Looking for a brand-new air conditioner for your home can be exciting. However, the amount of information you will need to make an informed decision can sometimes be overwhelming. One of the topics that homeowners ask air conditioner installation technicians is BTUs (British Thermal Units). This is a measurement you will see in almost every cooling system you consider. Hence, it only makes sense that you conduct some research on it. This metric is critical because it might be the tiebreaker in your HVAC purchase decision. Below are the frequently asked questions on BTUs:
What’s a BTU?
BTUs is an acronym for British Thermal Units. A BTU is a method of measuring the heat that might appear contradictory to the air-cooling process. A BTU is equal to the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperatures of a pound of water by a Fahrenheit degree. Whenever you see an air conditioner having a certain BTU value, it tells you the total amount of heat it can remove. This translates to the AC unit’s cooling capacity level in energy terms. It is recommended that you reach out to your air conditioner installation technician before you purchase a unit. Based on the space you want cooled, they can determine how many BTUs in a unit you’ll need.
Why Do Air Conditioners Use BTUs?
Despite the naming, the British Thermal Unit is a standard measurement unit in the US that indicates the amount of energy an appliance generates. In the field of residential ACs, it is a metric used for finding the ideal AC size for your home. Though you may calculate the BTUs yourself, it is recommended that you enlist the help of an air conditioner installation technician. The professional will come to your home and evaluate it to determine the unit size that will be ideal for your home.
How are British Thermal Units (BTUs) Used for Air Conditioning Systems
Your home’s size, heat gain or loss rate, lifestyle, and other factors will all be considered when determining the proper number of British Thermal Units for your new Air conditioning system. You need to figure out the number of British Thermal Units per hour required to keep a comfortable temperature in Mansfield, TX during a typical summer. Tons are often used in connection with BTUs per hour, and 12,000 BTUs make up one ton. Consequently, a three-ton air conditioning system generates about 36,000 BTUs on average. Tons do not equal weight in the realm of air conditioning systems. So, if your air conditioner installation technician says that you require 36,000 BTUs, you do not need to allocate a large area of your yard to a massive AC unit. The number of BTUs per hour required to make ice is measured in tons.
How Can You Calculate British Thermal Units for Your Home?
To calculate your home’s BTUs, you will need ceiling heights, level of sun exposure, the number of your home’s inhabitants, and quality of insulation. You also should know the type of climate in your area and usable square feet, excluding the closets, garages, and other spaces that don’t need cooling. Although many online calculators can help you do the math, it is recommended that you entrust the task to a licensed air conditioner installation technician.
Why is it Essential to Know BTUs?
Figuring out the number of British Thermal Units you need for your home’s air conditioning system can help you in either of the two ways explained below. First, you increase your budget by ensuring your cooling needs will be met for several years. Next, BTUs form a part of the calculations for understanding the operational costs, meaning they can help you understand the ROI. Hence, you need as accurate a calculation as possible, so you need to hire an air conditioner installation technician.
Should You Choose Many BTUs Because You Can Afford?
This is a question that most homeowners contend with. However, large is only sometimes best in heating and air conditioning. It is not uncommon to find that some people purchase a unit with the most BTUs since they can afford it. Air conditioner installation technicians advise that this might only sometimes yield the much-expected results. A large unit will cool your Mansfield, TX home rapidly over a short period and shut off. This results in short cycling.
Additionally, your home will have cooler spots than others, not forgetting that the unit will not have run for enough time to remove the indoor humidity. Additionally, large systems cost a fortune, only to use more energy but result in less cooling. Hence, ensure that a technician performs heat load testing before you purchase a system.
What Can Happen if You Choose a Unit with the Wrong BTUs?
You will eventually pay more if you get an air conditioner with the incorrect number of BTUs—either too high or too low. You will either overspend on utilities or pay more each month than you should. Another thing to think about is that your HVAC system might not be able to accommodate a device that can create enough cooling and ventilation. Inadequately sized HVAC systems also usually require more servicing. To avoid these issues, enlist the help of an air conditioner installation technician to determine the number of BTUs your home needs.
Can You Increase the BTUs?
Unfortunately, there’s no known method of making your current AC produce more BTUs. However, suppose your goal is to save money on cooling costs. In that case, HVAC repair technicians can help you find various options, such as converting the unit to a zoned one or using a programmable thermostat.
At Just In Time, we know that Mansfield, TX homeowners sometimes struggle when looking for AC units. Do you have a question regarding BTUs or any other aspect of your AC unit, or do you even need an air conditioner installation? Contact us at Minuteman Heating & Air today.