As we approach the colder months of the year here in Florida, you may wonder how to make your manufactured home ready for winter and cozy for you and your family as the temperatures start to drop. Don’t worry – it’s easier than you think. Read on for our tips to keep you warm all season long.
Check It Out
One essential part of readying your manufactured home for winter is to verify that your systems are in good shape. Checking the following components before winter fully arrives not only ensures they are in good operating condition but also gives you a timely warning that you may need to have these serviced before you need them.
You may not be aware that your ceiling fan can not only keep you cool during the hot months, but it can also help keep you warm during the colder ones. When the temps begin to dip, flip your fan’s switch, located at its base, to reverse the blade direction. That way, your fan will move clockwise and push warmer air down, helping heat your space. But, only operate your fan on a low setting to avoid energy wastage.
If your manufactured home has a fireplace, check for obstructions, dirt, or debris and clean accordingly. Make sure your fireplace’s damper is open and that the flue is operational. Another way to optimize your fireplace for winter is to purchase a fireplace cover or rubber-sealed damper to prevent cold air from circulating back into your home. When the fireplace is in use, you can open the damper, but remember to close it again once the fire is completely out.
This is also a great time to check your furnace’s vents, thermostat, and blower motor to ensure they are not obstructed or dirty, and clean or replace vents and filters as needed. To check your furnace functionality, open the panel. If there are no issues, your unit should display words to that effect, or contrarily your unit may flash lights to notify you of a problem. Whether or not you find that your furnace is malfunctioning, it’s smart to schedule preventative maintenance before winter. A poorly maintained furnace is a fire risk.
Although your home’s skirting may seem unrelated, it plays a role in how well your furnace does its job and draws combustion air from underneath your house. Ensure that your skirting has 4 or more vents to do this sufficiently.
In manufactured homes, the water heater is located outside of the home and is therefore not protected by its insulation. Before extreme cold, you can wrap an insulation blanket around it and secure it with heat tape.
Fix It Up
Caulk and Weatherstrip
Investing in a tube of polyurethane caulk or can of insulating spray foam is among the least expensive but easiest ways you can weatherproof your manufactured home – its exterior and interior. Check the following areas prone to air leaks and caulk for a fast and effective fix.
- Door frames, vents, and windows
- Gutters and downspouts
- Roof and siding
- TV antenna
- Plumbing pipes
- Electrical outlets
- Wall corners
To find other sneaky places where air may escape, hold an incense stick close to your home’s seams and check if smoke appears to be pulled out in any direction. If you find you have an air leak, you can either spray the foam or caulk, whichever is more appropriate for that location.
Similarly, weatherstripping is cheap but works well, as is a shrink wrap kit that can be placed over your windows. But, if you find that you still have air leaks after adding weatherstripping or caulk, replacing doors or windows may be your only option.
Loosen Tie Downs
Although our area is not as prone to ground freezes as some of our northern neighbors, they periodically occur during Florida’s colder months. When this happens, the ground beneath your manufactured home will contract a bit, referred to as ground heaving. One way to help your home withstand freezing temperatures is to preemptively loosen your tie-downs, which allows your home to be slightly more flexible and able to move with the freezing and thawing ground.
Prevent Pipe Freeze
To protect your pipes and keep them from freezing in the winter, apply cabling or pipe sleeves secured with electrical tape. Check the tape regularly, at least once a year, and if it is old or worn out, replace it but do not allow the tape to overlap, as it creates a fire hazard.
Prestige Keeps You Comfortable
In addition to the tips above, when winterizing your home, always ensure that you mitigate any fire dangers where possible and seal any potential airways. For more information on how to prepare your manufactured home for the winter, contact us today. At Prestige Home Centers, we are committed to your comfort in all seasons – no matter what weather comes our way.