Mobile Home Furnace Buying Guide

Choosing the right mobile home furnace can be a challenge. It needs to be suitable for the purpose and safe to operate, because a mobile home furnace will have different functions than conventional furnaces. You also need to be mindful of the installation and where you locate the furnace. Because it is such a specialized area, we decided to put the mobile home furnace in the spotlight for a moment so you can grab a clearer understanding of what they are and how they work.

Regular Furnace vs Mobile Home Furnace

Mobile home furnace systems are specifically designed to meet the challenges of a mobile or manufactured home. Typically, they use a unique venting system called "sealed combustion", which is much safer for mobile home applications than a regular furnace.

Why is that?

Space is at a premium in a manufactured home, so they have smaller heating ducts. This means that the heat output from a regular furnace can be too much to handle. Putting a conventional gas or propane furnace in a mobile home is a major fire hazard. Always look for the label or metal plate that details the furnace's suitability for use in a mobile home. If it doesn't have the label, look elsewhere for a mobile home furnace.

Types of Mobile Home Furnace Systems

There are three main furnace types for manufactured homes, and each has an efficiency factor to consider. The efficiency of your furnace impacts your heating costs. So, if you have a mobile home furnace at 80% efficiency, every dollar you spend puts only $0.80 into heat. The remainder is wasted.

  • Gas Mobile Home Furnace - If you want a reliable and quiet mobile home furnace for your home, consider a natural or propane gas installation. Typically, they operate using a pilot light which ignites the burners in the combustion chamber. From here, blowers push the warm air through the heat ducts and into your home. Gas furnaces range in efficiency from around 80% for a cheaper model, to 95% for a more expensive furnace.
  • Oil Mobile Home Furnace - On the whole, an oil mobile home furnace is more expensive than gas varieties and are about 80% efficient. They operate by spraying a fine mist of oil into the combustion chamber to be ignited. The heat generated from this process is then fed into the mobile home, typically through floor vents. Oil furnaces can be cheaper to run and more robust. However, they can also be expensive to fix when something goes wrong. Plus, fuel oil may not be easily available in all areas.
  • Electric Mobile Home Furnace - Electric furnaces are cheap and can go anywhere that has electricity. Cold air is drawn from the outside and passed through a heat exchanger. It is then heated and pushed into the home through vents. These mobile home furnace units are quiet and a lot cleaner than gas or oil varieties, but they are usually expensive to run. If you live in a colder environment, an electric furnace might not be the most cost-effective choice.

Considerations when Pricing a Mobile Home Furnace Install

If you are replacing an older model mobile home furnace, you should seek advice from a qualified HVAC professional. Depending on the age and model of your old furnace, ducting and vents may not be compatible. On the other hand, if your existing ducts and vents are compatible, it will speed up the installation and reduce the costs.

Some factors will affect the price of your furnace install:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Complexity of installation
  • Insulation and materials needed

Each one of these elements can reduce or increase the overall costs. Also, when choosing a mobile home furnace, consider the climate you live in because some furnaces will be cheaper to run day to day than others. As we mentioned earlier, the economical upfront costs of an electric furnace may seem tempting, but the running costs can be considerably more than gas or oil furnaces, especially if you live in a harsh northern climate.

The United States is divided into five zones, depending on climate, elevation, and proximity to the sea. Zones 1 - 3 are the most southerly or have the mildest climates. An electric mobile home furnace can be the standout choice for you if you live in one of these zones.

If you are installing a furnace for the first time, this adds to the complexity of the project and may take longer to complete. The installer will need to size up and cut the necessary holes for the vents and ducting. They also need to ensure that the right materials and insulation are used.

How Much Does a Mobile Home Furnace Cost?

Buying a new furnace for your manufactured or mobile home has three elements that need consideration:

  • The Cost of the Furnace - Depending on the type and quality of mobile home furnace you choose, you should expect to pay between $950 - $1,200. That's not to say that you can't get even more expensive models. The good news is that this is considerably cheaper than a regular furnace for a traditionally built home.
  • The Cost of the Installation - Once you've decided on a furnace, it needs to be installed. Depending on the type and quality, the costs could range from $800 - $1,100+. The average time it takes HVAC specialists to install a furnace is 8 hours. The good news is that this is considerably cheaper than the cost of installation for a traditionally built home.
  • The Cost Of the Materials - Mobile and manufactured homes require special equipment to achieve a safe and efficient install of your mobile home furnace. As we've already mentioned, mobile homes have smaller heating ducts and vents, which reduces the costs when compared to a traditional house.

Install a Trusted Brand

Look at the reviews and what other customers are saying about the brand you are choosing. There are many brands of manufactured and mobile home furnaces, and they have spent years building a loyal customer base. Also, seek the advice of HVAC specialists. They will point you in the direction of their most trusted brands.

One company that immediately jumps out as a front runner for a quality mobile home furnace is Revolv.

As part of Coleman's home division, Revolv is one of the most trusted names in gas and electric furnaces for mobile and manufactured homes. Their models range in value, from around $700 to just shy of $2,000.

There are pros and cons with each type of furnace, but you will see that with gas furnaces, the higher the price, the greater the efficiency. This is not the case with the electric varieties as they are considered to be 100% efficient and are considerably cheaper to purchase. Also, the warranties on the Revolv gas furnaces include one-year for parts and two years for labor.

Final Thoughts on Mobile Home Furnaces

If one thing leaps out in this article, it is that you get what you pay for. When you are investing in an entry-level mobile home furnace, expect the BTUs and the efficiency to be lower than the top of the range models. If the day-to-day running cost isn't a concern, then the budget end is a great place to start.

You may live in a warmer climate and have less need for a powerful gas mobile home furnace. Instead, you should opt for an electric variety. You will get 100% efficiency, they are clean and quiet, and they are more compact.

Whichever mobile home furnace you choose, make sure it's the best for your home. That way, you'll know that the choice you make is the right one and you won't come to regret it later. If you ever have any questions about mobile home furnaces, feel free to give us a call or leave a comment below.


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