Do You Know BTUS?

The national average cost of powering an American home is $2,024, according to United States Energy Information Administration. This is an average, of course, as homes in places like New Jersey average closer to $3,000 a year, as opposed to homes in California, which average about $1,500. Texas meets the national average when it comes to powering a single family home. These numbers have to do with many different variables. Cost of powering a home in New Jersey (and other Northeastern states) may be especially high because of heating needs in winter, and also air conditioning in the summer.

While measuring the cost of electricity is easy to understand, the way that it is measured is a little more complicated. BTUs, kilowatts hours, energy efficiency- what do all these words mean? And what do they have to do with you?

  1. British Thermal Units, or BTU: A British Thermal Unit, or BTU, is a non metric unit of measurement used to denote how much heat it takes to raise one pound (16 ounces) of water one degree fahrenheit. If that sounds confusing, a simpler way to put it is that BTUs are basically a system for quantifying how much heat is in the air. If you see a BTU rating on your HVAC unit, it is a simple way for you to judge how much and how fast your unit will remove BTUs from the air (cool) and how fast it will put BTUs in the air (heat).

  2. Why are they important?: If you think of your home as what it actually is, a big box, then you can also think about how much energy it will take to pull heat out of that box, or put heat into that box. Some boxes are bigger than others and some are smaller. The smaller your box, or home, is, the less BTUs will be needed in order to keep it hot or cold. If you are in the market for a new HVAC system, it may be in your best interest to have your home evaluated for how many BTUs it will take to heat and cool it so that you get a unit of the appropriate size.

  3. BTUs and Kilowatts hours: Energy companies measure energy consumption in Kilowatt hours (kWh). When it comes to how efficient your unit is, you may have to convert the BTU rating on your machine to kWh. This will let you know roughly how much to expect to pay in your monthly bills.

Understanding energy efficiency, energy, and power is a tricky business. Next week, we will be featuring a post about the use of BTUs and KiloWatt Hours by stadiums in our great state of Texas. Here at Covenant Heating and Air Conditioning, our team is committed to helping you find the best HVAC unit for your home. We also offer the Covenant Club, which can help maintain the life of your existing unit through routine maintenance and repairs.

Call or click today to learn about how your future can be even more energy efficient.