Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Find Out How BTUs Work Inside Your Home’s HVAC System

Here in Yuma, you should have some basic knowledge about air conditioners due to our long cooling season. BTU is an acronym you’ll encounter when evaluating air conditioners. Understanding how BTUs work will help you choose the right air conditioner to meet your comfort needs and keep your energy bills within reason.

What Is a BTU? Learn How BTUs Work.

A BTU (British Thermal Unit) is equivalent to the heat required to increase or decrease the temperature of a pound of water by a single degree. It quantifies the energy usage of a number of household appliances, including air-conditioning systems. Air conditioners are rated at thousands of BTUs, which is significant in indicating system performance.

Air conditioners use fans and coils to remove heat from the air inside a home and transfer it outside. BTUs show the amount of energy it will take an AC unit to perform that task. An air conditioner rated at 24,000 BTU absorbs and transfers 24,000 units of heat in an hour.

BTUs and AC Sizing

When choosing an AC system for your home, you’ll want to consider equipment sizing. Size in this context refers to cooling capacity rather than physical dimensions. You should get a system with the right BTUs for your home.

A system with more BTUs than what’s recommended for your home will be too powerful for your house. It will run for short periods because it will quickly satisfy the cooling load and turn off, this short cycle can also cause a humid house. By turning on and off too frequently, it will end up wasting energy and wearing out prematurely.

An air conditioner with much fewer BTUs is just as bad. The system will struggle to cool your space adequately. It may run continuously as it tries to achieve your preferred temperature, resulting in hot and cold spots and higher energy bills.

Now that you have a good idea of how BTUs work, make sure you choose the right BTUs for your air conditioner. Consulting local HVAC professionals will help you avoid making a mistake when it comes to how many BTUs you need. If you live in the Yuma area, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company for all your air-conditioning needs.