What is BTU And Why Does it Matter For Your AC?

What BTU is and why it matters for your AC? Learn about its importance in a mini split AC unit or air conditioner and central air conditioning system at Sandium.

Updated on Oct 22, 2023
5 min read
What is BTU And Why Does it Matter For Your AC?

Ratings and numbers matter a lot, especially in case of an air conditioner. It can get overwhelming quickly between SEER, EER, and BTU. BTU stands for British Thermal Units. This is a type of measurement that calculates the amount of energy produced by the condenser.

Energy and temperature count the BTUs. 1 BTU can be described as the amount of energy required for raising the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

Understanding British Thermal Unit

BTUs is best compared to calories if you want to understand them. Your body needs a specific number of calories in a day for performing all functions effectively throughout the day. The system gets affected if you throw that number off, whether by too little or too much.

You need to ensure the HVAC system has enough BTUs for functioning correctly and for maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.

Importance of BTU for Air Conditioners

BTU is an important number in air conditioning because it determines the amount of power in an air conditioning unit. However, different BTUs refer to different things. This can make it a little tricky to understand what BTU means.

The system can change temperature faster when it has higher number of BTUs. Imagine a surprisingly pleasant frosty blast on a hot and humid day. Lower BTUs would allow the system to heat or cool your room gradually over a few minutes. You don’t want to make the mistake of not taking the size of your air conditioning unit into consideration.

Knowing the Right Size for an Air Conditioner

Size matters when it comes to BTU like other things. You need the BTU numbers to correlate with the system size. It’s vital to understand that no two homes, even when of the same dimensions are not the same. This is because no two homeowners are the same.

There are unique and quirky things in every home based on the individual family’s lifestyle and needs. Things like home placement, insulation and ceilings can make a lot of difference. An air conditioning system that is too big for the home can result in short cycling, oversized bills, and a lot of wear and tear. Systems that are too small will not be able to cool your home efficiently.

Finding the Best Air Conditioning Unit

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to air conditioning unit since no two homes are the same. A window unit or a portable AC unit is recommended for community members that spend most of their time in the living room or any other single room. These are recommended for small apartments as well.

There are several other options to choose from, such as the mini-split system or a central AC system. There are two components in both the mini-split system and central AC system. The only difference in the two is ductwork. Central cooling is recommended in homes that already have an existing central heating system. The air conditioner, in this situation, can be added on to the existing ductwork and HVAC system.

Ductless systems or mini-splits are useful in newer or vintage Northern California homes that don’t have an existing ductwork.

Join the Future of Home Comfort

Take the first step towards comfortable, energy-efficient, and stress-free living by scheduling a consultation with Sandium.