Regular houses and mobile homes vary significantly in design and construction, and these differences often affect the choice of air conditioners for mobile homes. You can’t just buy any air conditioner and hope that it will be effective in your mobile home.
We’ve discussed these differences below to help you pick the best AC for your mobile home. We also touch on several other critical considerations when choosing an AC for a mobile home in the ensuing discussion. However, if you’re short on time, any of the following six units would be a good pick.
Mobile Air Conditioner Buying Guide
The first thing you need to understand is that the process of air conditioning and heating differs significantly from site-built homes. Typically, for mobile homes, a crew or an independent contractor designs the unit with a particular AC type in mind. Sometimes the mobile home may even arrive with an AC unit such that the AC is installed as the home is assembled on the property.
Where ductwork is involved, installation of the ducts occurs during the home’s development in the factory. Otherwise, you must involve the contractor in the installation process. An electrician may also be required during the installation.
The lack of attic/crawl space further complicates matters. Some manufactured homes may even lack ductwork and ceiling/floor vents, making self-contained or window air conditioners the only option.
Types of Mobile Home Air Conditioners
In line with the above considerations, the following are some of the best AC types for mobile and manufactured homes;
1. Packaged AC Units
By far, packaged Terminal AC (PTAC) units are the best choice for mobile home air conditioning. A PTAC is sort of a larger version of the window air conditioner.
It consists of two large ducts that function as return and supply points. The units typically sit on the roof (if flat) or somewhere else outside the house, thus don’t take up any floor space.
- A great choice for limited space
- Function as AC + heater combo
- Fairly affordable
- Tend to be energy inefficient
2. Ductless Mini Splits
If you’re not a fan of PTAC air conditioners, then a ductless mini-split is the next best choice for mobile home air conditioning. A key advantage of ductless mini splits in this scenario is the design.
The absence of ductwork means you can install a mini-split in your mobile home with ease. Remember also that ductless mini splits are some of the most efficient AC types.
- No need for ductwork
- Exceptional energy efficiency
- Tend to be very quiet
- Potential for whole-home air conditioning
- They tend to be expensive
- Air filtration isn’t as good as in ducted systems
Window AC system
Window air conditioners are no longer as popular as they were 2-3 decades ago, thanks mainly to the ductless mini-splits arrival. However, the window AC is still one of the most functional AC types.
It’s straightforward to install and doesn’t take up space on your floor. Moreover, window AC are some of the most affordable AC units.
- Very affordable
- Very practical
- Easy to install
- Tend to be noisy
- Most of them do not provide heat
Portable AC Units
Finally, portable air conditioners are also a worthy option when shopping for an AC for your mobile home. A vital benefit of this type of AC is portability. If you don’t want something permanent, the portable AC would be handy. Portable AC units are also generally the most technologically advanced. Some even support Wi-Fi and app control.
- Advanced/smart control
- Portable, often with caster wheels
- Aesthetically attractive
- Take up space on your floor
- Tend to be noisy
What Size AC Do I Need for my Mobile Home?
Most mobile homes arrive with a data plate that will tell you whether an AC system is pre-installed. You can then decide whether you need an AC in the first place.
The plate will also indicate the maximum cooling BTUs required to keep the home at comfortable levels.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing an AC for a Mobile Home
The following are four other factors to keep in mind as you shop for an air conditioner for your mobile home;
- Where you live: Generally, people living in the north, such as North Dakota, require less cooling than those in the south.
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating: The SEER rating is a measure of an appliance’s cooling output during a typical season versus wattage consumed. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the AC.
- Loudness: Mobile and manufactured homes are affected by vibrations more. Therefore, you need the quietest AC you can find. We recommend units below 58 decibels. Anything above 65 decibels is a no-no.
- Other features: Most air conditioners double up as heaters, and many also incorporate dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture from your home. Also, check if it has a Fan-Only mode.
- Warranty: The best air conditioners are backed by a reliable warranty that covers as many possibilities as you can imagine.
Tips to Maintain your Mobile Home AC
Proper maintenance ensures optimal performance and guarantees a long life of reliable AC use. Consider the following tips;
- Make sure to change the filters regularly
- Keep the coils of your AC clean
- Trim the shrubbery around the AC
- Check and adjust the thermostat appropriately
- Call an HVAC professional for yearly checks
Mobile Air Conditioner FAQs
What is the best mobile home air conditioner? Unfortunately, there’s no one correct answer to this question. PTAC units are considered the best, followed by ductless mini-splits. However, you still need to choose the right model.
How much does a central unit cost for a mobile home? A central air conditioner for a mobile home costs $3,000 to $7,000 depending on the size (BTU) and brand. That’s before you include installation costs.
How do I keep my mobile home cool? The easiest way to keep your mobile home cool is to invest in an appropriate air conditioner. Additionally, consider bringing in a few fans to vent the sweaty, stale air and dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture.
Best AC for Mobile Home Reviews
The following are six excellent choices for mobile home air conditioning. We’ve focused on Packaged Terminal ACs (PTACs) because PTACs are considered the best mobile home air conditioning solutions. However, a few other AC types are included in the list if you’re not a fan of PTAC systems.
1. AMANA PTAC 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner PTC123G50CXXX with 5Kw Heater
- 11,700 BTU Cooling BTUs
- 5.0 kW Electric Heater
- R410A Refrigerant
- 10.3 Energy Efficiency Ratio
- DigiSmart Controls
Let’s kick off with the heavy-duty AMANA model PTC123G50CXXX. The model PTC123G50CXXX is a 12,000 BTU air conditioner system with a 5kW electric heater.
It’s recommended for rooms up to 550 square feet and arrives with a standard wall sleeve that’s 42 inches wide x 16 inches high. The installation process is straightforward but is best handled by a licensed professional.
The 119-pound AC stands out for three main reasons. First, it’s very efficient. The Wireless Energy Management System built into the unit can save up to 35% of energy costs. The wireless energy management system also assists in monitoring performance and targeting maintenance.
Secondly, manufactured homes don’t absorb as much sound as traditional houses, thus can be noisy. The model PTC123G50CXXX AMANA uses enhancements that include an indoor tangential fan for quiet and even air distribution.
A two-speed indoor motor enhances guest comfort. Above all, the unit doubles as a heater and dehumidifier. A condensate dispersion system efficiently removes condensate.
The PTAC features a compact 7 5/8 front and comes with a 7-touch-button control panel so you can easily change temperatures to suit your needs. A 5-year limited manufacturer warranty backs it.
- Very efficient at 11 EER
- Pull-out filter for easy cleaning
- Factory-installed power cord
- Touch-button control panel
- 5-year manufacturer warranty
- No remote control
- Requires 230V wiring
2. Friedrich PDH07K3SG 42-Inch Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner
- 7,200 BTU
- Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner with 6,000 BTU Heat Pump
The all-in-one Friedrich model PDH07K3SG is another excellent PTAC air conditioner. It’s a 230/208V packaged terminal AC with a heat pump, allowing you to cool, heat, and dehumidify your home all year round. An inbuilt air filtering mechanism helps eliminate allergens and airborne particles to keep your indoor air clean and healthy.
The AC component is rated 7,000 BTU, while the heat pump is rated 6,000 BTU. This makes the PDH07K3SG ideal for medium-sized rooms, up to around 400 square feet.
Meanwhile, the dehumidifier component removes up to 1.7 pints of moisture per hour. The adjustable front louvers move automatically to ensure that air is distributed throughout the room evenly.
The unit is very efficient. A thick steel wall and foam construction keep heat from escaping or entering the unit for energy efficiency. This partly explains the 13 EER rating. It’s also reasonably quiet. The high-quality insulation prevents it from making any loud, unnecessary sounds during operation.
A powerful fan inside the unit helps move the cool or warm air throughout the house at up to 300 CFM. The best part is that you can control all these functions from the comfort of your sofa via a remote.
This AC is made from steel and treated with a coating of galvanized zinc for added durability. It arrives with a 2-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- Powerful 7,000 BTU cooling
- Includes a 6,000 BTU heat pump
- Features a built-in 1.7 pints/hour dehumidifier
- Features a built-in thermostat
- 2-year warranty
- Requires 230V wiring
- No timer
3. Friedrich PDE09K3SG PTAC Heating 15,000 BTU Cooling
- Brand: Friedrich
- Manufacturer's Part Number: PDE09K3SG
- Item Description: Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner
- Cooling Square Feet: 450
- BTU Cooling: 9,400
A significant downside of the model PDH07K3SG above is the size. At 7,000 BTU, it’s best for small rooms under 400 square feet. If you desire a more powerful unit from the same manufacturer, the 15,000 BTU model PDE09K3SG PTAC is a beautiful companion.
It’s made from the same high-quality materials for exceptional durability. It also features the enviable coil design of the SG series PTACs that ensures maximum internal surface area for high-efficiency cooling and heating.
Stainless steel endplates on the coils and galvanized zinc-coated steel wall sleeves ensure a long life of reliable use. Meanwhile, the two-motor design and thick insulation on the inner walls reduce the indoor sound levels. The Constant Fan Mode further reduces output noise by making sound level changes when the compressor cycles on and off.
The built-in heat pump delivers 13,000 BTUs of gentle warmth during the heating season to complement your central heater. A heating element bottom plate above the heat shield provides extra thermal protection.
Other features of the PDE09K3SG PTAC include easy-access anti-microbial filters, a tamper-resistant stamped aluminum grille, an indoor coil frost sensor, and a built-in self-diagnostic program. A 2-year parts warranty backs it.
- Its powerful at 15,000 BTU (cooling)
- Features 13,000 BTU heat pump
- A 3.1 pint/hour dehumidifier
- Powerful 400 CFM fan
- Ideal for up to 800 Sq. Ft.
- 5-year limited warranty
- No timer
- Not Energy Star rated
4. MIDEA MAP08R1CWT 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner Dehumidifier and Fan
- EASY COOL - The Midea Portable Air Conditioner, ASHRAE rating 8,000 BTU (5300 BTU 2017 SACC standard) delivers fast, effective cooling for spaces Up to 150 square feet while simultaneously providing fan and dehumidification functions in any home, bedroom, office or cabin; creating a relaxing and comfortable environment
- EFFORTLESS OPERATION - Enjoy the simplicity and comfort of digital controls. The portable AC features an easy-to-read LED display and includes a compact remote control (batteries included) to easily set the time, temperature, and mode, from across the room. Its 24-hour adjustable timer can cool a room to a temperature between 62°F-90°F and has 3 modes to choose from - cooling, dehumidification, fan only.
- EASY INSTALLATION: Roll your air conditioner to the preferred cooling area, attach the 5ft hose and adjustable window brackets (fits openings from 26.5-48“), turn the unit on and let your cooling begin. An exhaust hose and window kit are included, no extra tools are needed for assembly. Installation instructions are simple and can be done by anyone.
- WASHABLE AIR FILTER - To provide clean cool air, we designed a removable and reusable air filter to protect your family and living space from dust and pet hairs. We recommend you clean the filter every week of operation in order to extend the life and performance of this unit.
- WORLDWIDE - Midea is the world’s largest provider of air conditioning products. As a testament to our dedication to quality, we offer a one year parts and labor on this product
Although PTAC air conditioners are the best for mobile home cooling, you can also bring in other AC types for additional cooling. This portable unit from MIDEA ought to be top of your list.
It’s an 8,000 BTU air conditioner that delivers fast, effective cooling for spaces up to 150 square feet. Better still, it incorporates a dehumidifier function to remove excess moisture from your home.
The model MAP08R1CWT MIDEA is attractive for three main reasons, though. First, the portable design means you can take it anywhere and move it from one room to the next without trouble. You also don’t have to worry about boring holes in your walls.
Secondly, it’ the most technologically advanced AC on this list. The smart controls, including an LED control panel, a 24-hour timer, and remote control, make your work extra easy. Above all, it’s a gorgeous appliance that will instantly enhance your décor.
Washable, reusable filters inside the unit remove pet hair and dust to keep your indoor climate safe and healthy. A “check filter” light alerts you when it’s time to wash/replace the filter.
It has three fan speeds for your convenience and an energy-saving Sleep/Eco mode for night use and is backed by a one-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- Includes 24-hour timer
- Features washable filters
- Incorporates a dehumidifier
- One-year warranty
- Best for small space under 150 sq. Ft.
5. MIDEA EasyCool Window Air Conditioner – Cooling, Dehumidifier, and Fan
- 3 IN 1 COMFORT - The Midea EasyCool Window Air Conditioner unit has three modes to help your house, apartment, office, or room be as comfortable as possible. It can cool a space up to 250 sq. ft. quickly, circulate air with its 3-speed fan, or reduce humidity utilizing the dehumidifier mode.
- ENERGY EFFICIENT - The EasyCool window air conditioner is Energy Star certified to help save you money throughout the year. There are also multiple custom settings to help you be even more energy-efficient like Eco mode and an EasyTimer feature to program a schedule that fits your needs.
- QUIET & EASY TO USE - This window AC unit is quieter than a household refrigerator. The intuitive LED display and remote control (batteries included) allow easy setting of time, temperature, and mode from across the room. The removable and reusable air filter protects your family and living space from dust and pet hairs.
- EASY INSTALLATION - Install easily in your home or apartment's existing window frame (23"-36"x14"). All mounting accessories are included. A screwdriver is required (but not included) for installation. For some window frames, pilot holes are recommended before installing screws. Installation instructions are simple and setting it up is a breeze.
- WORLDWIDE LEADER - Midea is the world’s #1 air treatment brand with a motto to help make customers feel at home with each of their products. As a testament to our dedication to quality and our customers, we offer one-year parts and labor warranty on this product.
You may also consider a window air conditioner for your mobile home, and the MIDEA EasyCool model MAW12R1BWT would be a good shout. The 12,000 BTU AC is ideal for rooms up to 550 square feet.
It’s also reasonably priced at about $400, which is only higher than the MIDEA portable unit above. Above all, it’s pretty compact at 24.2 x 20.3 x 14.5 inches. It’s ideal for 23-36-inch wide windows that are at least 14 inches high.
An LCD control panel accessible from the front of the appliance allows you to adjust settings and change operating modes with ease. The modes include an ECO setting for low energy usage and a Sleep mode for night use.
It also features a timer function for programmed cooling and an Auto mode that automatically selects the best cooling level depending on current conditions.
At 57.5 decibels (lowest noise rating), it’s not the quietest air conditioner. However, the multiple controls and functions allow you to adjust the operation for the most comfortable conditions. The louvers help disperse air evenly throughout the home.
The AC installs with ease. You don’t need to modify the window. Also, all mounting accessories are included. The only tool missing in the installation kit is the screwdriver.
- Doubles as a dehumidifier and fan
- It has a Sleep mode and Eco mode
- Remote controlled
- Installation accessories included
- One year limited warranty
- Requires professional installation
6. Senville SENA 24HF/IF Floor Mounted Mini Split AC Heat Pump
- DC Inverter Technology for Ultra High Efficiency and Performance
- Floor Mounted or Ceiling Mounted Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump
- High Quality Design for an Attractive Appearance, Powerful Performance, and Dependable Durability
- Uses 208-230V, ETL Intertek Approved, AHRI Certified
- Includes Easy Installation Kit with 16 Ft. Copper Line Set and Wiring Harness
Finally, mobile homes also work well with ductless mini splits, though you’ll need professional installation and sound insulation. This unit from Senville, the SENA 24HF/IF, would especially be a thoughtful consideration.
It’s a 20 SEER Energy Star certified air conditioner that employs advanced inverter technology for incredibly efficient performance. A 20 SEER AC saves about 50% of energy costs compared to a 10 SEER unit.
Better still, it is part of the AURA series that’s known to comprise some of the quietest air conditioners. This particular unit is rated a mere 36.5 decibels in the low-speed setting.
The SENA 24HF/IF doubles as a heat pump to add valuable warmth to your home during the cold season. The heat pump is also rated 24,000 BTU.
More impressively, it continues to deliver warmth up to -22˚F. The heater is rated 11.5 HSPF4 and 9.6 HSPF5. A powerful 500 CFM inbuilt fan ensures that the cool (or warm) air reaches every corner of the room.
This appliance is ETL certified, AHRI certified and rated 13 EER. It’s also Wi-Fi compatible, though it also uses remote control. The compressor is covered by a 7-year warranty, while a 3-year warranty covers the other parts.
- It’s a powerful 24,000 BTU AC
- Doubles as a 24,000 BTU heat pump
- Ideal for up to 1,450 Sq. Ft.
- Wi-Fi and remote control
- Installation kit and accessories included
- It’s a tad expensive
- Requires 230V wiring
Although most mobile homes arrive with a pre-installed air conditioning system, you’ll likely need an additional cooling system to lower the indoor temperatures to comfortable levels.
A packaged terminal AC (PTAC) or ductless mini-split unit often does the trick. Window and portable AC units are also good choices, as long as you find the right design and size.