........The Cajun Contractor, Michael King.........
..................Michael King
...........The Cajun Contractor

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Energy Tips For Mobile Homes

Mobile Homes have been steadily growing in popularity among Louisiana residents. They can provide years of comfortable and convenient living. Here are some energy-conservation tips to keep your electric bill low.

Solar radiation is probably the greatest source of heat gain in your mobile home. Since the sun contributes large amounts of heat, it is only logical to consider these points: Is your mobile home located in shade, or is it in a wide-open space? If it is shaded in the open and you cannot move it to a shades area, then consider building a canopy to block the direct sunlight. If possible, position your mobile home in an east-west direction so the rays of the sun will not hit it broadside. Window and door awnings can be a great help. Reflective roof paints can also reduce heat gain from sunshine.

Owners of flat-roofed mobile homes can add pitched wooden gable roofs above the original roof. Such an addition provides a barrier from the sun’s rays and also offers an excellent opportunity to add loose fill insulation or fiberglass batts to meet recommended energy saving standards.

Water Heating
After air conditioning and heating, hot water accounts for the next largest part of your utility bill. About 14 percent your energy bill is for heating water for bathing, washing dishes and washing clothes.

If your mobile home is like most, the water heater is located in the outside compartment, barely separated from the weather by a lightweight vented door. This means it loses heat to the outside air. You cannot seal the vent in the door because it is necessary to provide outside air for combustion and safety, but you can insulate the water heater.

Installing an insulation jacket on the tank keeps the energy inside, where it can keep the water hot. When you install the wrap, do not cover the control, and if you have a gas heater, do not cover the top of the tank or block any air vents. This can be extremely dangerous.

While you’re at it, check the thermostat. A low setting uses half the energy of a high setting. For a small household with limited hot water demands, a setting of 120 degrees is usually satisfactory. For most households, the temperature setting need not be higher than 140 degrees.

Also check for any exposed water pipes. They should be insulated for two reasons: to protect them from freezing, and to retard heat flow from the piping surfaces.

Drain some water from your heater. Is there sediment in the water? If so, drain the heater until the water runs clear. Sediment can act as an insulator and make the heater work harder to warm the water. Check for sediment once a month.

Dramatic increases to a window’s R-value are possible through the use of drapes, shutters and shades, especially the types of designed for that purpose. But to be effective, they must be operated correctly. That means closing them at night and opening them selectively during the day to let winter sun in and keep summer sun out. In winter, north-facing windows are best kept covered. East-facing windows should be allowed to admit early morning heat and light. They should be covered in the afternoon. When the east windows are covered, it is time to expose the west-facing windows. Those on the south side can take advantage of the winter sun all day long.




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