Seal leaks to cut energy use in manufactured homes

Horry Electric offers tips to help members who live in manufactured homes.

“If the utility bill for your manufactured home seems too high, it is likely the result of leaks,” says Garrett Gasque, marketing representative for Horry Electric. “Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help you stop the leaks in your home and the drain they have on your wallet.”  

Older manufactured homes, especially those built before 1994, may have leaking ducts and inadequate insulation. “Leaky ductwork can reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent,” explains Gasque, adding that a  good time to check for leaks is on a windy day. “You’ll easily be able to find drafty spots in your home.”

“Go after the big leaks first,” says Gasque. “That means plugging all holes around chimneys, vents, water pipes and heating system ductwork.”

 Leaky ducts can be sealed with mastic sealant. Avoid the use of duct tape, which can dry out and disintegrate when used on ductwork. “Adding insulation to floor, wall and ceiling cavities can improve energy efficiency, but you probably need the expertise of a professional contractor for those tasks.”

“Once you’ve sealed the major leaks, look for smaller ones around windows, doors, electrical outlets and light switches,” says Gasque.  “Seal gaps around windows and doors, using caulk on non-moving parts.”

Gasque also recommends  replacing any worn weather-stripping. “We suggest caulk or expanding spray foam where plumbing, wiring, vents and ductwork penetrate through walls,” he says. “Installing foam outlet gaskets in electrical outlets and light switches—especially on outside walls—can save energy, too.

“For safety’s sake, make sure that all combustion appliances, such as furnaces, stoves and water heaters, are properly vented,” he adds.

For other tips on how to save energy—and money—visit horryelectric.com and check out the comprehensive guide to energy savings  or call the energy experts at Horry Electric Cooperative at 843.369.2211. Find out how the little changes add up at www.TogetherWeSave.com.

Horry Electric offers a variety of energy information and tools to help guide members through evaluating the way they use energy.  “These tools can even help you map out a strategy to get more out of the energy dollars you spend,” says Gasque, adding that members should also make use of online tools such as MyUsage.com, BillingInsights and Horry Electric’s Online Energy Efficiency Store.  

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