The HVAC industry uses a lot of acronyms.  Depending on your familiarity with the terminology, these acronyms might make it challenging to understand your energy bill. Whether you’ve come across the abbreviation “BTU” on your appliance or on your energy bill, or are simply curious about learning more, you are in luck! Today we are discussing all things BTU.

What does BTU Stand For?

According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It is the unit used to measure thermal energy. One BTU refers to the amount of energy that’s required to increase the temperature of a pound of water by 1° F. It is most frequently used when talking about heating and air conditioning units where the measurement is expressed in terms of how many BTUs per hour a product can add or remove heat from the air.

Genove Oil and Air provides customers with Complete Cooling Services; Installation of Central Air Conditioning, Ductless AC and Condenser Unit replacement.

How Many BTUs Do You Need?

Air conditioners come with a BTU rating which tells you how powerful the unit is. To determine the correct size of a cooling system for your home, we consider a variety of variables: square footage, geographical location, ceiling height, number of  windows, floorplan, and insulation.

The higher the BTU rating, the more powerful the system is at performing its job. However, this does not mean that your home should have the system with the highest BTU rating.

If your air conditioner is too powerful it will cool your home too quickly. While this initially does not sound like a drawback, it is! If your home cools too quickly then the system shuts off, which prevents it from removing unwanted moisture from the air. It also will cycle on and off more frequently which leads to more wear and tear, breakdowns, higher utility bills and ultimately a shorter lifespan for the unit.

If you don’t have enough BTUs, your air conditioner will be constantly running trying to keep your home cool. This will increase your energy bills and will also cause your A/C to wear out much faster.

While there are ways of calculating optimal BTU, it is best to consult with a trained HVAC professional to determine the appropriate size unit for your home.


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If your question isn’t answered here, contact the friendly team at Genove Oil & Air, and we’ll find a solution for your home or business.


Whether you need home heating oil or Bioheat delivery, or installation and service of oil & natural gas systems for HVAC, heating, and cooling—call us at 781-893-9191 or email us.