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Winterizing an Older Mobile Home

I live in a 1976 single wide mobile home. I have sealed the windows, plastic plus blankets, used sheets to "lower the ceiling", built entry walls to block door leaks, and have a sheet wall to enclose the living room. We're still freezing. We use space heaters, and had 2 running this last week, and I could feel icy whisps of breezes. This home was neglected almost to it's demise. I'm becoming quickly efficient in repairs, but need advice on how staying warm! We sleep in the living room. (2 babies under 3 yrs old) There are space heaters in the bathroom and living room. I applied for county help; still waiting. I had a $250 power bill for December. We can not financially, or physically, withstand another 3 months. Seriously limited funds, but I'll make it work. Thanks for your help!

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January 9, 20170 found this helpful

Insulating blankets are great. I would also make sure to have draft blockers on all doors and windows. Make sure you are dressed in layers as well, including a hat.

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January 9, 20170 found this helpful

I hope you do find a more permanent solution to your problem. But for now, I will offer this suggestion. The sheets you are using do little to stop the infiltration of cold air. It passes right through. Plastic would be much better. I buy 9'x12' plastic drop cloths at Dollar Tree for a dollar each. They have really come in handy.

I sleep in a room without heat. I have a heated mattress pad and an electric blanket. I use to keep my electric blanket set on 11 or 12. Now that I use a sheet of this drop cloth plastic on top of the covers, I had to turn down the blanket to 3. Sometimes, I still wake up hot. The plastic stops the infiltration of cold air down through the covers.

Plastic will cut down drafts much more than sheets. But if you do decide to try plastic, please use in such a way it will pose no threat to your children.

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January 9, 20170 found this helpful

Instead of blankets and sheets, I would use sheet insulation. Sheet insulation is Styrofoam with a foil type backing. the Styrofoam would go next to the wall, and the foil side out, to reflect back out the heat you are generating inside.

Do you have skirting? That prevents cold wind from blowing underneath. Straw or hay bales are a fast way to block the wind, starting on the north side.

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January 9, 20170 found this helpful

It sounds like skirting would help, just as someone suggested. I have even used bales of hay just inside the skirting. Rugs help with the floor, and can be found pretty cheap at thrift stores. You might even find that the local carpeting stores can give you their scraps to make it through the winter.

If you have to, stuff old towels and such in the windows you don't need to just nail up some cheap paneling and seal them in. Electric blankets do help and again, can be purchased at thrift stores.

If you have some summer fans, put them up on top of cabinets or something high and point them down to the floor.

I don't know where you live but your local energy assistance should help you if that "isn't" where you are already signed up.

Wear layers of clothes, and take a hot shower if you can before bed. No one should have this problem with babies in the house. I worry for you. Please go somewhere else if you can.

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January 9, 20170 found this helpful

I agree that skirting is necessary to keep the heat from escaping though the floor. This will be a cost, but with skirting (pieces of plywood closing in the bottom of the mobile home) with some straw bales or, if you are living in an area with snow, banking the snow around the home, for insulation. Electric heaters are a very expensive way to heat; do you not have a propane or natural gas or oil furnace that you can use in this mobile home? It would be much cheaper than space heaters.

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January 13, 20170 found this helpful

I hope you and your children are staying warm.

If your mobile home does not have adequate skirting you will be hard pressed to keep it warm. If that is part of the problem you may need to improvise until warm weather so it can be fixed before nest winter.

I know this is not a good solution but even in Florida, mobile homes can be drafty and need help. I did read of a local gathering up large sheets of cardboard (from a furniture store) and placed it around her house as temporary skirting. Sometimes our circumstances make us have to do drastic things - especially where children are involved.

I hope you will seek help from your local churches and maybe get on some lists for help with other things as well.

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