Pennsylvania homeowners are working harder than ever to achieve great energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency isn’t just good for the environment – though nobody can argue against that! It also helps you save money on heating and cooling bills.

With the right approach, you could cut your energy bills by 10% or more annually.

It may seem as if conventional site-built homes are the only ones that can benefit from today’s green technology, but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, there are plenty of ways to make your mobile home more efficient.

Thanks to the compact size of mobile homes, improvements can be quick and cost-effective. Plus, it’s easier to implement multiple “greening” techniques at the same time so you can maximize the benefits.

Five Easy Steps to Make Your Efficient Mobile Home a Reality

Before getting started, it’s important to note that even though all mobile homes share some similarities, one factor makes a big difference: Age.

In 1976, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code took effect in the United States. The HUD Code defines rules for mobile homes that make them safer and more efficient. This is a nationwide building code that supersedes local codes, so you know it’s important.

Any mobile home can be made more energy efficient, but homes built prior to June of 1976 will generally take more work than others. If your budget allows, you could consider buying or leasing a more recent mobile home that may have some built-in efficiency features.

No matter its age, any mobile home can be retrofitted for efficiency – with time, effort, and dedication!

Let’s look at some important upgrades you might use:

1. Energy Efficient Doors and Windows

In most homes, windows represent one of the biggest areas where heat is lost. Thin, old-fashioned windows can contribute to hundreds of dollars in temperature control waste in a year. For mobile homes, good windows are especially important for general weather-proofing. Luckily, a window upgrade is usually inexpensive and fast.

Modern double- or triple-pane glass windows provide great insulation. For efficiency, triple-pane is the best: The middle pane is surrounded by air or insulating gas for better performance. For doors, look at options beyond standard foam core, such as fiberglass or insulated steel. This can make a tremendous difference over time. It’s also a little bit safer.

2. Improved Insulation in the Belly, Walls, and Roof

The older a mobile home is, the more likely it is to have insufficient insulation. Some old-fashioned insulation can even be hazardous to your health. There are many different types of insulation, each with their own performance characteristics, so compare your options before deciding.

3. General Repairs to Caulking and Ducts

Damage to the outer building envelope will undermine your energy savings goals, no matter how well the rest of your home stands up. Clean, intact ducts aid thermal efficiency. Ideally, even minor cracks and warping throughout the structure should be attended to.

4. Consider Passive Solar Design

People have used passive solar heating in their homes since the days of ancient Rome, and likely long before. By adding a sunspace to your mobile home and orienting the home for maximum sun exposure, you can enjoy the same benefits. This will help you moderate indoor temperatures all day long.

5. Switch to Propane Gas for Heating

Propane is more efficient than electric for mobile homes. Propane is convenient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective. You can equip your mobile home with a full complement of efficient propane appliances and even a backup generator.

Energy efficiency is great for the environment and for you. Don’t let preconceptions about your mobile home stop you: With the right methods, any manufactured home can be transformed into a green oasis.