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All About BTUs for Your HVAC System

All About BTUs for Your HVAC SystemAs you make your home as energy efficient as possible for the heating season, you’ll need to be somewhat familiar with some terms. One such term is the abbreviation BTU, which is crucial to the performance and efficiency of your heating system. Let’s take a closer look at how it applies to your heating equipment.

What are BTUs?

One British thermal unit (BTU) is equal to the energy needed to heat one pound of water by a single degree Fahrenheit. A furnace is measured in the BTUs it consumes per hour to attain this increase in temperature. For instance, a furnace that’s rated at 80,000 BTU input consumes 80,000 BTU per hour.

Furnaces can be as small as 40,000 BTU or as large as 200,000 BTU or even more. A typical furnace can range from 80,000 BTU to 100,000 BTU per hour.

How Many BTUs Do You Need?

A furnace that has a low BTU rating may seem to be an ideal option if saving on initial costs is your priority. But here’s the problem: if you have a large home with poor insulation and many old windows, such a furnace will keep turning on and off after very short periods. This can prematurely wear it out.

On the contrary, a furnace that has a high BTU rating may seem perfect for getting as much heating as possible. Unfortunately, it will run too frequently and result in higher energy bills. It may also heat your home inadequately on freezing days.

The best way to buy the right furnace for your home is by having an HVAC technician come to your home and perform a Manual J Load calculation. It will take several factors such as your home’s windows, insulation and room sizes into consideration to estimate the BTUs the right furnace requires to run.

Knowing your home’s BTU requirements will help you purchase a heating system that will do its job competently all season long. To learn more about BTU ratings, please contact us at Arpi’s Industries. We serve the Calgary area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about BTUs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Name of Artist/Shutterstock”

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