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BTUs and You – What You Need to Know

BTU sign

You’ve probably heard the acronym BTU – but do you know what it actually means?

Technically speaking, a BTU – short for British Thermal Unit – is the amount of energy needed to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. For example: if a 16 ounce (one pound) glass of water has a standing temperature of 59° F, it would take 1 BTU to raise that glass of water to 60°.

Each type of fuel and appliance has an estimated amount of BTUs it can produce. Typical BTU outputs for common fuels are:

Home heating appliances are rated by the amount of BTUs they can produce in an hour – the higher the BTU rating, the more quickly they’ll heat your room.

What BTUs mean to you

Heating load is a term that expresses the stress placed on your heating equipment to maintain a constant temperature in your house. The size of your home, type and amount of insulation, and other factors such as climate, sun exposure, and the quality of your doors and windows will determine heating load – along with the amount of BTUs needed to heat your house.

Right-sizing a new furnace or boiler – choosing a unit whose BTU output is appropriate for your home – is a complex process, but a very important one: if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you need a system that consumes as little energy as possible while still producing enough heat to heat your indoor space.

With guidance from the pros at Jennings, you can choose a system that’s the perfect size and output for your home and lifestyle.

Ready to upgrade your home heating system? Contact us today for a FREE estimate on a right-sized solution for your Connecticut home!