How To Keep A Mobile Home Cool In The Summer

Mobile homes are a great option for many people – but summertime definitely isn’t a lot of fun at times! Dealing with heat can be tough especially if you want to keep your power bills low.

In this article, I’ll share some great ways to help you keep your mobile home cool.

How to keep a mobile home cool in the summer

how to keep a mobile home cool in the summer

The easiest way to keep a mobile home cool in the summer is to use an air conditioner. Most newly constructed mobile homes can have the option to include central air conditioning.

If this is an option and you live in a place that gets hot in the summer, it is easiest to install an air conditioner right away when the mobile home is built and everything is hooked up on your property.

Once you have an air conditioner in place, be sure to regularly change the air filter and have the system serviced to keep it working properly. Being serious with maintenance will allow the system to keep your mobile home cooler.

How to cool an older mobile home

If you live in an older mobile home or if your mobile home doesn’t include central air conditioning, there are still some great options for keeping it cool.

  • Window or portable air conditioner: These units can be set up in the rooms that you spend the most time in when at your mobile home.  Both types need access to a window for ventilation.
  • Portable fans:  Place portable fans throughout your mobile home to help circulate the air and cool down the temperature.
  • Install ceiling fans: These will also help to spread the air. Make sure they are rotating in the proper direction for the season.
  • Use heavy window coverings: Use blackout curtains, heavy curtains, or shades that will block out as much light and possible.  Keep the shades closed when the sun is at its brightest to keep the heat out of your mobile home.
  • Install sunscreens: Use only sunscreens or install sunscreens behind curtains to keep out even more heat. Many of these even allow you to still be able to see outside.
  • Put film that reflects heat on your windows:  This film works like sunscreens to block the heat from the sun.
  • Avoid heating up the house:  Enter and exit your mobile home quickly, so as not to let in too much heat.  Also avoid using the oven or the stove when it’s hot, as this raises the temperature inside the home.  BBQ outside as much as you can in the summer.
  • Use a dehumidifier: Humidity makes the air feel hotter. Running a dehumidifier will reduce humidity levels inside your home and make the air feel cooler.
  • Take care of insulation problems in your mobile home: Work with a company to add mobile home roof insulation and block air leaks.
  • Add energy-efficient features: Have a special roof coating applied, a cool roof coating can reflect up to 85% of the sunlight.  New energy-efficient windows can also help a lot.
  • Install new siding:  If your mobile home was made with aluminum siding, consider having new siding installed to help keep your home cooler.

Why do mobile homes get so hot in summer?

why do mobile homes get so hot in summer

Luckily, newer mobile homes are better made to keep the heat out during the summer and during the winter.  Newer units have better insulation, siding, and roofing to make them more comfortable during extreme temperatures.

However, older mobile homes usually don’t include all of these advancements. Many older mobile homes don’t have much insulation in them.

Sometimes the insulation in an older mobile home might be as little as 1/4″ thick Styrofoam. Another problem is the siding.

If your mobile home is covered in aluminum siding, this is going to attract heat. This is also true of aluminum roofs.

Older mobile homes often also have older windows and are prone to air leaks. Anytime the hot air from outside can get inside, it’ll make it much hotter.

How big of an air conditioner do I need for a mobile home?

There are several different options for an air conditioner for a mobile home. Each comes with its own costs, benefits, and downfalls.

Central air conditioning for a mobile home

central air conditioning for a mobile home

There are many benefits to choosing central air conditioning for your mobile home.  These units will reduce moisture and send cool air to every room in your home through the vents.

To find the right size unit, simply find out the square footage of your mobile home by multiplying the length by the width.  After you have this number, take a look at the Energy Star BTU (British Thermal Unit) chart and find the correct sized unit for your mobile home.

The size of the unit also depends on what zone you live in. You will need larger units in hotter climates.  An HVAC professional can help you figure out the correct unit for your mobile home.

As a starting point, a 1.5-ton air conditioning unit would be needed for a home up to 1,000 square feet.  A two-ton unit would be used in a home from 900 to 1300 square feet, and a 2.5-ton unit would be used in a mobile home 1200 to 1600 square feet.

Window air conditioning unit for mobile homes

window air conditioning unit for mobile homes

Window air conditioning units are generally used to cool only one room, but it’s possible to send cool air throughout your mobile home, especially if you use extra portable fans.

For a room that is less than 150 square feet, a unit with a BTU rating of 5,000 BTU should do the job.  8,000 BTUs will cool 300 to 350 square feet, 12,000 BTUs will cool 500 to 650 square feet, and 25,000 BTUs will cool between 1,300 and 1,600 square feet.

Portable air conditioning unit for mobile homes

portable air conditioning unit for mobile homes

A portable air conditioner is much easier to install than a window unit. It only needs a vent to be placed in the window and to be plugged in.

Portable air conditioning sizing is slightly different than window units because a portable air conditioner sits completely inside the room and the unit itself gets a bit warm.

A few common sizes for portable air conditioning units are 10,000 BTU for 300 square feet or less, 10,000-14,000 BTU for 500 square feet, and 14,000+ BTU’s for more than 500 square feet.

James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »