Asked on Jul 30, 2013

Extreme temperatures in our mobile home

Gay Storm
by Gay Storm

We live in a 27 ft. wide, 72 ft. long mobile home that is 4-1/2 years old. One end (our master bedroom and master bath is facing north. During the winter, this area is freezing (especially the bathroom), and in the summer is much hotter than the rest of the home. Does anyone know what could cause that? I've been told it's just because of the way it is facing. Is there any solution to this problem? I have 2 fairly large windows in the bedroom, and they have faux wood blinds on them that are kept closed most of the time. The bath has 2 big windows that almost meet at the front corner and surround the oversize jacuzzi type of tub. Only valances on those windows. The glass is the type you cannot see through. Anyone out there with similar issues? I would really appreciate some help with how to keep a house warm without central heat, more specifically this room if possible, thank you.

  27 answers
  • Patricia Cleveland Patricia Cleveland on Jul 30, 2013
    @Gay Storm: a pro could probably help you more, but one thing you could do is put pet screening (or sometimes called "solar") on the windows that have the most heat coming thru. Indoor blinds won't really help at all. Do you know what kind of insulation the mobile home has?
  • Sandra Smith Dornick Sandra Smith Dornick on Jul 31, 2013
    I just installed the Solar Screen on a large south facing window (in Florida) and it has reduced the heat build up significantly. I purchased it at Home Depot ... it's a wonderful product.
  • Z Z on Jul 31, 2013
    I too love the solar screening. Both HoDe and Ls carry it around here. I still think we need a professional to help you. I'm going to tag Bob at @Woodbridge Environmental to help you out.
  • Patricia Cleveland Patricia Cleveland on Jul 31, 2013
    Go for it Becky in Blair, NE! I'll try to remember to check with my husb.-dabbles in home energy etc.
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Jul 31, 2013
    I don't know what kind of insulation we have, I just know it is insulated. I will check out the solar screening you speak of. Does it go on the outside? I have a feeling it needs more than that, but it might be a good start. Thanks for the suggestion.
  • Judy Judy on Aug 01, 2013
    You may have a duct runs from the furnace that are faulty, not connected or are leaking or that aren't insulated...
  • Kristine Fiddelke Kristine Fiddelke on Aug 01, 2013
    We lived in a double wide in Lakeland FL for 13yrs. In the Evening our porch and kitchen was much warmer or cooler than the rest of the house. We had Awnings put up on the porch windows and the large kitchen window and it helped cool these areas by 10 to 15 degrees in the summer. We also had reflective window film put on the windows which I forgot to say. In the winter I would close some vents that were warmer rooms or adjust them and more heat came into these areas. I hope this will help you as it did us.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Aug 01, 2013
    Mobile or manufactured homes often are a bit weak in the insulation dept. One step that will help you address the problem would be to have an energy audit performed. The higher quality inspections will often use thermal imaging cameras to find hot and cold spots. Considering you are in Fresno, your winter weather is pretty mild compared to many other locations...Your coldest months averages never even get below freezing...let alone the sub zero stuff we get off and on throughout the winter. If your over heating is due to "solar" gain then some window shading or landscaping could help a lot.
  • A few things come to mind with your issues. Windows of course have a big impact on comfort. Insulated drapes are the easiest fix for that. Even if the windows are not leaking, any warm air that comes into contact with the metal frames or the glass cools quite quickly causing air dropping and the feeling that the windows are leaking air. There are solar films that can be purchased, these films reflect radiant heat into and out of the home. They can result in much higher comfort levels and lower utility bills at the same time. Higher quality films only darken the room slightly so you hardly notice. But their reflective nature can result in dramatic changes in comfort. By keeping your warm or cool air in and the hot sun out. Duct air delivery also can be a issue. Oftentimes these ducts are located outside under the home. These ducts are exposed to the outside weather. In extreme cold or heat they need to overcome those temps just to deliver enough heating or cooling to do their job. If the insulation has failed or is failing this can result in poor comfort issues within the home. A qualified HVAC person can help solve that issue for you. Dirty filters or blowers in the heating/cooling system also can cause issues. A slight build up of dust on the blower can result in dramatic loss in air flow. So be sure that the blower is clean and properly maintained. As KMS stated a home energy audit will shed light on the issue. Even just a infrared scan of the home will show where leaks are located and what is working and what is not.
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 01, 2013
    This is very helpful - I believe PG&E will do an energy audit for free. Insulated drapes would be ok for the bedroom, but definitely not in the bathroom. I don't think it's a matter of age because it has been this way since we first moved in and it was brand new. We are both retired and live solely on social security, so our funds are extremely limited. The solar film idea seems to be the most practical for us at this time. Thanks for all the suggestions. BTW, even thought Fresno winters are not as extreme as Colorado (we lived there for 3 years), it does get to below freezing during the coldest months. No snow though! At our age (late 60's, late 70's) we feel it more.
  • Gay, the free energy audits that the utilities do will not cover your issues. They in fact are not doing an audit, but a energy evaluation. The difference being they are looking for home owners who have older heating and cooing equipment in their home and want to encourage them to change those units out that cost more to operate. Thus saving them money on making more powerful generating systems or having to improve their utility delivery systems. They could care less if one room is warm or not. A true energy audit will cost around $300 or so. These guys/gals, do what is called a CAZ test where they determine if appliances are venting properly, then test the combustion efficiency of your fuel use appliances, Then they do a blower door test where they install a fan in the main entrance door and create a slight vacuum of sorts to measure how leaky the home is overall. During that part they determine what measures can be taken to correct the leaks thus saving you money. A typical true energy audit on evaluation takes around two to three hours on most homes. The energy evaluation by the utility takes around 15 min. All they look at is your furnace, your cooling system, your fridge and freezer, your thermostat and in some cases your oven/stove. And if they find any of these old, they recommend replacement.
  • Z Z on Aug 01, 2013
    Thank you Bob! I knew you could help. Thanks for Kevin too. I almost tagged you too.
  • Judy Judy on Aug 01, 2013
    Gay, one more person joining in..I agree with the pros and with the other Judy. My husband is an HVAC contractor. Many mobile homes in our area, the duct work would be the first thing I would check. Very often it sags or separates underneath. Might be a good idea to insulate the duct work if it isn't (or is not done well). Good luck.
  • Patricia Cleveland Patricia Cleveland on Aug 01, 2013
    @Gay Storm: all great ideas! The solar screening goes on the outside of the window-you might have to make frames for them and attach to the present window. For summer, you could also grow vines in that area and train them to cover the window. Good luck!
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 01, 2013
    Thanks - Growing vines would not be possible - we have no yard to speak of. I am going to check out the solar screening. I don't have any way to check the ducts - I wouldn't go under our home and we cannot afford to pay someone to do it. Thanks anyway for the suggestion.
  • Z Z on Aug 01, 2013
    If you do replace your current screens with solar screen fabric, you'll want to make sure to remove the framed screen in the winter so you'll get the warmth of the sun through the windows. Another thing you can do is use your existing blinds to help control the solar heat. Keeping them shut is great when you are trying to keep out heat, but in the winter you'll want to open them up aiming them so the light comes either straight in the room on angled so the rays warm you when you are in the room. I do have one question. Has the extreme temps always been this way or something that happened since you bought your home?
  • Norma Smith Norma Smith on Aug 02, 2013
    Insulated window treatments will help in both the winter and the summer. Solar Shades will only help to keep it cooler in the summer.
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 03, 2013
    @ Becky - yes, it's been this way since we moved in. This summer has been particularly hot, with many days running in triple digits. The cold in the bathroom in the winter is the worst. I cannot put insulated window treatments in the bathroom. There is just too much dampness from the shower. My friend in the park says it's because of the direction we are facing (end faces north). Thanks for your interest.
  • Z Z on Aug 03, 2013
    Thank you Gay. My guess would be that the duct work from the furnace and cooling unit is on the far side of your home and it's losing it's heat or cool by the time it gets to your room. We had this problem here in our upstairs bedroom so we wrapped all the duct work with a special wrapping made for this sort of thing. It didn't dawn on me right away that might be your problem. My guess is your duct work is all under your mobile home so you don't have easy access to do as we did. We figured if this didn't work we'd have to add a blower in the duct work somewhere along the way. Again not easily accessible for you. My only other thought at the moment would be to make sure the door to those rooms are open for circulation and us solar heat in the winter and thermal lined window panels in the summer heat. As for your bathroom, I would say add a little heater in the winter and fan in the summer. Without being able to use window treatments to help that is the only thing I can think of that would help at least.
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 04, 2013
    @ Becky: I think you are right about the distance of the furnace/a/c to the bedroom. We do use a small space heater in the winter in the bathroom. Don't need a fan in the summer, but it is definitely a big change in temperature once you walk through the door to our bedroom and bathroom. I really don't like using the space heater because it uses so much energy, but sometimes we just have to because it is freezing cold in there - especially if you are getting out of the shower. Right now I don't have funds for any kind of fix-its, but I will keep all the suggestions in mind. Thank you.
  • Z Z on Aug 04, 2013
    Our bathroom doesn't get cold in the winter, but we still use a heater so we don't feel cold coming out of the shower so I can imagine the need in a cold shower. I'm sorry you couldn't find an easy and inexpensive answer.
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 05, 2013
    @ Becky: Thanks - I appreciate your interest, and I do like some of the answers, just have to wait a little while until I am in better financial shape. My husband and I are both on SS and have no other income, so we have to be very careful. I could go wild with fixits and other projects!
  • Becky56 Becky56 on Dec 17, 2013
    we live in a 28 x 80 . We had that problem. We solved it in two steps. First, we replaced the original heat/cooling unit with an efficient heat pump. The problem got better. But what really made a difference was when we had the flexible crossover duct under the house replaced with an actual sheet metal duct duct like you would find on a site built house. Was a great $200 investment.
  • Eld223427 Eld223427 on Jun 30, 2015
    I have the issue of cold closet in winter and hot closet in summer.......NO insulation in that space!
  • Susan E Susan E on Aug 16, 2015
    PG&E has a low income energy program. They came to my house and added solar screens, little insulating pads in all of the electrical outlets, some insulation around the doors. They also installed a low flow shower head and replaced all the light bulbs with CFLs. I live on social security also, and there was no cost to me. If I had had an old refrigerator or microwave, they would have replaced that, too, as well as added ceiling insulation. The most important was the solar screens, which were made custom for my south and north facing windows.
  • Les and Gina Les and Gina on Dec 31, 2015
    where is your thermostat at? most mobile home makers are lazy they like to put the thermostat close to the furnace when should be the farthest point and on an inside wall. We have bought several mobile homes ( we own parks ) and every single one of them we had to move the thermostat. Hope that helps you.
  • Quanna Jo Brown Quanna Jo Brown on Jun 15, 2022

    We had the same problem except it was our living room and kitchen which are of course joined but the issue was the rooms were too opened without the extra walls or enclosed rooms. Perhaps your room is more open concept. Our ac wouldn’t shut off until about 10 pm each night in the summer. The thermostat is located in the living room as well so we would freeze in all the other rooms. I don’t think distant from ac unit matters. The ac works by cooling the walls. If your registers are a good distance from the wall, and not enough of them for the size room, that’s a problem. We solved the problem by putting a small window unit in the kitchen window to help cool those two rooms. You may think it sounds more expensive energy wise but it was not. It saved us money because it would let our main Central unit shut off and on instead of running all day. Actually now we don’t even use our central for air. We use two window units and have a third that we use occasionally. Our electric bill is much cheaper and we stay much cooler. We live in Oklahoma too. Try a small window unit in your room for really hot days.