs. Therefore, if your home's square footage requires a 60,000 BTU furnace you would actually need to purchase one that is rated closer to 80,000 BTUs. It is best to err on the side of a higher BTU unit rather than a lower one.