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What is BTU?

BTU or British Thermal Unit as it is traditionally called, is the unit of energy used to calculate the amount of energy that will be needed to raise the temperature of a room by one degree. This calculation is mostly done with respect to cooling and heating since it is concerned with temperature. In simple terms, it means the amount of air the air conditioner needs to push to heat up or cool down a room.

The amount of energy required for all rooms isn’t the same. Many people don’t understand what is BTU and how to calculate it. BTU it depends on varying factors:

1) Size and area of your

2) Volume of your room – This is different from area because it depends on how high or low your ceiling is.

3) Desired temperature – It is different for different people. It also depends on the location you are staying. If you are staying in tropical countries like Singapore or Malaysia where the outside temperature is nearly constant without any seasonal changes then it might cause your air conditioner to work more.

4) Heat sources – Number of fans, lights, ventilator holes, windows facing the sun, and electronic appliances present in a certain room.

If you are planning to buy and air conditioner, opt for the one that has a good energy rating mentioned on its package. Some manufacturers might also mention the maximum BTU that can be generated by a single machine. All this information you can avail at the website of brands.

What is its significance?

BTU proves to be a good scale to compared the energy efficiency of same priced air conditioners. In a heating furnace, BTU is generally the heat output of machine. In air conditioners, it has a different theory since the calculation is based on how many units are required to drive the heat from the room.

Most of the times the range is around 60,000 to 80,000 to cool down an entire house. But all these values are highly generalized and other factors also hold importance. The bigger your house, the more units will be required to heat up or cool it down. You may find many small air conditioners or heaters with a good value of BTU. These will be rated high on energy value scale but may be a little pricey. In the end, you must select an item that suits your energy needs and falls under your affordability.

In tropical places, the climate is somewhat same throughout the year with very little changes. Homes in such places need to maintain a constant temperature therefore they require air conditioners to maintain a constant temperature without compromising on quality and efficiency. Higher BTU’s are required for air conditioners in the tropical zones like Singapore since more energy will be needed to cool down a room because of the high outside temperature. The energy rating scale of an appliance is a clear indicator on its efficiency. Select the one which has 60% or more energy rating.