You need an air conditioner if you live in a trailer park or mobile home community, especially in Rancho Cordova, El Dorado Hills, Citrus Heights, or Sacramento. HVAC systems for mobile homes are a lifesaver for elderly folks in our area.
But if that system has reached its maximum potential, has a major repair needed, or is just plain old too noisy for you, it might be time to change your mobile home’s HVAC system out. There are two major brand names of mobile home furnaces – Coleman (made by Johnson Controls) and Intertherm (Made by Nordyne.) Both systems look very similar. I would go as far as to say Coleman and Intertherm furnaces are mechanically the same. As a technician, when we take the door off the front of these units, both system’s parts are in the same location. There’s really no difference. Weird, I know.
While they are pretty straightforward in the removal and replacement of the system, there are some essential parts of the job that just can’t be messed up:
- The sheet metal transition back to the existing ductwork.
- The condensate drainage still requires a p-trap even though the evap coil is sitting level with the floor.
- The gas piping needs a gas sediment trap that meets the new building code standard (CA Plumbing Code 1212.8)
- The exhaust needs a proper flue connection to the roofline and into the atmosphere.
- Coleman and Intertherm evaporator coils don’t come with a thermal expansion valve already connected. They need to be field installed by the technician.
- High and low-voltage connections need to be made safely.
Things like this make reconnecting a furnace to the trailer home more technical than some people think. It’s details like this that make hiring a contractor when you want to replace your mobile home furnace. Whether you have a double-wide or single-wide mobile home, Fox Family Heating & Air technicians are real professionals when it comes to the process.
The Biggest Issue We Hear from Mobile Home Owners: Airflow Why is airflow a problem in mobile homes?
Good airflow, balanced airflow is a basic desire of an HVAC system owner. It’s called central air conditioning, and the air delivery at every register should be sufficient for each individual room. The fundamentals of airflow are equal distribution at each register according to the size of the rooms. In a typical house, each room has a register and duct sized specifically for that room. A 90 sq ft bedroom might have a 6-inch duct to it with a 12”x6” supply register, while a 45 sq ft bathroom only needs a 4-inch duct with an 8”x4” supply register. Designing the ductwork this way will make each room feel the same temperature.
Mobile homes have two main air trunks. One trunk is farther away from the furnace than the other. That point alone means that the farther trunk will get less air to it than the closer one. Air, like water, flows in the past of least resistance.
Each trunk has three or four supply registers that are the same size. These registers are connected to trunks that are essentially the same size all the way down. Basically, this comes down to air not pressurizing properly. So, even if the furnace were located right in the middle of the two main trunks, some rooms, like the bathroom, might get more air than other rooms because the same amount is coming out of all the rooms.
Can the airflow be fixed?
It would take some creativity to get under the house, undo the bundled insulation surrounding the ducts, and break into them. If you could get there, perhaps some manual dampers could be fabricated to redirect airflow elsewhere in the house.
Respectfully, the mobile home’s ductwork under the house was designed and built in the most economically efficient process for the manufacturer as possible. That just means they are not going as far with the quality of the central HVAC system as the rest of the house.
HVAC systems for mobile homes work just fine!
There are many advantages of owning a mobile home. Affordability, design flexibility, friendly communities, and they appreciate in value just as much as any home. There are pros and cons to everything. Airflow just happens to be something we hear about from mobile homeowners. But, no doubt, the HVAC systems themselves will keep you warm in the winters and cool in the summers.
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