What Are BTUs and How Many Do You Need?

January 28, 2021 6:15 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A lot more steps go into finding the perfect fireplace than you might think. Most homeowners have never heard of fireplace BTUs, yet this unit of measurement is one of the biggest determining factors for those who want to install a fireplace. Follow this quick guide to learn how many BTUs you need in your Seattle, WA fireplace.

Measurement of heat output

The BTU of a fireplace stands for British Thermal Units, and represents how much heat it releases into your home. Higher BTUs emit a larger amount of heat, so homeowners must take a fireplace’s BTU into consideration before purchasing one from their dealer in Seattle, WA.

If you’ve never looked into buying a fireplace until now, remember that bigger isn’t always better. A bigger fireplace doesn’t automatically guarantee high BTU levels. People who reside in large homes might opt for a big fireplace simply because they have the room to accommodate it. Fireplaces come in a wide range of styles with varying BTUs, so you can find one that suits the size of your living space while providing enough heat.

Square footage of the room

While the size of the fireplace itself doesn’t matter, the size of your home plays an important factor. Rooms with more square footage need higher BTU levels in order to maintain a consistent internal temperature. To calculate how many BTUs you need, figure out the square footage of the room where you plan to install the fireplace. A custom fireplace designer in Seattle, WA will help you measure the space and make the appropriate BTU recommendation.

Fireplace manufacturers all have their own guidelines for how many BTUs correlate to the square footage of a room. However, the general rule is that larger rooms need higher BTU levels. For instance, let’s say you want to put a fireplace in your living room that’s 900 square feet. The heat output should fall anywhere between 25,000 and 30,000 BTUs. Open floor plans with 3,000 square feet will need a whopping 65,000 BTUs to properly heat the space.

Other factors to consider

Finding the right fireplace for your home isn’t as simple as matching BTUs to square footage. Two houses of the exact same size can vary in other factors such as the quality of their insulation and the climate in which they’re built. Homes with poorly installed or damaged insulation will need a fireplace with higher BTU levels because the walls are less capable of sealing in the heat.

The fireplace BTUs you go with depend on the weather conditions around your home. For instance, homeowners in Florida need much lower BTUs in their fireplaces because they experience mild winters and stifling hot summers. On the other hand, those who endure the cold, wet climate of Washington State will appreciate a greater BTU output.

The process of choosing the right fireplace can get tricky. The good news is that you don’t have to figure it out on your own. Reach out to the designers at Custom Fire Art for expert advice on which BTU level is right for your living space. We offer a diverse collection of fireplace styles, so you’re guaranteed to find one that suits your taste.

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