Understanding Mobile Homes


Gas or Elctric? Do I have a choice of heating systems for my pre-manufactured Home?

Dec 30 2015

In the majority of pre manufactured homes, heating systems are separated into two primary parts: the furnace that heats the air and the air ducts that transfer this heated air from the furnace to the various rooms in the home. When it comes to the choice on how this furnace gets powered, you can choose the type and install either a gas or electric-fueled system. However, before you install any HVAC components, it's important to familiarize yourself with the unique design elements of pre manufactured homes that may influence your decision:

Architectural Elements of Manufactured Homes

A pre manufactured home is called such due to it being previously built at the design and manufacturer's facility before being transported to its desired homeowner's building site. Due its compact design, air ducts tend to be smaller and feature tighter corners than in non-manufactured homes. This causes the forced air being blown from the furnace to flow less freely in a manufactured home, meaning that homeowners need to get a specific fan blower that will fit their needs and architectural dynamics.

Popular Furnace Brands for Pre Manufactured Homes

Many of the popular brands that manufacture furnaces for more conventionally built homes also produce models specific for the unique needs of manufactured homes. Some of these bigger, more trusted brand names include:

  • Bryant
  • Coleman
  • Nordyne
  • Evcon
  • Miller
  • and more

Correctly Sizing the Furnace

Calculating and getting the right size furnace is much more important than deciding whether you should choose a gas or electric heating system. Begin by calculating the total square footage of your pre manufactured home. If you're not sure you've measured right, consult the manufacturer's specifications available for your specific model year and type. In general, most pre manufactured homes will range from 900 to 3600 square feet, with some of the newer models being even bigger.

After you're positive on your home's size, measure the size of the planned furnace location. Most homes will already have a small closet established for this, but sizes may differ. You'll want to ensure that the unit you're considering will have adequate clearance and ventilation.

Now it's finally time to make the hard decision on the type of furnace you want. Again, while there are slight differences between the heating capabilities of electric and gas furnaces and a debate of which type is more efficient, the choice is yours. We, however, generally recommend staying with the type of heating system that was already installed in the pre manufactured home. Or, if you are the first owner of the home, contact the designer to see which type they recommend for the home's construct. Staying true to the designer or previous occupant's idea will often make installation much easier.

The final step before purchase is to calculate the required BTUs needed to heat your home. This varies according to climate, ex. in warmer clients it's generally 25 to 30 BTUs per square foot. Multiply this number by your square footage to get the furnace size needed.