Toll-Free Customer Support 24/7

Search Site

BTUs for Furnaces and Air Conditioners: Is There a Difference?

light-bulbs-1125016_640

When you buy a new furnace or air conditioner, there are lots of parameters you need to consider. The AFUE and/or SEER rating or a system can help you find a system at your desired efficiency level, and the heating capacity gives you the information you need to ensure that the unit has what it takes to keep the temperature in your home or business at a comfortable level. Heating capacity is a measure  of the amount of hot or cold air that the unit can produce, and it is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU).

If you’re a homeowner looking to replace both your furnace and air conditioner, or if you’re a homebuilder putting in systems for a new building, you might automatically assume that the BTU you need is the same for both the furnace and the air conditioner -- but that’s not always the case. The main factor that determines your heating capacity needs is the size of the building, but other factors can lead you to choose a system that is on either the high or low end of the appropriate BTU spectrum for your building size.

BTU Ranges for Whole-Building HVAC Systems

If you are looking for an air conditioner or furnace to meet the cooling needs of an entire home or business, your heating capacity options vary widely. At the low end, you can buy a furnace or air conditioner with a 40K or 50K BTU. However, based on size alone, the heating capacity needs of most homes and businesses fall between 60K BTU and 100K BTU. For unusually large buildings, furnaces or air conditioners with 120K to 150K BTU may be required.

For every building size, there is a range of appropriate BTUs, which can be determined based on a variety of factors. Aside from size, some of the things that can cause your BTU needs to differ between your air conditioner and your furnace include the following:

 

  • Location. If you live in a location that is cold for most of the year, with summer temperatures topping out around 80, you can get away with  a lower BTU for your air conditioner than your furnace. Conversely, if you live in a warm location where the temperature never drops below freezing, the amount of heat to keep your house comfortable in the winter will be lower, so your furnace may not need as high a BTU as your air conditioner.
  • Size and location of windows. East- and south-facing windows are great for keeping a building warmer in the winter, which may lower the necessary BTU. At the same time, if the windows are large and hard to cover in the summer, you may need an air conditioner with a higher BTU to keep the building comfortable in the warmer months.
  • Personal preference. Regardless of the time of year, some people prefer a cool living environment, while others would rather stay warm and toasty. If you’re in the former group, it might make more sense to choose an air conditioner on the high end of the BTU spectrum for your building size and a furnace on the low end. If you’re in the latter category, the opposite strategy may be ideal for you.

 
No matter what you’re looking for in an HVAC system, National Air Warehouse can help you find what you need. Contact us today for more information about our products!

Leave a Reply

 Google Customer Reviews

Back to top