The Right Mobile Home Heat Pump
Do you need heating and cooling for your mobile or manufactured home? A mobile home heat pump gives you all the advantages of air conditioning along with effective and efficient heating. It also means you don’t have to install a standalone electric heater or furnace that takes up precious interior square footage.
MRCOOL has a lot of heat pumps. There are central heat pumps, ductless heat pumps, and awesomely efficient geothermal heat pumps. Some of these products will fit your lifestyle and home needs better than others.
But which one?
Mobile Home Heat Pump Types
Many of the same buying considerations you would have for a typical air conditioner can be applied to a new mobile home heat pump. You need to consider climate, insulation, interior space, and the price point that will keep you financially comfortable.
Broadly speaking, there are three types of mobile home heat pump from MRCOOL:
Package Heat Pump
A central heat pump for a mobile or manufactured home is typically a package unit. Packages units contain all the essential components such as the coils, compressor, and fan inside a single cabinet. They are installed outside the home, and connect to the air ducts.
Package units can make a great manufactured or mobile home heat pump. They’re easy to install, since the homeowner only has to connect the electrical. There is no need to vacuum, charage, or handle refrigerants in any way. For those with existing air ducts in good condition, a package unit may be the right option.
Ductless Heat Pump
A ductless heat pump consists of an indoor air handler, usually wall mounted, and an outside condenser. Often referred to as a mini-split, a ductless heat pump is smaller than a typical central heating and air conditioning split system. However, some MRCOOL models can connect up to five interior air handlers to a single condenser, and that is more than sufficient to compete with a central air unit in anything but the largest buildings.
The other advantage of a ductless mobile home heat pump is that it can be installed without having to rely on ducts that might be old or damaged. You can put the air handler on any wall you want to ensure you get the right air comfort in spaces you use the most. Plus, thanks to our DIY technology, a ductless mobile home heat pump is one that just about anybody can put in without expensive HVAC tools or specialized training.
Geothermal Heat Pump
Sometimes known as a ground or water source heat pump, a geothermal heat pump is easily the most energy efficient mobile home heat pump option available. Now, that being said, these units do have some very specific operating requirements.
First, you can’t just put a geothermal heat pump anywhere. Most installations require a significant amount of outdoor surface area or depth. Because you’re most likely going to have to install a horizontal loop system or a vertical loop system in the ground around your house.
Horizontal loops need significant space. Vertical loops go down deep. If you don’t have a big lot, horizontal isn’t an option. If you have very rocky ground, vertical is out. If you don’t have either of those things, then a geothermal heat pump is most likely not going to be your next mobile home heat pump system.
Plus, installation is not cheap even if you meet all the requirements. It can cost $20,000 or more to have a geothermal heat pump installed. The average price of a double-wide manufactured home in the US is roughly $105,000, so when you factor in that a geothermal heat pump costs almost a quarter of the amount, you can see why this is not the most popular option.
Now, all that being said and with the installation requirements in mind, geothermal heat pumps simply are some of the best and most energy efficient heating and air systems available. Some homeowners reduce their annual utility costs by up to 75%. Which is a whole heck of a lot. So, if you live in a region with high electricity bills and you can take advantage of lucrative geothermal incentives, then a geothermal mobile home heat pump should be a serious consideration.
Other Factors to Consider
Once you figure out the basic type of mobile home heat pump you want, here are a few other considerations to keep in mind:
Heat pumps have two energy measurements because they cool and heat. The cooling element is measured by Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER) which is the same as air conditioners. As with air conditioners, the northern states have a minimum SEER of 13, while the mid and southern states have a minimum rating of 14 SEER.
When it comes to generating heat, these systems get measured by something called Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF), and the minimum federal rating for a heat pump is 7.7.
In warmer climates, a higher SEER is more crucial while in colder environments, a higher HSPF is better. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy states that you should consider buying a heat pump with a minimum SEER of 15 and a HSPF of 8.5.
Just like air conditioners, the location of your heat pump can affect the performance and efficiency. When you are picking the spot for any outside mobile home heat pump components, choose a place away from the elements, especially high winds. Placing a small fence in front of the coils can help, but don’t get too close or you’ll obstruct air flow (which is bad).
To avoid unnecessary noise pollution, place the heat pump away from windows. While they are quieter than air conditioners, they still operate at around 70 dB, which is just below the noise level of a vacuum cleaner. You don’t want that kicking on right outside your bedroom window in the middle of the night.
Insulating your mobile home will increase the performance of the heat pump while reducing running costs. Historically older mobile homes have poor insulation, so it may be worth tackling that task before you invest in a heat pump. In essence, your heat pump is only as efficient as your home. Also, installing programmable thermostats can increase efficiency by automatically adjusting the temperature according to the climate, saving you as much as 10% annually on your heating bill.
A good MRCOOL mobile home heat pump is worth every cent. Not only will it keep you cool in the summer, they will also keep you warm in winter. Plus, they dehumidify, removing as much as 4 liters of moisture from the atmosphere every hour, depending on the model you choose. Mobile homes don’t breathe the same way that stick built houses do, so humidity is a problem you want to maintain a handle on.
Do you have questions about any of our products? Just ask us in the comments section.