Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question? Our Mobile Office team is ready to help. Here’s a quick video with a few questions answered by Lori Turner, Jim Quinn and Terry Buckley. You can also read through our FAQs below. If you’re still looking for answers, call us at 800-257-2536. tf we don’t know the answer we will find out.
Mobile Office & Modular Building FAQs
- 8 wide trailers: 4
- 10×36 trailers: 6
- 10×44 trailers: 8
- 10×50 trailers: 8
- 12×60 trailers: 10
- 24×60 modular buildings: 12
Bard units are provided with one 1-inch disposable filter (the higher capacity units have two), located behind the “filter access door.” This is the middle panel on the front of the unit. Check the condition of your filter and replace annually, or more often if the HVAC equipment is operating in a dusty environment, (in which case, the 1-inch filter can be replaced with a 2-inch filter.) Please note: a 2-inch filter will cause some loss in airflow and should be checked monthly. A dirty filter will degrade the performance of your heating/cooling system, and increase your bills. Replacement filters are available from any hardware store or heating/cooling equipment supplier.
A Bard unit will have either a manual outside air intake damper (standard) or a “commercial room ventilator” (if ordered). Both of these devices serve to supply fresh air to the interior of the structure, and may be adjusted for efficiency and economy. The commercial room devices open when the unit is operating, and automatically close when the unit shuts down. Adjust the damper to the minimum opening that provides sufficient fresh air; the more people in the building, the greater the damper opening should be. If the outside air intake device brings too much air into the trailer, cost will be increased. However, a certain amount of fresh air is necessary to maintain indoor air quality. We do not recommend setting the outside air intake to a fully closed position. During the winter months, close the outside damper to a degree that will ensure comfort for the occupants.
SUPPLY AIR DIFFUSERS/DAMPERS:
Conditioned air is supplied via a ceiling duct. One or more ceiling mounted supply diffusers distribute air to each occupied room or area and are equipped with dampers that allow adjustment of air volume. The amount that each damper is opened may vary between heating and cooling operation and can be easily adjusted to ensure occupants are comfortable.
The Bard unit is equipped with a simple Manual Changeover type thermostat (the thermostat must be switched manually between heating & cooling). Do not use the thermostat as an on/off switch or set the thermostat higher or lower than the desired temperature. This WILL NOT heat or cool the space more quickly, but will result in increased operating costs. If the thermostat is not programmable, manually setting the temperature to 55 degrees (heating season) or 85 degrees (cooling season) when the building is not to be occupied (nights and weekends) will save energy and money.
The thermostat has a switch for indoor fan operation, labeled “auto” and “on”. In the Auto setting, the indoor fan will run only when the thermostat calls for heating or cooling. In the “on” setting, the fan will run continuously. Fresh air is only brought into the building when the indoor fan is operating. During temperate periods, the fan switch should be set to “on” to enable fresh air to enter.
Our modular buildings are equipped with electric heating systems. Heating systems are designed to maintain indoor temperatures during the AVERAGE coldest and warmest periods. These temperatures are established by the various state building, mechanical and/or energy codes. Generally, both heating and cooling capacities are slightly in excess of what is necessary to meet winter and summer temperatures.
It is critical to verify the incoming electrical service voltage to the modular building. The capacity of electric resistance heating is rated at 240 volts. As the service voltage drops, so will the heat output from the unit (cooling is not affected). It is not uncommon for service voltage to be less than 240 volts. In most temperatures, an under-voltage condition will not be noticed. However, in extremely cold weather, the HVAC unit may not be able to maintain the set temperature. Also, the fresh air intake should be adjusted accordingly—on very cold days the damper should be only slightly open if it is noticed that the Heating unit cannot bring the temperature to the thermostat setting.
When a heating system is first started for another heating season, there may be a “hot” smell for several moments after start-up. This is normal with almost any type of heating equipment.
A “HEAT PUMP” is actually an air conditioning system running in reverse. Heat pumps may be the most efficient form of central heating equipment for moderately cold temperatures. In areas with colder winters, heat pumps can still provide a very economic heat supply down to about 25-30 degrees F. Below this temperature, the heat pump will become less effective. Because of this, your unit is also equipped with electric heat. Below 30 degrees, the heat pump will shut down and the electric heat will automatically operate.
A heat pump will not supply heated air as warm as from conventional electric or gas heat. Because the air is moving, it may feel cool… This is normal for a heat pump that produces warm air only in the 80-90 degree F range. Note: when the heat pump is operating, it will periodically go into “defrost” mode, and generate clouds of steam at the outdoor condensing unit. This is normal.
Many modular units are now shipped with natural gas heat. Bard offers a conversion kit to change over from natural gas to propane. Be sure to inspect the heating unit prior to connecting any gas source to make sure the proper orifice is in place. A Bard gas furnace operates the same as any found in most homes today. Servicing of the gas appliance itself is best left to a professional.
Filter replacement and damper adjustments are accomplished in the same manner as outlined in the paragraphs above and can be accomplished with minimum effort.
and anti-freeze has been poured into all waste traps. Make sure the open sides of the module have shipping walls in the proper locations. Shipping walls should be constructed with 24″ sheathing strips at the top, bottom, and mid-point. Shipping walls over the axle assembly should have sheathing at full height. Make sure the open side of the building is wrapped with white or clear shipping plastic (minimum 6 mil). Plywood or paneling strips should be nailed to the shipping walls and unit corners with double-headed nails to secure the plastic. It is also a good idea to run plastic strapping the full length of the unit to assist in keeping the plastic in place.
Shipping plastic should run under the roofing and over the bottom board. This will ensure that water will not get into the open floor and attic cavities.
Make sure the hitch and rear end of the unit is supported. This will keep wall covering and siding from cracking and warping. It will also help keep door and window openings plumb.
Make sure roof drains are open and free of debris. Also verify that any roof drain piping is stubbed to the exterior of the unit.
Make sure gutters and downspouts are clean and free of debris.
Inspect roof seams, window and door caulking. Make any required repairs before weather arrives so water cannot seep in during the time the unit is idle.
It is imperative that the roof is cleared of all heavy snow loads during the winter. Flat roofs are inclined to collapse if the snow and ice builds up and becomes too heavy for the trailer.
- Check caulk around windows and doors and replace if necessary.
- Check siding. Loose siding could suggest water damage or the growth of mold. Make sure fasteners and trim are tight.
- Check the roofing for bubbles or bulges in rolled roofing. Look for curling or missing shingles. Make sure the drip edges are in good shape and push water away from the siding.
- Check flashing to make sure it will not allow water infiltration.
- Check for broken glass in windows and doors and inspect the ease of opening and closing doors and windows.
- Check latches, hinges, locks and strike plates.
- Check your doorstops.
- Check the undercarriage for animal nests or vermin damage.
- Check to make sure the wheels have not settled into mud. Lack of proper support may cause interior panels to pull away from stud walls. Power wash the outside of the building, including windows and doors.
- Check drains, downspouts and elbows for nests and other obstructions. Run water through the drain to be certain it is functioning properly.
- Check plastic wrap for rips, tears or holes that would allow water damage or nesting birds.
- Check tire pressure and condition.
- Replace air filters. Run the heating system to remove “start-up” smell and see it runs properly.
- Test run the A/C units at all speeds and settings.
- Look for signs of water leaks.
- Check the lights, electrical outlets and other fixtures and replace if necessary.
- Tighten drain connectors and check water lines to make sure nothing has frozen; faucets, drains and toilets are in working order.
- Test interior doors and cabinet closures. Again, check hinges and handles.
- Perform touch-up painting, trim repair, and general cleaning.
- Walk the floor to check for humps, loose tile and torn carpet. Look for stains and other damage, especially ceiling tiles for rain damage and for loose grid work.
- Check all battens for adhesion. Check drywall seam lines for separation and warping.
- 20 ft. containers weigh 5,015 lbs. empty.
- 40 ft. containers weigh 8,377 lbs. empty.