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What Is A BTU And Why Does It Matter?

So, you’re on the search for the perfect heated towel rail or radiator and you’ve found one you love, that will look great in your bathroom space. So far, so good! But don’t forget one all-important question: how much heat will it actually provide?

No one wants to invest in a new heating device and then find out it’s not actually powerful enough. It’s equally annoying to be overpowered by heat and constantly sweating. So how do you find a room heater that gets it just right? That’s where BTUs come in.

You might have already seen radiators and towel racks with a BTU rating and found yourself wondering, “What is BTU?” The answer is pretty simple, really: BTU is a unit of measurement used throughout the heating and plumbing industry, which tells you how much heat a device provides.

What Does BTU Stand For?

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. 1 BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1ºF. It’s about the same amount of energy as you get from a single matchstick. 1 BTU is approximately equal to 1055 joules. You might be used to thinking in kilowatts, but you can’t directly convert BTU to kW. Instead, you could say that 1 kW is equal to 3412 BTUs per hour.

It's not really important to know the precise mathematical formula behind the British Thermal Unit, though. The more important question is, "What is the BTU output of my heating device?" Every heating device has a BTU rating. On the Bathroom Takeaway website, you can find out the BTU rating of any radiator or heated towel rail by taking a quick look at the Product Details section. Once you have this number, it doesn’t take long to find out if your heater is powerful enough for the room you want to put it in.

How To Work Out The BTU Of A Room

You can get a rough idea of the right BTU for room size by using a simple calculation: (Length x Width x Height) x 90. So first, find out the cubic area of your room by multiplying length x width x height. Then multiply that figure by 90. For example, if your bathroom is 5m long, 5m wide and 2m tall then you need a heater with an output of around 4,500 BTUs.

If that sounds too difficult, don’t panic! There are plenty of BTU room calculators available online, which can give you a quick guide to the right BTU for room size. Just do a quick search for "BTU room calculator" or "BTU calculator heat" to find one.

If you want to be completely safe and absolutely sure, the best way would be to consult your plumber, who can give you an expert estimate by factoring in the number of windows, what the walls are made of and other important info.

The Bathroom Takeaway customer service team is also here to help! We want the process of buying bathrooms to be as easy as 1-2-3, so we’ll always do our best to help you find the product that’s perfect for you.

Check out our full range of radiators and heated towel rails here

By Peter Wootton 4 months ago 529 Views