Mobile homes have come a long way over the past few decades, making them comparable in size and amenities as a regular brick and mortar house. When it comes to home heating, the options are about the same as anywhere else. Depending on which type of heating makes the most sense for your budget and needs, you will have the ability to choose from all of the major home heating options.
Oil-fired stoves and fireplaces are effective home heating options for a mobile home. They will provide space heating for particular rooms, while an oil-fired hot water heater will also double as an in-floor heater used to circulate warm air throughout the house like a central heating system. Oil central units are available for mobile homes, but will require the installation of air ducts and an oil storage tank. Oil costs can fluctuate heavily and are often unpredictable, meaning this could be a way to heat the home inexpensively one year and be unaffordable the next.
Mobile homes can be heated with propane or natural gas effectively. The systems that burn these fuels can be expensive, and the cost of the gas itself has increased dramatically over the years. Like heating with an oil central heating system, it will require piping and ducts to be installed throughout the home and could be a costly venture. In addition, gas typically has a slightly lower energy content than oil, according to the Mobile Home furnaces website.
Heating with gas space heaters or fireplaces is another gas option that will make installation much easier. But the space heating gas appliances tend to burn with about 25 per cent less efficiency than a gas furnace hooked to a central system. For propane heating there will need to be an onsite tank on the property to contain the fuel.
Although electricity is usually considered higher in cost than gas, it still has its advantages when it comes to home heating. Electricity is 100 per cent efficient, meaning that every bit of electricity that comes in from the power source can be directly converted to heat without the energy loss associated with gas or oil. Also, there is no need for chimneys or other ventilation, which lets the heat escape. It is also less expensive to purchase the equipment and to install it than other types of home heating equipment.
If your mobile home is in a rural area with lots of forestland, then perhaps sticking to basics is the smart way to go for home heating. A wood-burning fireplace can keep a mobile home adequately warm, in many cases using natural products produced right from your forest. The wood fireplace burns with considerable soot and smoke that must be vented through a chimney. Because it doesn't burn clean, there is maintenance involved regularly and there is the work of wood gathering to consider.
Aside from these minor disadvantages, a wood fireplace is virtually free to operate once the equipment is installed. If you do not have available trees for cutting wood, then you may have to purchase pre-cut wood.
There are wood furnaces available, too, that may be used for heating the home, but they are often inefficient, losing about half of the energy up a ventilation shaft and producing lots of pollution and smell.