This BTU calculator can be used for estimating the number of BTUs needed for heating or cooling homes depending on their dimensions, desired changes in temperature and insulation conditions. However, keep it in mind that the calculator here can be used for gauging rough estimates.
What Is BTU?
The BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a unit of energy. It's an approximate amount of energy required for heating one pound water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Generally, 1 BT equals 1055 joules, 0.293 watt-hour, 252 calories or the amount of energy released when burning a match. Taking it the other way around, 1 watt equals almost 3.412 BTU/hour.
Usually, BTU is used as reference point to compare different fuels. Regardless of the fact that fuels are physical commodities which can be quantified in barrels or volume, it is possible to convert them to BTUs based on energy/heat content that is inherent in each of the quantities. BTU can be more useful as a measurement unit as compared to physical quantity due to the intrinsic value of fuel as a source of energy. This allows for comparison of various commodities having energy properties intrinsically. A popular example for this is comparing natural gas and oil.
It is common sense that smaller rooms/houses having shorter width and length measurements will need fewer BTUs for heating/cooling. Volume, however, can be considered as a more accurate way of measuring BTU usage as compared to area as its equation also factors in ceiling height as well. Smaller volume will need fewer BTUs for heating/cooling.
Insulation refers to reducing transfer of heat between objects having thermal contact. Insulation is important as it reduces the usage of BTUs by properly managing their inefficient wasting due to heat��s entropic nature. The insulating ability of newer homes is generally better than that of older homes and technological advances are responsible for that. Those who own older homes with not up to the mark insulation can upgrade it for improving their home��s ability to insulate. It won��t just help in getting utility bills friendlier and the winters warmer, but it will also result in value appreciation of the homes
In order to find desired increase/decrease in temperature that can be provided as input to this BTU calculator, determine the difference in desired temperature and unchanged outdoor temperature. Generally, temperature ranging between 70 to 80°F can be comfortable for most of the people. For instance, someone in Atlanta might be looking to find out their BTU usage in winter where temperature usually hovers close to 45°F and occasionally drops down to 30°F. The dwellers often desire to keep the temperature around 75��F. So, desired increase in temperature would be 45°F which is the difference of desired and the lowest temperature outdoors.
Some radical temperature changes would be needed for homes located in areas having extreme climates and this can lead to increased BTU usage.
The BTU calculator requires you to provide the values for determining volume of the space i.e. height, width and length of the room or house. Make sure that you choose appropriate units for each of the three values from the list shown right in front of them. Besides, select the insulation condition of the home and enter desired increase/decrease in temperature with appropriate unit. Finally, hit the calculate button and the BTU calculator will show you how much BTU/hour will be needed. The value is also displayed in Watts as well. Remember that the desired temperature increase/decrease is an optional input value and the BTU calculator will show you the calculation results even without that. However, you can enter the value to ensure that you get most accurate results.