Like all houses, mobile homes need adequate climate control. However, the systems used to cool mobile homes sometimes experience unique problems, which can confuse their owners. Learning how to identify the significant issues that affect mobile home air conditioners can save you a lot of worries. It can also save you money if you figure out what’s going on soon enough to find competent professional help and nip it in the bud.
Here are nine of the top problems found in mobile home air conditioners. Look for the symptoms of these issues, and be sure to call a licensed professional when appropriate:
- Incompatible Indoor and Outdoor Units
Many split system HVACs in mobile homes have improperly matched indoor and outdoor units. That might sound strange, but it’s true. Some people try to save money by purchasing varied brands for each unit, in an attempt to lower up-front costs. However, it is always best to make sure your indoor and outdoor unit are of the same brand. Purchase them together, and have them installed by professionals.
- Worn Out Ducts
Most of the ductwork in mobile homes is close to the ground, which means that the vents usually are at floor level. As such, it is easier for debris to enter the vents and damage the ductwork. You can avoid this problem by having your ducts cleaned regularly (at least once a year).
- Duct Blockage
Because ducts are located so close to the floor in mobile homes, it is also easy to accidentally block them with furniture or other objects. However, doing so can affect the amount of air circulating throughout your system and result in airflow problems.
- Poor Cooling Efficiency (from Window Units or Mini Splits)
Some people try to avoid using ducted systems in their homes and opt for window-mounted units or mini-split systems instead. However, these systems can be problematic for other reasons. It is true that window mounted units, and mini-split systems avoid the problems that can befall ducted systems, but they are often inadequate for cooling mobile homes efficiently. A window air conditioner can be efficient when cooling a single room, but if you want to regulate the temperature in your entire home you will often have to purchase multiple units, and the same goes for ductless mini-splits. The costs of buying and operating many modules at once render this option prohibitive to many homeowners.
- System Is the Wrong Size
Some of the most common mobile home air conditioner problems are also common in standard HVAC systems. Sizing is one of those issues. HVACs for mobile homes must be appropriately sized, just like those for permanent dwellings. The best way to avoid this problem is by having a reliable and licensed HVAC service company perform your installation.
- Ducts Become Vulnerable to Pests
Those low ducts are subject to one more problem, which sounds strange but is more common than most people think. Sometimes, when the system experiences a reduced flow rate, people attempt to fix the problem by cutting a hole in the outdoor unit to let more air into the ducts. The problem is that air isn’t the only thing that can come in that way. It’s not uncommon for people who tamper with or neglect their outdoor unit to see small animals coming out of the vents in their mobile homes. There have even been a few reports of cats.
- Clogged and Dirty Air Filters
So many problems can be attributed to dirty filters that it’s almost unbelievable. Nevertheless, many people forget about their filters until the quality of their air conditioner has been severely compromised. Always make sure to change your filters once a month during periods of regular HVAC use.
- Dirty Blower Fan
Sometimes changing the air filters isn’t enough. If your system has been neglected for too long and the outdoor unit has not been adequately maintained, it is entirely possible for dirt and grime to accumulate on your blower fan. Since cleaning the fan by yourself can be difficult, it is recommended that you call a professional in for this purpose. However, you can save yourself the trouble by regularly clearing the area around your outdoor unit, changing your filters diligently, and preventing the fan from becoming dirty in the first place.
- Neglecting Regular Maintenance
It’s easy to ignore HVACs in mobile homes because the physical units are often crammed into tight spaces. However, ignoring your AC comes with a certain amount of risk, since neglected systems are more prone to efficiency problems and mechanical failures. Arrange to have your system inspected by a professional once or twice a year, and see to it that you have your ducts cleaned. This kind of routine maintenance will prevent many of the other problems on this list from occurring.
Mobile home air conditioners are subject to specific considerations, but they aren’t necessarily more challenging than other systems. If you know what to look for and contact professionals to help with service and repairs, you should be able to enjoy cool comfort in your mobile home whenever the need arises.