First of all, before going into everything that might be of interest to you about the BTUs of air conditioners, it should be explained well what they are. In fact, BTU is an acronym coming from the English language that means British Thermal Unit, that is, they are an energy measurement unit that quantifies the energy used for heating or cooling an air conditioner.
Explaining better, in our metric system, BTUs indicate the amount of heat needed to increase the temperature of 454 grams of water from 3.8 C° to 4.4 C°.
Consequently, the greater the number of BTUs you see on the data sheet of your air conditioner, the greater will be the surface area of your unit.
In fact, it will be your choice to select the air conditioner that best suits your needs. It is clear that if the surface you intend to heat or cool is small, you will not want to choose an air conditioner with a high number of BTUs. If it is in your interest to place the air conditioner in a large location, then clearly the number of BTUs will need to be higher so that you can meet your needs.
Usually when it comes to rooms in the home, the choice falls on air conditioners with fewer BTUs, as normally the rooms to be cooled have a limited surface area and the cooling of the room takes place quite quickly.
On the contrary, if the surface area to be heated is larger, as in the case of offices, museums and public places, then you will have to opt for an air conditioner with a larger number of BTUs, able to refresh larger rooms quickly.
How to calculate the BTUs of air conditioners
The calculation of BTUs must take into account several factors that together will give you the answer you are looking for.
The first parameter to take into account is the area where you want to install your air conditioner and the exact location where you intend to put it. Next, another factor is the insulation of your room, i.e. the insulation of the room where the air conditioner will be placed. Finally, the number of people who normally frequent the room. It is clear that there will be changes if you decide to install it in a private home, where the number of people is limited, or if you decide to put it in an open-space office or public place, where the number of people will be much higher.
Once these factors are taken into account, there are some formulas that will allow you to calculate approximate BTUs.
sqm x k = BTU
In this formula you have to take into account that “k” is a fixed coefficient and has the value of 340. So what you will have to do is multiply the square meters of the room where you will have to install the air conditioner and multiply it by the fixed coefficient, that is 340.
The second formula:
This second way to calculate the BTUs is based on the volume of the room you are going to install the air conditioner in. It should be taken into account that for each cubic meter of the room you need about 100 BTUs, in fact you will multiply the volume of the room by 100.
Mq x h = mc
Mc x 100 = number of BTUs
In which you will measure the square meters by the height of the room in order to obtain the cubic meters and once calculated the result, you will multiply it by 100 in order to obtain the number of BTUs you will need.
P = K x l1 x l2 x h
Where K can take the value of 25 if the intention is to cool the room, while the value will become 35 if the intention is to heat it.
While l1 and l2 represent the sides of your room in meters.
Finally, h is obviously the height of the room always in meters.
The result you will get by multiplying all these factors will be in W, and knowing that 1W is about 3.4 BTU/h, you will get the result.
We can however make an example: 25 x 3 x 4 x 2.5 (the measures of the sides and the height have been chosen randomly), the result is 750 W and taking into account that 1W is equal to 3.4 BTU/h, you will have to calculate 750 x 3.4 = 2550.
The advice is to take into account that these formulas will calculate approximately your BTU, so the results obtained will not be perfect, it is advisable to choose the air conditioner with a power about 20% or 30% higher than the result obtained.
BTU conditioners per square meter
The purchase of the air conditioner varies depending on the room you are going to place it in. In fact, the size of your room will be useful to understand how many BTUs your air conditioner should be. Below you can consult the table below for guidelines on the size of the air conditioner you are going to purchase based on the size of the area in which you are going to place it.
So, as you can easily notice and logically guess, the larger the size of your room, office or any place, the more BTUs you will need in your air conditioner in order to refresh the place you want.
Another factor to take into account is that the more BTUs your air conditioner will have, the more costs will increase. This is because clearly an air conditioner with 21,000 BTUs to cool a place of about 80 sqm will consume more energy than an air conditioner with 11,000 BTUs to cool a room of about 40 sqm. Energy consumption will be higher because the higher the power of your air conditioner, the more space needs to be cooled.
In fact, most people prefer to buy two air conditioners with fewer BTUs to be placed in the same room rather than one air conditioner with more BTUs. This way, people will have a free choice whether to turn on only one, as switching on both is not necessary or switching on both air conditioners in case of excessive heat.
Nowadays, many more consumers opt for an energy class ranging from A++ to D, as they will be able to reduce the energy consumption of your air conditioner.
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