When the summer sun is shining at its brightest, it may not take long for your charming double-wide to start feeling like an oppressive oven. Both central air conditioning and window units can help, but they do so for a hefty price. Fortunately, a few mobile home cooling hacks can help keep you comfortable in your home and with your energy bills.
Avoid Generating Heat
Sometimes, keeping your mobile home cool is about what you don't do. When the temperature outside starts to rise, avoid running appliances that will increase the temperature inside. Dishwashers, for example, use heat to dry their contents, as do clothes dryers. Avoid running these and other heat-generating appliances on hot days if you can.
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Skip the oven as well. Opt for outdoor grilling or microwave cooking instead when the mercury rises. Remember that incandescent light bulbs generate heat as well. Keep lights turned off when you can or switch to cooler CFL or LED bulbs.
Get Air Moving the Right Way
In the summer, you will feel cooler if you can get air moving across your skin, so grab some box fans or a ceiling fan and get some air going. Many ceiling fans can spin both counterclockwise and clockwise depending on the season. You want the fan blades to spin counterclockwise in the summer for a cooling effect.
When circulating air, opening the windows in your home can be an asset or a detriment. A little know-how can help you get it right. It makes sense to monitor the air temperature both inside and outside your home. When the air outside is cooler, opening the windows is a good idea most of the time. Tread carefully here, however.
If you have an air conditioner, it works by removing the humidity in the air. Even if the air outside is cooler, letting it in your home if it's humid can be a mistake that will make your air conditioner work harder when it's time to close the windows again. Ventilate your home cautiously if you live in an area where humidity is an issue.
Cover Your Windows
A beautiful sunbeam pouring into a room looks cozy and cheery, but it also makes the room hot. To prevent unwanted heat from coming into your windows, it's best to cover them. How you cover them is up to you. You can opt for thick, room-darkening curtains. If you want to be able to see out, you can instead install awnings over your mobile home's windows to keep direct sunlight at bay.
If you want to stop people from seeing in while still being able to see out, opt for tinted window reflection film. The right film can reflect away up to 70 percent of the sun's heat. Window film can also block the UV rays that fade carpets and furniture over time.
Coat the Roof
A good way to keep a mobile home cool in the summer is to apply a reflective roof coating to redirect the sun's rays. One option for doing so is an aluminized asphalt roof coating. This is the most common choice since it's easy to apply. This type of coating can block 60 percent of the sun's rays but is very sticky. Its reflective capacity drops to around 40 percent when dust and dirt accumulate on the sticky roof.
Your other option is a white elastomeric roof coating that can reflect 70 to 85 percent of the sun's rays and lasts for 10 years. You can apply this coating to a metal roof directly but will need to prime an asphalt roof before installation.
Before you get too excited about coating your roof, keep in mind the winter conditions in your area. A reflective coating is quite beneficial in the summer, but it can make your mobile home colder in the winter. The sunlight you want to avoid in July can help make your home warmer in January. Roof coatings are best reserved for those who live where the climate is mild all year.