Q:

What does BTU stand for?

A:

Quick Answer

BTU stands for British thermal unit. BTU is an international unit of energy that measures how much heat is needed to raise 1 lb. of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

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Full Answer

BTUs are regularly used to measure the size of air conditioning units, and the size determines how much heat the unit can remove from a room per hour. A unit that is undersized for the room will run non-stop and will not adequately cool the room. A unit that is oversized for the room will turn off too quickly, without properly removing the humidity. The following list offers a general guideline of the size to choose for the room:

  • 150 square feet - up to 5,400
  • 200 square feet - 6,000
  • 340 square feet - 8,000
  • 400 square feet - 9,000
  • 450 square feet - 10,000
  • 550 square feet - 12,000
  • 750 square feet - 14,500
  • 850 square feet - 16,000
  • 1,000 square feet - 18,000
  • 1,400 square feet - 24,000
  • 1,520 square feet - 28,500
  • 1,600 square feet - 32,000

The above recommended sizes are based on average climates and rooms. It is recommended to add 4,000 BTUs for kitchens, 10 percent for high ceilings and 10 to 20 percent for warmer climates. It is best to consult a professional for questions regarding sizing to ensure the unit is properly sized for the space.

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