Most manufactured homes have packaged units which are self contained systems that are completely outside of the home. The advantage to installing a new package unit is there are no costly copper line sets to replace, the down side is that most package units aren't as efficient as split systems and there aren't as many options, but the manufacturers are making great advances in this area.
The biggest complaint we hear from people who live in mobile homes is that their heating and cooling costs are very high and that their systems are unable to maintain the level of comfort that they require. The reasons for these complaints are that when the manufacturered home dealers put together the package for the home a lot of times they put in straight cool air conditioners with electric heaters instead of heat pump air conditioners and on top of that they put in undersized eletric heat kits for this are of Florida. A heat pump can save a homeowner about 40% off their winter heating bills and with the cold winters we had the last 2 winters that can be a lot of money.
Deisgn temperature in this area of Florida is for an A/C to maintain 75 degrees inside when it is 95 outside and if the system is sized correctly this shouldn't be an issue, unfortunately a lot of A/C contractors don't perform a Load Calculation when replacing a system and the homeowner complains that the system just doesn't keep them cool enough instead they just put in the same sized system as before. When the mobile home dealers put together their package deals to sell the homes they usually come with an A/C system and it is usually the cheapest one they can find. By state law they must perform a Load Calculation, but if they don't take into effect how the home will sit on the site the location of trees and other factor this can cause large differences in the size of the system, also a contractor can put in a system that is 1/2 ton smaller or larger than what the Load Calculation calls for so natuarally most will opt for the smaller unit.
To further aggrevate the situation the dealer uses the least expensive A/C contractor they can find and many of these systems are installed right up against the side of the home which restricts airflow, there should be 12" around the unit for it to breather properly, the system must also be leveled properly so that the condesation drains out of the unit and in many cases we find them leveled so that the condensate goes back into the duct work which ruins the duct work and can cause health isssues from mold and other biological hazards. Finally most of the A/C systems are Colemans and the nearest distributor is in Orlando which means the homeowner must pay for the shipping and hadling not once but twice because the defective parts must be returned and if the part is large that can cost hundreds on top of labor costs.
If you are in the market for a new mobile home we implore you to hire your own A/C contractor who is local to the area and will help you make the right choice for your lifestyle. We have installed several A/C's on new mobile homes and although the dealers won't be happy it is your money and you should be confortable and habe piece of mind in your new home. We are fully capable of doing a Load Calculation for you, we will visit the site with you to see where the home will sit, what the sun exposure will be, what trees will be kept and which will be cut down and we will get you a properly sized system from a better manufacturer that will be installed properly and with the right sized ducts for proper air flow. Just give us a call and we will be happy to help you with either a replacement package unit or a new unit on a new home.