How to Cool a Mobile Home With a Window Unit

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New manufactured homes usually have the option of adding central air conditioning, but when budget is an issue or the home is an older model, a new HVAC system may be a project for the future. Meanwhile, you can cool a mobile home with a window unit and fans. Add shade and window coverings and while it's not a perfect solution, it will work until you're ready to take the next step with a more efficient cooling system.


Air Conditioner or Evaporative Cooler

Before you begin, determine if a window air conditioner or an energy-efficient evaporative cooler will provide the cool air you need on hot summer days. While evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, provide cool, moist air in hot, dry climates, they are not effective in humid climates. They also need a water source, a ground-fault circuit-interrupter electrical outlet and a sturdy base to hold the unit at window level. A window air conditioner is easily mounted in a window and only requires an electrical outlet.


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Determine the size of the unit needed by measuring the length and width of your mobile home and multiplying the measurements to find the square footage. Thus, a 10 x 60-foot mobile home is 600 square feet. Then, multiply by 20 to find the British thermal units (Btu) of the window unit. A window unit rated at 12,000 to 13,000 Btu is sufficient for a small mobile home.

If possible, install the window unit in the largest room and in a shady or north-facing window. Open the window and remove the window screen. With a helper, lift the unit onto the windowsill. In some cases, you may have to add a shallow shelf to help support the unit in the window.


You can install a piece of plywood or Plexiglass above the window unit. Cut to fit and use self-adhesive weatherstripping around the insert to secure it. Add a panel of rigid insulation board inside the insert for extra hot- and cold-weather protection. Window locks or a broomstick cut to size and dropped into the window track can help hold a sliding window tightly against the air conditioner and insert.


Increase Air Circulation

Open all the interior doors to increase air circulation inside your mobile home. Ceiling, oscillating and box fans help move the cool air through the home. Add-on door fans also help move the air into individual rooms without interfering with the opening or closing of the doors.


When first cooling the home or when showering, turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom to help vent hot air and moisture. Also use the stove exhaust fan when cooking to help keep the temperature in the kitchen at a comfortable level.

Add Shade to Your Space

To increase the efficiency of your window unit, add shade around your home. A shade tree can reduce the temperature of a beige surface, such as a playground slide, from 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 105 degrees on a hot summer day. Even fast-growing trees take several years to grow tall enough to shade a home, but you can quickly add extra shade with trellises and vines, a tall hedge of clumping bamboo or an awning.


Add insulated curtains, window shades or shutters to your windows to block the sun's rays. Install window films to reduce up to 70 percent of the sun's heat and glare. A new bright white elastomeric roof coating applied to the top of your mobile home will also reflect up to 85 percent of the sun's rays and reduce the strain on your window unit. Clean the top of your home thoroughly and apply two coats according to the manufacturer's directions for best results.




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