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    Improving Air Distribution Performance in Manufactured Housing
You may download the report here


Virtually all manufactured homes are designed to use forced air distribution systems (ADS) to circulate heated and cooled air. Recent studies suggest that improving ADS performance is the single most important strategy for reducing energy use and many moisture problems in manufactured housing.


SBRA collaborated with manufacturers to: evaluate duct leakage and other air distribution shortcomings originating in the plant, devise solutions that incorporate in-house resources and capabilities, and provide manufacturers with an affordable on-going quality control process for ADS integrity.


The following steps were outlined to bring a plant up to a high level of duct performance. Each plant was encouraged to find solutions that fit their operation, construction materials and staff resources.
  • Reconnaissance Duct construction techniques were observed in the plant and performance tests were conducted to identify the current status of ADS performance. Ducts can be tested in the plant with little if any affect on production. Field tests were also conducted where possible. A list of recommendations to improve ADS performance was developed.

  • Evaluate improvement strategies A meeting was coordinated with plant staff, to review any concerns identified with the current ADS. ADS performance targets and recommendations to be carried out in the production environment were selected. Suppliers were often involved in this process.

  • Implementation and training Strategies were incorporated in the plant; production staff was trained to incorporate new measures into the production process.

  • Interim testing Measures selected were evaluated both for improvements they provide to the ADS performance and for their acceptance in the production process. Modifications and/or new strategies were recommended at this point.

  • Value engineering Accepted ADS improvement strategies were evaluated to make their implementation as affordable as possible.

  • Developed ADS quality control process Techniques to provide immediate feedback for ADS performance were devised and tested in the production environment. Such measures were meant to provide enduring ADS performance quality and were to be employed by production staff, quality control staff or by supplier representatives.

 Manufactured Housing Duct Systems: Guide to Best Practices
more information about this Air Distribution Systems project