Tried & True - Carolina Country

Tried & True

22 tips for buying and maintaining an energy-efficient manufactured home

Tried & True

Illustration by Ed Vernon,  for North Carolina‚Äôs Touchstone Energy cooperatives

1 Make sure your dealer grades the site properly. Poor grading leads to settling and moisture problems.

2 Seal all plumbing and wiring penetrations. Use expanding foam for large penetrations, caulk for small penetrations.

3 Install storm windows and doors. Weather strip leaky ones.

4 Install vinyl or metal skirting or a foundation wall to protect the home's underbelly and duct connections.

5 An Energy Star-qualified home guarantees effective insulation, high-performance windows, tight construction and efficient heating and cooling equipment.

6 Choose the lightest color roof shingles possible to keep the attic from getting too hot.

7 Gable end and ridge vents provide ample ventilation. You shouldn't need an attic fan.

8 Strategically plant trees to reduce sun exposure during summer and act as a windbreak during winter.

9 Make sure attic insulation has not shifted during transit before joining multi-section homes.

10 Ceiling fans should be turned off in unoccupied rooms.

11 Choose Energy Star products including appliances, HVAC and lighting.

12 Make sure the "marriage walls" (where two sections join) are airtight with foam gaskets installed between sections.

13 Have HVAC system properly sized. Oversized systems contribute to high bills and high indoor humidity. Request a factory-installed heat pump instead of an electric furnace.

14 Have an experienced technician tune up your HVAC system annually to maintain maximum efficiency.

15 Set water heater thermostat to 120 degrees.

16 Keep all interior doors and air registers open for energy-efficient airflow.

17 Change return air filters monthly. Avoid pleated filters because they can restrict proper air flow.

18 On multi-section homes, make sure all ducts that cross over to another section are properly joined with a mastic sealer.

19 Set HVAC thermostat to about 78 degrees in summer, 68 degrees in winter.

20 Make sure the clothes dryer is vented to the outdoors and away from outdoor heating and air conditioning components.

21 Choose an insulation package that maximizes energy savings. Consider more than the minimum requirement.

22 Install a continuous vapor barrier underneath the home. Heavy plastic works well.

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