A BTU is a British Thermal Unit. It’s a unit of measure like a calorie or a joule, but it’s an English unit. Like using yard instead of meter, we use BTU instead of calorie. Read on to learn more.
What Do They Mean To me?
A single BTU is equal to the energy released by burning a match. The more BTU’s you use, the more energy is consumed and the more it costs on your bill. By comparing BTU ratings, we can buy efficient products that can do the same job but “waste” fewer BTU. You will need to select a furnace or AC for your home depending on the size and type of home you have, because it will need to be able to produce enough BTUs to cool and heat your home properly. Carrier states:
“Once an HVAC pro has calculated the BTUs per hour (BTUH) needed for your home, he or she selects your furnace size or AC size,” says Keith. “For AC, we use both BTUH and ‘tons’ of air conditioning. One ton equals 12,000 BTUs, so a three-ton air conditioner would have a nominal capacity of 36,000 BTUH.”
In this case, ‘ton’ doesn’t mean the actual weight of the air conditioner. The term “ton” actually comes from the origins of refrigeration when ice had to be made for food storage.
“An air conditioning system is a refrigeration system, one designed for human comfort instead of food preservation,” he says. “It takes 12,000 BTUs to make one ton of ice, hence one ‘ton’ equals 12,000 BTUH.”
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