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Heat tape and insulation

Q. Who typically installs heat tape and insulation? The folks who did the well work just strung the lines along the ground and they need to be winterized.

A. It would be better if the pipes were buried at least below the frost line, but check local recommendations for depth. I did my own heat tape. It is not hard to do. Just measure how long the exposed pipes are then get the length of heat tape to match and install per the instructions they usually recommend wrapping in aluminum foil before installing the tape. I then covered that with foam pipe wrap. You will need to call some insulation companies to see about getting the insulation installed if you don't want to DIY. I did my own, of course. That is also not difficult to do. Whether it is a single or double wide it goes in the same way, follow the instructions on the insulaton. R-19 or above would be good to use.

Heating and A/C

Q. My husband and I are purchasing a 14 year old single wide mobile home. When we purchased it we had to pull up all the carpets, but the floor under them was ok , so we put down laminate flooring. We are sealing the roof this fall and replacing a few walls that have gotten soft. MY question is this, are heating and air unit does not cool properly at all. When we inspected the ducts, there are several that have eroded and leaking air under the trailer. My husband called a heating and air company for prices on a new unit and duct work. They told him that the way trailers are built they can not put new duct work in. Is this correct? Because if it is there is no reason to get a new unit if the air is going to leak under the house. We need help, we do not know what to do.

A. Yes, it can be done. I did my double wide mobile home. Same as a single except it has two troughs. It requires removing the existing trough (the long metal duct that runs the length of the home) or simply cutting it out where the boot goes through the floor at the existng registers and installing new boots, flex duct and a return vent. You could also consider a mini-split unit that requires no duct work. I turned the cubby hole where the inside unit was to a linen closet. Look here for mini split info , , and they heat and cool. The compressor sits outside and freon lines are run to the individual units inside. No duct work required and no air leaks. Some units look like a painting hanging on the wall if you like to camouflage it, pretty cool idea. The mini split is very efficient and I think the prices will just about balance out. With multiple units if one was to go out you still have heat or a/c with the other one, something to think about. Prices you will have to get locally. Get several estimates, an informed shopper is a happy customer.