How to Measure How Many BTUs to Heat a Room

A BTU (British Thermal Unit) is a measure of heat energy. One of these units signifies how much energy it will take to heat one lb. (16 oz.) of water one degree Fahrenheit hotter than it is already (for example, heating 1 lb. of water form 65 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit). Household room heaters come in different BTU sizes, with the required BTU for a room being determined by multiplying the room's volume by its quality of wall/floor/ceiling insulation.

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Measure the room's length, width and height to calculate its BTU requirement.

Step 1

Measure both the length, width and height of the room that needs to be heated (measure in feet and inches).

Step 2

Multiply these three measurements together. This calculation will give you the room's cubic volume.

Step 3

Rate the room's insulation in the walls, ceiling and floor. If the insulation is very good, give it a No. 2 rating. If the insulation is medium quality, give it a No. 3 rating. If the insulation is poor, give it a No. 4 rating.

Step 4

Multiply the room's calculated volume by its insulation rating. This number will give you the number of BTU's required to heat the room.