Mobile Home Air Conditioner: Which AC System Is the Best Choice?

Mobile home ac unit
Written by Diana Bennett

Installing a mobile home air conditioner is probably one of the most important investments that you can make, especially if you live in a place where summers become unbearable. So what kind of mobile home ac unit should you get?

What is the price? Is there a way to get a good but affordable model? In this article we are going to introduce you to a guide on how to choose the right ac unit for your mobile home, so stay tuned.

Old AC system

Types of Mobile Home Air Conditioners

When it comes to choosing an air conditioner, you should know that there are four basic groups they belong to. They are:

The Package Air Conditioning System

This is probably one of the most popular air conditioners for mobile homes. The package unit is a large version of the window air conditioner and it has a high capacity for cooling and heating than other ac units. This is especially important when it comes to mobile homes where the space can be cramped or limited – this ac system would easily cool the whole house.

Package ac system

The package conditioner consists of two large ducts that are attacked to it and they work as a return and supply. Another great advantage is that this ac unit does not require an interior space, it is put in one box which you can place on your rooftop, for example. It is also very affordable and easy to maintain.


  • This is a great choice if you have limited space;
  • It is able to heat or cool the entire house or building;
  • It can be cheap


  • It is not energy efficient, thus it is recommended for limited space only.

The Central/Ducted Air Conditioning System

This type of air conditioning system consists of an indoor unit (air handler) and the outdoor unit (condenser). This is a great choice if you already possess an interior furnace because this type of ac system is energy efficient and there are many brands to choose form.

Central AC system

The main advantage is that you can control the air handler inside your home and distribute the air or heat throughout the all rooms. That is why this system is also called the split system. Therefore, if you are able to place the condenser outside and connect it with the indoor unit, then this might be a great choice for your mobile home.


  • It is energy efficient;
  • Most homes already have a network of air ducts so the installation is not difficult
  • It can be found at affordable price


  • It can be expensive to install if your home does not have a network of air ducts
  • It can look bad or feel cramped in small homes

The Ductless Air Conditioning System

This type of AC is also called the mini-split because it consists of one condenser and several small air handlers that can be placed inside your home. The point is to mount them on the walls in different rooms so the air or heat can be distributed evenly.

Ductless air conditioner on wall

This ac unit is great because it is very quiet, there is no duct installation, you control it via handheld remote, and they are easily installed inside a mobile home. However, they are also expensive.


  • There is no duct installation
  • Each small air unit can evenly distribute air through the whole home and every room
  • The installation is easy.


  • It can be expensive;
  • The air is not filtered as well as in a ducted system
  • The maintenance becomes more difficult as the unit ages
  • If the unit is placed in every room that can look aesthetically bad

The Window Air Conditioning System

This ac unit is also called the wall shaker because it is one of the easiest to install and cheapest options for a mobile home. That is because a window ac does not have to meet the energy efficient standards or even to provide heat, which lowers its cost.

Window ac unit

Additionally, they can be quite noisy so they are recommended for a small space during a limited time period.


  • It is very cheap and affordable;
  • It can come in handy in limited space and a short period of time;


  • This ac unit is very noisy;
  • Most of the models do not provide heat;
  • Not very energy efficient;
  • It draws a lot of amperage so it needs its own separate wiring.

What Size of Air Conditioner is Right for Your Mobile Home?

When it comes to manufactured mobile homes, most of them have the package air conditioner system for heating and cooling. That is because it is easier to install a large box near the home. However, most mobile homes (depending on their size) can have other ac units.

In order to determine the right size for your mobile home you need to take a look at the manufacturer’s data plate. The plate should have the info regarding the recommended maximum BTU’s of capacity that should be installed in your home.

If you wonder how to convert the BTU into tons, just divide the numbers by 12,000. That means that, for example, if your plate listing says that you should not exceed the 37,500 BTU then that means that you should not install an AC system that is larger than 3 ton.

Fitting window ac

It is not recommended to purchase an air conditioner that is larger than your home capacity can take. The reason is simple – if the AC system is more powerful than it is recommended, than your home can be cooled too quickly, which can prevent the cooling coils to remove the moisture from the air and bring it to the comfortable level.

And you would not like condensation to form inside your home, right?

The Cost of Air Conditioning

It is always recommended to hire an air conditioning contractor who would install the system into your home because it is faster and safer, even though it is also more expensive. If you are not very experienced, you can not only hurt yourself but damage the whole system by installing it in a wrong way.

The New Air Conditioning Unit Load Calculation

You can use one of many online unit load calculators to determine the price range for your home, but it is a general rule that every 500 or 600 square feet need one ton of cooling. When you hire a professional, they will take a look at your insulation, floors and walls to determine how much cooling or heating your home would need.

The Cost of Installing the Air Conditioning Unit

The window air conditioners are always the cheapest and their price is approximately around $300 to $1200. Speaking of the central units, they can range between $3000 and $7000, depending on the brand you choose and the cost of assistants who would install it.

The overall cost of ductless air systems is around $1800-$15,000, depending on whether you need an electrical subcontractor or not. The price of a packaged AC unit is $5000 and above; however, it can be cheaper if you purchase it alongside the manufactured mobile home. That depends on the manufacturer and what kind of deal you are getting.

Make sure to remember that you also need a professional or a team of professional to install the AC which is not less than $100, depending on the firm you hire and brand of the AC.

The Additional Considerations and Costs

You might think that once you purchase an AC unit it is over, but it is not. There are various costs to take into consideration, and some of them are:

  • The purchased AC unit requires yearly maintenance because you need to clean it and make sure that it works properly.
  • You need to make sure that all of the codes, regulations, taxes and additional fees are paid.
  • If more than two persons occupy the space, you need to add 600 BTU/h.
  • The labor cost can be very expensive depending on the area you live in.
  • If the unit gets damaged the repair costs should be taken into consideration.

Costs related to ac

Tips for Maintaining Your AC Unit

Maintaining an AC unit is not very easy but it should not be neglected – for your own safety. Here are seven tips on how to maintain your air conditioner properly:

  1. Make sure to change the filter In order for an AC unit to run smoothly you simply have to change the filter once a month. The filters in ACs get dirty and clogged all the time, just imagine all of the dust that gets stuck in there. Changing them regularly will not only be easy on your budget but your AC unit won’t get damaged.
  2. Keep the coils of your AC clean. Make sure to clean the debris, dirt and dust around your air conditioner regularly because they can prevent it from working normally. Just use a broom or a garden hose, but avoid using a pressure washer.
  3. Trim the shrubbery around your AC. If there are plants around your AC, make sure to trim them or place them somewhere else. The leaves and small plant elements can get obstructed inside the AC unit and damage it. Plus it will make you clean it more often.
  4. Make sure that there is no dryer vent near the AC unit. If you have a lint from the dryer that is angled toward the AC unit, you can have problems. The lint can get stuck inside the unit and prevent the air from flowing normally.
  5. Check and adjust the thermostat. This is important if you are away from home for a long period of time. You need to ensure that the AC unit is not overworking itself when you are in the house because that will reduce its life span. Just adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature when you are away; some AC systems allow you to pre-program your thermostat so you do not need to worry about coming to an overheated house.
  6. Check the doors, windows, ductwork and seal open spaces. You should do this as to prevent the cool air from escaping outside. The more cool air escapes your home, the more your AC unit will have to work for nothing.
  7. Call an HVAC professional to perform a yearly check on your AC unit. The cost should be around $100 depending on the area you live in, but that is nothing compared to the cost if your unit gets damaged because you did not check it on time. The professional will perform a series of tests to ensure that the unit is working properly and clean the drain.

Air conditioning maintenace

Final Thoughts

To sum up, we have covered different types of air conditioner systems for your mobile homes, their advantages and disadvantages, the cost and tips on maintaining your AC unit. Each AC unit has its own pros and cons, and you should choose the one that will suits your preference and budget the most.

However, keep in mind that you should also take into consideration the cost of yearly maintenance and unexpected costs.

The window AC unit is the cheapest because it is of lower quality. While the package and central AC units are the most expensive, they also provide you with the heat and various other options.

Many mobile homes come with an already manufactured package system because they are put outside as to not reduce your already limited home space. But you can also install some other type of AC if you have many rooms, a bigger home or simply other preference.

Installing central AC

Do you have an AC unit and if you do, which type? Would you prefer a packaged air conditioner or perhaps a central one? Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section below.


Diana Bennett

Diana is passionate about interior and architectural design and wants to dedicate her life to the transition of living space to more practical and affordable but elegant and cozy at the same time. Her father is a developer, so she was raised on a construction site learning all the details of the construction process. Later she got involved in design industry and received a degree in journalism. As a result she knows how to build an amazing home and writes about it.