Servicing Your Furnace

The furnace in your mobile home has worked hard to keep you warm all winter. Now is the time to be sure it’s ready to do the same next year.

Mobile home heating systems are designed with ductwork to carry conditioned supply air to each room in the house, but unlike most site-built homes they don’t usually have a return duct system to bring that air back to the furnace. Return air in these mobile homes is drawn directly into the furnace, either through a grille that faces the hallway or through a nearby wall grille.

To perform this simple service, find your furnace’s circuit breaker and shut it off so it can’t start up while you’re working. Identify the one or two removable grilles in the front of your furnace. Remove them by lifting them up and away from the furnace.

Many mobile home furnaces have a filter installed behind one or both of these removable grilles. Clean or replace these filters, since a clogged filter will reduce airflow through your system and increase its energy consumption. Check these filters a few times during the heating season, too. If your system draws return air through a wall grille, check to see if a filter is installed there instead.

Inspect the squirrel-cage blower that is installed at the top of the furnace. This blower should be cleaned periodically so it can operate at peak efficiency, since even a thin layer of dust and grease will slow airflow significantly. Use common household cleaners, an old hairbrush, and a vacuum to clean the blower’s vanes and the surrounding housing. Dry the area thoroughly, replace the grilles, and turn the power on. You can now rest easy knowing that your furnace will be clean and ready to go next fall.

You can learn more about mobile home retrofitting and maintenance in my by book, Your Mobile Home: Energy and Repair Guide for Manufactured Housing.