What Does BTU Mean?

October 30, 2018

Often words or terms used in the HVAC industry have most people scratching their heads. And while BTU has been partially defined in other blogs on this website, it can be useful to explain what something is in its own article. So what does BTU mean? British Thermal Units BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. As the term ‘thermal’ suggests, BTU is a way to measure energy created through heat. One BTU equals the energy needed to heat a pound of water one degree. In other words, you’d need approximately 1,178 BTUs over an hour to boil one gallon of water starting at seventy degrees Fahrenheit. BTUs for Heating and Air Conditioning Since HVAC systems often involve the movement of heat and thermal energy, BTUs are often used to measure the amount of energy needed to heat or cool a room or home. Portable air conditioning units are a great example of systems that use BTUs. If you’re looking to find out how efficient your home is, check how many BTUs are needed to heat it. If your home is using far more than what is normal, you may be losing money on heating and cooling. If you have questions...

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