Guide and tips

What is the right BTU size for my heat pump?

There are so many heat pump models now available on the market, it can be tricky to find the right one for your home. The most important factor to keep in mind, besides its features and energy efficiency, is the device’s output capacity, calculated in BTUs.

Read on to find out more.

What is a BTU?

A heat pump’s capacity is defined in terms of how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) it needs to operate efficiently. A BTU is a universal unit that defines the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit at a constant pressure of one atmospheric unit.

Your heat pump’s technical manuals might also use the abbreviation BTU/H (British Thermal Units per Hour). This refers to how much a system delivers or consumes BTUs every hour. It is the amount of heat per unit of time (output) emitted by a heat pump used to heat or cool a space.

How many BTUs do I need?

You can find out the right BTU size by measuring the surface area in square feet.

Calculate the surface area of the space that you need to heat or cool (length times width), multiply it by 10 and round up to the number of BTUs.

For instance, if your space is 24 feet by 30 feet, you need a 9,000 BTU device.

24 ft. x 30 ft. = 720 sq. ft.

720 x 10 = 7 200 > 9,000 BTUs

You should obviously also factor in how many floors you need to heat or cool when looking for a heat pump.

Why it’s important to pick the right device

The price of a heat pump depends on its performance, its BTUs. Some people might therefore be tempted to pick a device with more or fewer BTUs then they actually need. But that’s not a good idea, especially if your heat pump is mainly used to cool your home. A heat pump with a BTU rating that is too high for the area could make dehumidifying the space harder and make it too cold. Furthermore, the device will consume more energy than required. On the other hand, if your heat pump has a lower BTU rating than you need, it won’t be able to do its job efficiently and will deteriorate quicker than expected.

If you’re looking for the right heat pump for you and your property, we offer simple zone models available with BTU/H ratings of 9,000 to 24,000 and multi-zone models available with BTU/H ratings of 18,000 to 45,000. Get in touch with our team of experts to find the right heat pump for your needs.

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