Easy Heating Question...

I’ve noticed how space heaters and such are rated by how many BTUs they produce, but don’t they really mean BTUs per hour? Isn’t there some unit of time? …just like cooling has to move out so many BTU/hr?

If metric, it’s usually expressed in watts or kilowatts which is, by defintion, energy per unit of time…so I figure it’s the same here.

And, isn’t it the typical unit of time on a per-hour basis? (as opposed to per-minute or per-second?)


  • Jinx

You are correct, and it is a pet peeve of mine.

Yep, it’s BTU/hr (sometimes written BTUh.) It makes me nuts too.

Another one that drives me crazy is when a commercial for a product will say that it can withstand 10,000 pounds of pressure. Yeah, I know they mean pounds per square inch but if they don’t explicitly say it, the claim is meaningless.


British thermal units per hour…nuf said

One that drives me crazy is when people say “velocity” when they mean “speed.”

If you do not explicitly state the direction of the object, then you’re talking about speed, not velocity.


“The car was traveling at a velocity of 80 MPH.”
No, the car was traveling at a speed of 80 MPH.

“The bullet has a muzzle velocity of 1500 ft/s.”
No, it has a speed of 1500 ft/s. (This one is debatable, since you could assume the direction is where the barrel is pointing.)