When you go to purchase a new air conditioner, many of them advertise a certain number of BTUs per hour. Homeowners who don’t have an HVAC background aren’t quite sure what this unit of measurement stands for or what it means for their home. You should know what this measurement truly means in order to help you make a wise decision on the purchase of your next air conditioning unit. Without this knowledge, you might make a purchase that will cost you more in the long run.
That’s why we put together this handy guide to walk you through the process. Take a look at some of these frequently asked questions about BTUs in air conditioners.
What is a BTU?
BTU stands for one British Thermal Unit which measures the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. It may not make sense for your air conditioning unit’s efficiency to be measured by this standard. After all, it is meant to cool down your home instead of heating it up. This is where some of the confusion comes in when BTUs are related to air conditioners.
An air conditioner is measured in the number of BTUs it can remove from the air. Essentially, this is how the manufacturer will determine how effective the unit will be at cooling down a standard home.
Should I purchase a unit with as many BTUs as possible then?
If you want your house to be cooler, it would make sense to purchase a unit that can remove all of the BTUs as quickly as possible. This makes sense if you think about it logically, but it isn’t actually sound advice for purchasing an air conditioner. You want one that is appropriately sized for your home instead of the most powerful version on the market.
When an air conditioner has more BTUs than your home needs, it pulls the heat out of your home far too quickly. The unit will start and stop regularly without effectively cooling down your home. In this scenario, the constant switching on and off can significantly shorten the lifespan of the unit. It will also waste electricity and create a much higher monthly utility bill for you.
Most appliances will have the recommended square footage of the home listed right next to the BTUs. This should give you a better idea of whether the air conditioner is oversized for your home or room. The BTU measurement will apply to portable air conditioning units and central air conditioning units, so you will always need to pay attention to this overall statistic. If you purchase a unit that is oversized, you will pay more the air conditioner itself in addition to your exaggerated monthly utility cost.
Are you struggling to make heads or tails of the BTU measurement on a new air conditioner? At Classic Air Conditioning and Heating, our AC repair technicians can help you to select the unit that is the perfect size for your home. Give us a call today to see how we can help you to cool down your New Braunfels home more effectively this summer!