How to Winterize Your Mobile Home for Winter and Cut Costs
If you live in a mobile home, you know that year-round the bills are high. They stay high in the summer, because you're running the air. The electricity bill goes crazy in the winter just to keep you warm, and the reason for this: Is that most mobile homes are not insulated well at all.
For the do-it-yourself person, this is a simple fix for a small amount of change. You can and will decrease your electric bills by least $60 per month.
The first suggestion; go to your local Lowe's or Home Depot, and purchase some thick insulation. First thing you want to do is speak to the manager so that you can get a discount because you're buying in quantity. Make sure you have the measurements of your mobile say; it's a 14 x 70 figure out the width of the insulation and the length of the insulation you are purchasing and do your math ahead of time.
So you will know how many bales of insulation to buy and can get the best deal.
You're also going to want to cover the insulation after it's installed. So you want to look for some heavy duty plastic to put over it.
You are also going to need a lot of staples and an electric staple gun.
If your mobile home has skirting just peel back the section, crawl underneath and start rolling out your insulation. Make sure that you staple it like crazy, putting in insulation is actually pretty easy job.
Work around and leave cutouts for any pipes or electrical wires that you may need to get to and just cut your insulation around that. This is easier if you're working with two people as one can be doing the cutting while the other is underneath stapling.
Once the insulation is in place and stapled well then it is time to install the tarp. You want to place this tarp in place, so that's nice and tight, again, you will be doing the cutouts to work around pipes, which is not a problem because then you just super staple in those areas.
I personally just did this to my mobile home, and my electric bills were running roughly $206-$225 a month each and every month. I just received my first electric bill after insulating and my bill had gone down $65. I expect that to be even higher next month as that bill was only for three weeks of me having insulation and not the full four weeks of the bill.
Now, if you don't have skirting. Of course the job is much easier to do because its easy access in and out. However, that brings me to my next step, skirting makes a huge difference in insulating your mobile home. You don't get the wind drafts flying up underneath there from the cold and in the summer you don't get all the heat accumulating underneath.
Insulation can be done fairly cheap, and it can be done by yourself. If you call a company to do this job for you. It will run you approximately $1500 if you do it yourself, It will cost you a about $500.
Now to put on skirting, you can do this many different ways.
1. You can buy plywood cut it to size and screw it on.
2. You can buy lattice and put a plastic backing behind it and screw that on.
Or three you can go to a local scrap yard, and they have pieces of steel all over that they will sell you for a cheap price.
When you are done you can paint it to match the house and it looks great.
Another thing that you really want to make sure that you do is to insulate the roof. The best way to do this on a mobile home is again, go to Home Depot or Lowe's or any hardware store and you'll buy a 5 gallon bucket of roof coating.
It is not typical roof coating this is an insulated roof coating, sometimes known as snow roof or snow coat, although it does come in different names. You will know it's a correct stuff because it is white.
At the same time that you're purchasing this buy yourself a paint roller and if you don't have a large or extra broom handle or some type of tool to be able to stand and roll this out with buy yourself a pole.
At this point, you get up on the roof start in one corner and roll the coating on. I recommend using two coats, however, make sure that the first coat is completely dried before you go to apply the second coat.
Another great thing to do if you cannot afford to put in new windows is in the winter time buy yourself a roll of painters plastic put plastic up on the inside of all your windows. Now you can't see out quite as well, but the wind also cannot get it.
These few steps that I have outlined will drastically reduce your electric bill. Your heating and your cooling bill by at least 45%.
By simple math, lets say your electric bills currently runs at $200 a month, which in turn costs you $2400.00 per year. Now we reduce that bill by the minimum of 45% and now your bill is $110.00 per month and $1320.00 per year.
You have now just saved yourself $1080.00 per year. These figures are based on the adding the insulation alone. If you put up skirting and plastic on the windows you can expect your bill to drop to about $90 per month, which adds up to a huge savings.
The cost for all of this will run you about $600 for everything, so you have saved money the very first few months. In fact you have now paid yourself back what you put out and are now putting money in your pocket each month.