When shopping for heaters, many people make the mistake of choosing the wrong size for their actual needs.
Given all the different options available for heaters –– space, vented, gas, console, and more –– narrowing down the choices can be a great way to ensure that you are choosing the best option.
For that reason, it can be helpful to have a numeric system that analyzes your personalized heating situation, and provides a benchmark that can be used while shopping to make the selection process a little more navigable.
The best place to start when considering the purchase of a space heater for your home is to calculate the BTUs. We here at Total Home Supply recognize the importance of this calculation, which is why we developed this on-site calculator to assist you.
Let’s take a closer look at what this measurement is and why it matters to you as someone looking for a heater to buy.
What is a BTU?
British Thermal Units, or BTUs are a measurement of the energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree.
When you go to buy a heater, you will see that the BTUs are listed as a guideline for the heating capacity, and are usually broken down into different levels.
Why Calculate BTUs?
If you don’t determine the proper size of heater you should be looking for, you run the risk of your heater not effectively heating the space (or overheating it), causing the room to be either drafty or stuffy. Conversely, if you oversize your heater with too many BTUs, you may be spending more money than necessary on your heating bill.
This determination can also affect the heater’s longevity –– if your unit is operating improperly, that imbalance could shorten the length of time that the heater can be used for.
What Factors Are Considered in Calculating BTUs?
The room’s length, width, ceiling height, and insulation, as well as the lowest outside temperature, are all considered on the Total Home Supply calculator. Once you punch in that information, the calculator will tell you the BTU/hr required.
Write this number down, and keep it handy as you examine your options.