Jargon With Joe: Powering Through Natural Gas and Electricity

What is a BTU?

A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a unit of measurement used for energy. It represents the amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. The term BTU is also used to describe the heat value of fuels, as well as the power of heating and cooling systems. Under these circumstances, it is commonly measured in units of BTU/h.

What is a MMBTU or One Million BTU?

This is also a unit of measurement used for energy. It is approximately the energy equivalent of burning 100 cubic feet of natural gas.

Why should you care about the BTU?

When was the last time you bought an oven? How about a space heater?  Next time you need to replace a heating system, check the tag to see how many BTU it produces. Larger and more expensive systems should provide significantly higher BTU than smaller ones. If you come across two similarly priced devices, use the BTU as the determining factor.