Heat or No Heat


I moved to North Carolina, the land of COLDer weather, than Florida. Now the mobile I am in has no heat. I was looking for your thoughts on what to do for heat this season. Would you put in electric heat, use an a/c with a heat strip, put in central heat and air or just use the plug in heaters that are portable?

Since most of you are more experienced than I, your opinions are important to me.

What would you suggest?

Sandi Shear


fix your furnace.

A new electric furnace runs about $450 plus $100 for materials for install provided that you have sufficient amperage service. Monitor heaters run on fuel oil and are highly efficient although the fuel is costly the efficiency offsets it’s cost. My personal Choice if you can’t install an electric furnace would be the wall mounted vent free propane/natural gas units, they run about $300 new during peak season and will cost about $600 installed and operational with a decent size propane tank.

There is no good answer other than to install a new furnace (which also protects your water lines), Central units run about $2000 and in most cases just don’t make sense from what I’ve seen.

Best wishes,

Ryan Needler


It depends.

If you can tolerate inconvenience and some risk for less $$ you can buy oil-filled electric heaters (about $40 ea) and plug them into different circuits. These are cheaper to run than propane or nat gas (butane). About the same or a little less than elec furnace. When a long freeze is expected, turn your faucets on slightly to keep the water moving.

This is what I do in most cases. It requires fairly frequent checking during hard freezes. Have only had to use the bullet heater under the home to rewarm the pipes twice in 6 yrs, no breaks, because I caught the freeze early.


Hi Sandi,

The next major crisis that will hit all of us is spelled ’ OIL’ . We do not have a Federal Reserve that will print the stuff out of thin air. As always, the mental midgets in Washington will aggravate the problem. Consequently, avoid your dependency on oil. We use all electric and one gas/electric system.

Always, all the best to you,

Sandi, does your MH have a furnace that does not function, or no furnace at all. If you have no furnace, I would buy a MH with a working furnace and CA, you can buy a MH cheaper than you can buy a new furnace-ac. I just bought a 15kw furnace $436. 3ton ca with acoil, line set, disconnect, pad- $1381. portable heaters are a whole lot better than nothing, but will kill you on utilities and be an all around hassle.

Thanks so much for everyone’s input.

I spoke to many local people here. What I learned surprised me. Many of the local oil delivery people do not work on the furnances and vise-versa. I finally found someone to come and replace the relay switch and the motor for $380. Ryan came up with an oil tank as well. Total of $580. Still no oil.

There is an additional issue that I neglected to mention. I have 100 amps to play with - total. I had considered someone’s suggestion of other options but was told they would not work because of my 100 amps. At this time I cannot increase the total elec to the unit. This unit is attached to another unit and the 2 units share 200amps. The other unit has an elec heater in it that was tuned up and repaired for $120.

I have been using elec heaters and it has been toasty.

I like some of the ideas you all shared and will be doing more research into what will work within my elec issue. I have tight control over the use of this unit, so I am not too concerned about massive bills. I will also call the utilty company every other week to see what it is costing.

What surprised me more was the cost that most furnance repair people wanted - it was outrageous. I also realize where I am makes a difference. Some reasonable priced repair people would not come out here (it was too far a trip).

Again, thank you - everyone for your great input.

Looks like electric is the way to go for now.

Sandi Shear