How To Estimate How Many BTUs You Need

When it comes to measuring heat energy an AC unit produces or removes on a specific period, we need a measurement unit. And, it is the British Thermal Unit (BTU). It also explains how much heat is required to raise or remove the temperature to 1 degree Fahrenheit.

Some people confuse the BTU term with energy consumption. BTU doesn’t associate with it at all. If you want to know about the energy consumption of an AC unit, you need to know about the ‘Seer Ratings’. It informs you regarding what kind of energy bill can be expected.

In order to acquire a proper air conditioner unit, it is pertinent to determine the square of the room or any structure you want to cool.

Since the area of the room can affect the BTU effectiveness.

In case you have higher BTU ratings in your unit but the length and width of the room are extra, you can’t expect it to work amazingly.

How To Estimate How Many BTUs You Need
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Its cooling power would need more time to cool a larger room.

Apart from this, the intensity of the weather can have an effect on its performance. People who are planning to use it in the extreme hot weather of Oodnadatta or Kuwait City require higher BTU ratings to keep up.

Similarly, the installation location matters also.

Rooms that receive constant sunlight or heat from the kitchen, or room with high traffic, need higher BTUs. All these conditions reduce the amount of energy your unit produces and don’t give valuable results.

Experts also recommend 10% extra BTUs for homes that are poorly insulated. Likewise, if you are living in a contemporary home which is very well insulated, you can opt for 10% less BTUs.

So, on the whole, it all depends on your geographic location and your living conditions.

How Do I Calculate The BTUs?

The best thing you can do is to contact a professional technician as he can give you a calculated figure. But, if you have the right figure (area) in your hands and if you have assessed all the above details, there are a few more things you must ponder.

  • What’s the room type? Is it a bedroom, living room, kitchen, or hallway? The area can be the same, but the purpose of the room can change the requirement. For example, as we have mentioned earlier, the kitchen will always require more BTUs than a bedroom.
  • What’s the location of the room? Is it on the first floor? In case it is on the ground floor, does it have a wooden floor or concrete floor? In addition, is there any heated room or gallery around it? All these small details can impact its overall competence.
  • In the same way, canvass the roof also. What’s the height of the roof? Is it a flat roof or a hip roof? Some homes have a dormer roof structure as well. Other than that, is it a roof with insulation or without insulation? Does it receive constant sunlight too?
  • What about the types of the wall? Does it have a wood wall, stone wall, or cavity wall? It is important because, in a wood wall structure, an AC unit works quickly but it doesn’t sustain the energy longer. On the other hand, a stone wall or cavity wall takes a bit more time to make the room comfortable, but it sustains the energy in the long run.
  • Is it a room with a window? How do you air out a room if it doesn’t have a window? Do you put curtains on the windows to prevent the heat or sunlight? Also, what is the size of the window, is it standard or large? These factors can influence AC performance.

What’s The Average BTU Rating?

We perceive, sometimes it is tough to consider all these factors. However, if you want to know about the required average BTU rating, be familiar with the area.

For example:

  • For 100-150 square feet room, you need 7,000 BTUs.
  • For 150-250 square feet room, you need 8,000 BTUs.
  • For 250-300 square feet room, you need 10,000 BTUs.
  • For 300-350 square feet room, you need 12,000 BTUs.
  • For 350-400 square feet room, you need 12,000 BTUs.
  • For 400-450 square feet room, you need 13,000 BTUs.
  • For 500-700 square feet room, you need 14,000 BTUs.
  • For 700-1000 square feet room, you need 19,000 BTUs.

Please, bear in mind, these are the standard requirements. We aren’t counting small details like the geographic location or the type of your room.

Furthermore, these estimates are for a single room only. Don’t use them for the entire home or commercial businesses, as the required BTUs can change.

Particularly, in the industrial sector, you need extra BTUs to keep the site and machinery cool. Also, in industries, the environment is a lot more tensed with high traffic. You can’t count on the standard ratings.

Small Factors To Keep In Mind

Obviously, size and space matter when determining the amount of BTUs needed. But, there are some small factors you must keep in mind.

  • The number of people living in ‘that’ specific space. More than two people mean you require some extra BTUs as the bodies dissipate heat.
  • Ceiling fan in the room means a unit with standard BTUs can perform well. The ceiling fan can improve the air circulation and can cover the dead spots of the room too.
  • Also, is the condenser on the shadiest side of the house? It is because if the condenser is exposed, it works harder and consumes more BTUs to cool the room.

Concluding Thoughts

All in all, an air conditioner is an investment.

You should take time to ponder all the details. If you are planning to buy an AC unit for the entire home or complicated space, calculate each room individually and add all the calculation together. This is the simplest way to perceive your exact requirement.

In case you are still worried about the sizing needs, call a professional technician and get the exact room dimensions. You can share the sizing of your room with the brand manufacturers online and get the best air conditioner unit for your home.

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