Modular Homes (not to be confused with mobile homes) are one of the fastest growing types of housing today. Manufactured in a factory setting and then constructed on site, Modular Homes have the great advantages of being both affordable and stylishly modern. However like most homes they can still benefit from adopting practices that will make them more energy efficient. This is especially true for Modular Homes because their affordability makes them popular with home buyers with lower incomes who often pay a disproportionate percentage of their income on electric and heating bills.
Fortunately there is much that can be done to enhance the energy efficiency of modular homes and thereby lower energy expenses. The manufacturing process of Modular Homes is itself conducive to energy savings because there is production in volume and greater quality control. In many ways, this translates into using less energy overall by building indoors in a factory as opposed to building outdoors where weather and other factors can cause delays and lower productivity. The use of sustainable materials such as recycled steel can further “green” the house manufacturing and site construction process.
Even more can be done to make the Modular Home more energy efficient once the house is fully constructed and occupied. The owner can arrange to have an energy audit done to identify any weaknesses in the house that may be hindering maximum energy efficiency. The homeowner can do this by either having a private company do the audit or perhaps even get it done for free or at minimal cost by an electrical co-op. Windows typically provide opportunities for savings, with the best insulated ones reducing by up to two thirds the amount of heat allowed in during the summer and heat lost in winter. The resulting savings in air conditioning and heating bills can be considerable.
To further enhance heating efficiency, be sure to cover the basics such as changing furnace filters. If the heating system is old and inefficient, replacing it with a new one can produce dramatic improvements. Installing a programmable thermostat ensures that you have heat just when needed and buying only ENERGY STAR products when buying your basic appliances helps to ensure that electricity bills are at their lowest. Other energy saving options include using low-flow faucets and shower heads and buying compact fluorescent lights for all your light bulbs.
Of course none of these improvements can be done for free, and unfortunately not all banks recognize the importance of such energy efficiency upgrades. Yet there are tax reductions for many energy improvements and government policies increasingly encourage the increased affordability of techniques for enhanced energy efficiency. For the Modular Home owner who is determined to “green” their house, then by following the suggestions offered above they will find that the improvements more than pay for themselves in the long run.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author Kathleen Hubert, is a blogger who writes on a variety of different sites. Check out more of her work at modularhomes.org.