5 HVAC System Options for Manufactured Homes: Pros & Cons

Discover the Ideal AC for Your Mobile Home: Compare Efficiency, Cost, and Installation Ease for Top Models

Hand adjusting temperature on air conditioner with remote control, Working air conditioner for comfort temperature in home at hot summer

There’s no denying that staying comfortable in your mobile home requires a reliable air conditioning system. But with so many options available, how do you choose the right one?

While traditionally built homes often come with pre-installed HVAC systems, mobile or manufactured homes may require a different approach.

The limited space, unique layout, and absence of ductwork in many mobile homes make certain air conditioner types more suitable than others.

Choosing the right air conditioner for your mobile home depends on several factors such as your climate, the age of your home, and its layout.

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Mini Split HVAC System/Ductless System for Mobile Homes

A mini split HVAC system, also known as a ductless system, is an excellent choice for mobile homes, especially those without return air ductwork or with poor-quality ductwork.

This innovative design allows for efficient temperature control without the need for extensive ductwork, making it ideal for older mobile homes.

A mini split HVAC system consists of an outdoor unit (condensing unit) and one or more indoor units.

The outdoor unit can be AC-only or can reverse the flow of refrigerant to bring heat indoors during winter, functioning as a heat pump. This flexibility makes mini splits a versatile choice for mobile homes in various climates.


The primary advantage of a mini-split HVAC system is that it doesn’t require ductwork, making it a great fit for mobile homes without adequate ductwork infrastructure.

Additionally, because the unit is split into indoor and outdoor components, you have more flexibility in where you install the indoor units, allowing for optimal air distribution.

Most mini-split systems also function as heat pumps, providing energy-efficient heating in addition to cooling.


Despite numerous advantages, mini-split systems are typically more costly upfront than other air conditioner types.

They also require professional installation, adding to the initial cost. In colder climates, a mini-split system may not provide sufficient heating, necessitating an additional heat source.

Central Air Conditioning for Mobile Homes

Old air conditioner system compressor next to home, needing maintenance.

If your mobile home has enough space for ductwork and an indoor unit, central air conditioning can be a convenient and economical option.

Central air conditioners work by circulating cool air through a system of ducts, providing uniform cooling throughout your home.

In a central air conditioning system, cooled air is distributed from a central location (usually a furnace or air handler) throughout the home via a network of ducts.

This method of cooling can provide consistent temperatures across all rooms, making it a popular choice for larger mobile homes with adequate space for ductwork.

Discussion of Leading Brands For Central Air Conditioning in Mobile Homes

When it comes to central air conditioners for mobile homes, some of the top names include Revolv StyleCrest, Trane, Carrier, and Rheem.

These brands offer reliable performance, quality construction, and high energy efficiency, making them perfect for keeping your mobile home cool during hot summer months.


Central air conditioning offers consistent cooling throughout your mobile home, eliminating hot spots and ensuring uniform temperatures in every room.

This type of system can also improve indoor air quality by filtering out dust and allergens. When properly maintained, central air conditioners can last between 15 to 20 years, offering good long-term value.


However, central air conditioning systems are not without their drawbacks. They require significant space for installation and ductwork, which might not be available in all mobile homes.

Additionally, they are more expensive than other air conditioning options like window units or portable ACs. Central air conditioners also consume more energy, leading to higher utility bills.

Package Unit Air Conditioners for Mobile Homes

Package Air Conditioner system next to a home.

Package unit air conditioners are another viable option for mobile homes.

These all-in-one systems contain both the cooling and heating components in a single outdoor unit, making them an excellent choice for mobile homes with limited interior space.

A package unit air conditioner is a self-contained HVAC system that houses both the cooling and heating elements in a single unit.

Installed outside the mobile home, it connects to the home’s ductwork to circulate conditioned air. Leading brands for package units in mobile homes include Goodman, Payne, Bryant, Heil, and Ruud.

Not only do these brands offer high-quality, reliable products, but they also provide excellent customer service and warranties for peace of mind.


Package unit air conditioners are ideal for mobile homes with limited indoor space since all components are housed in a single outdoor unit.

They provide both heating and cooling, eliminating the need for separate systems. Because they connect directly to the home’s existing ductwork, installation can be straightforward and less intrusive than other systems.


On the downside, package unit air conditioners tend to be more expensive than other systems due to their comprehensive nature.

They also require professional installation and regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Lastly, being located outside, they may be more exposed to weather elements and potential damage.

Window Air Conditioner aka Room Air Conditioner for Mobile Homes

Flinders Rangers National Park, Australia - February 08, 2002: Sunset reflections

Window air conditioners, also known as room air conditioners, are a popular choice for mobile homes due to their affordability and ease of installation.

These units are installed in a window or through a hole in the wall, providing direct cooling to the room they’re placed in.

A window air conditioner is a compact unit designed to cool a single room. It includes all the essential components of an air conditioner – compressor, condenser, evaporator, and fan – in one box.

This type of AC is installed in a window or a hole cut into the wall where it expels hot air and circulates cool air inside.

Points to Consider When Opting for a Window Air Conditioner in Mobile Homes

When considering a window air conditioner for your mobile home, it’s important to measure the size of your window accurately to ensure a proper fit.

Also, consider the power requirements of the unit – some models may require a dedicated electrical circuit. Lastly, keep in mind that window air conditioners are designed to cool a single room, so you may need multiple units for a larger home.

Pros and Cons

Window air conditioners are affordable and easy to install, making them a practical choice for cooling individual rooms in a mobile home. T

hey do not require ductwork, and there are Energy Star-certified models available that are energy-efficient.

However, they can be noisy and block natural light when installed in a window. Additionally, they may not provide sufficient cooling for larger homes.

FAQs about Mobile Home HVAC

Now that we’ve explored various air conditioner types suitable for mobile homes, let’s address some common questions you may have regarding mobile home HVAC systems.

How big an AC unit do I need for my mobile home?

The size of the AC unit you need depends on the size of your mobile home and your local climate.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need approximately 20 BTU (British Thermal Units) of cooling capacity per square foot of living space.

However, it’s always best to consult with an HVAC professional to determine the right size for your specific needs.

What is the most efficient way to heat a mobile home?

The most efficient way to heat a mobile home largely depends on your local climate and your home’s insulation. A mini-split system can be a good choice for its dual functionality of providing both heating and cooling.

In colder climates, a furnace may be more effective. Always consider the energy-efficiency rating of the system before making a decision.

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