When discussing heating and cooling, you’ll encounter a unit of measurement called a British thermal unit (BTU). BTUs are used to measure the effectiveness of air conditioning and heating systems. To ensure that you get the right cooling system for your Galt home, you need to get a unit with the right number of BTUs for the size of your residence. Keep reading to learn why BTUs matter and how you can ensure that your air conditioner is the size you need.
What Is a BTU?
BTUs are used to measure how much heat an HVAC system can add or remove from indoor air. Specifically, a BTU is the amount of thermal energy needed to elevate the temperature of one pound of liquid water by one degree Fahrenheit. The same measure holds true for cooling by one degree, too.
When discussing air conditioners, the BTU rating refers to how much heat will be removed from your air per hour. The more BTUs you have, the more powerful your system will be.
Why BTUs Are Important for Your HVAC System
It’s very important to make sure you buy the correct type of air conditioner for your house. AC units come in different sizes and with various BTU ratings, which means they have different capabilities to remove heat energy from the air.
While it may seem that more BTUs would always be a good thing, this isn’t the case. If you have a cooling unit with too many BTUs, you’ll waste energy by lowering your indoor temperature too quickly. When this happens, the AC unit will continually start and stop as it works to keep your home at the right temperature. This is known as short-cycling, and it will cause excessive wear and tear on your equipment.
An AC unit that’s too small can also lead to issues. Air conditioners without enough BTUs to cool your space appropriately will be overworked and unable to keep your house comfortable. An overworked air conditioning system also wastes energy and can fail prematurely, leading to expensive repairs and replacements.
As a rule of thumb, it takes about 20 BTUs to cool each square foot of space in your house. That means that for a 2,000-square-foot space, you would need an AC unit with 40,000 BTUs. Of course, there are other factors to consider, which is why it’s important to work with a knowledgeable cooling professional.
At Hawk Heating & Air Conditioning in Galt, CA, we can help you find the perfect AC unit for your home before installing it. We can also handle all of your heating and cooling repair and maintenance needs and provide you with air quality solutions. Call us today to learn more.