Air Check Mechanical Service Publishes New Blog Post On BTUs

Air Check Mechanical Service, an emergency AC repair service offering full HVAC contractor services to Pearland, Sugarland and other communities in South Houston, has published a new blog post on the topic of BTUs, or British Thermal Units. BTUs are by far the most common measurement when it comes to heat energy, and are used in a wide variety of applications, including heating and cooling.

According to the article, a BTU is an indication of how much energy typical equipment uses to either produce or remove heat. Typical furnaces tend to run from 80,000 to 100,000 BTUs, but they do tend to vary quite a bit particularly when there is some kind of specific custom heating application at play. Meanwhile, window air conditioners tend to run between 6000 and 12000 BTUs. Heavier duty central air conditioners, meanwhile, tend to run between 18000 and 60000 BTU/hour.

furnace burner

"Most customers are familiar with BTUs as a measurement unit, often because they've heard it used in passing," said Donald Compton, owner and spokesperson with Air Check Mechanical Service. "This is a critical measurement for folks that are looking to dial in their home's comfort, and it helps even the layman to have a working knowledge of it."

The post also discusses AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, which is another rating that is critical when considering the purchase of a new furnace or air conditioner. AFUE is based on a 100 scale, with 100 being full efficiency (something that is more conceptual than a reality), whereas hypothetically zero would mean that all fuel burned would be wasted.

Generally when it comes to BTUs, the larger the air conditioner or furnace, the higher the BTU that the unit can generate. But, it is important to understand that in the central air conditioning and HVAC world, larger does not mean better. In fact, having an oversized air conditioner can actually create real havoc with a homeowner's comfort, require more maintenance, and can have a lot of drawbacks that mean expensive utility costs, and even worse situations.

One of the best signs that an air conditioning unit is too large for a home is that it comes on quickly, and turns off quickly. This can raise energy bills, and also wear out the unit, as it will repeatedly turn on and off during the day, while a right-sized unit will operate continually and efficiently. Also of note with this is that an oversized air conditioner will typically not remove the amount of humidity from the air that will be necessary for efficient operation. Homes with oversized air conditioners can have serious humidity problems, as the short operation of the AC doesn't remove enough moisture from the air.

"A lot of folks, particularly when they're first building their home, assume that bigger is always going to be better with an HVAC system," said Compton. "This is far from the truth, however, and any technician that installs an improperly sized unit is simply not doing the work necessary to ensure a consistent, powerful system."

Compton notes that doing a "cooling load calculation" is hugely important when installing or getting an AC replacement. While unlicensed techs will often be guilty of skipping this critical calculation process, it is of major importance and is key to the homeowner's investment in an HVAC system.

While there are certainly ways to better the efficiency of an oversized AC unit, such as installing additional ductwork in places like the garage, to help to "spread the wealth" when it comes to cooling power, usually the best way is obvious.

"Getting it right the first time is the absolute best way to know you have an air conditioner that is going to work for you whenever you need it," said Compton. "Accept no substitutes!"


For more information about Air Check Mechanical Service, contact the company here:

Air Check Mechanical Service
Donald Compton
(832 ) 935-5663
4314 Almeda Meadows Drive
Houston, TX