Comparing Apples to Oranges (or BTUs to Watts)

Pooh BearFebruary 15, 2007

I'm searching for a new heater for my workshop.

Electric heaters are rated in Watts (power).

NG/LPG/Wood heaters are rated in BTUs (energy).

So how am I supposed to compare the two.

A 5000 watt electric heater would be how many BTUs.

In other words, how many BTUs would a heater need to

put out to equal an electric heater of 5000 watts.

Or is it as simple as 1 BTU = 1054 Joules

And 5000 watts = 5000 Joules per second

so I would need almost a 5 BTU heater to equal a 5000 watt heater.

5 BTU = 5272 Joules.

What do y'all say about this.

Thanks.

Pooh Bear

Here is a link that might be useful: Interesting conversion page.

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baymee

5000 watts is equal to about 15,000BTU.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 5:42AM
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baymee

I don't know if it matters, but that is 15K BTU when electricity is converted into hot water heat radiation. In other words, 5KW of electric will produce 15K BTUH of hot water, baseboard radiation.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 5:45AM
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joeplumb

The formula is
1KW= 3.413 BTU per hour or BTUH
So your 5KW heater is 5*3.413 or about 17000 BTUH

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 8:22AM
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Pooh Bear

Thanks for the info.
I was wondering why I couldn't make it add up.
So now I have a conversion factor:
1 KW = 3.413 BTU per hour.

Thanks.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 9:27AM
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aemeeich_

1KW should be 3,412 BTU per hour not 3.412. 1W = 3.412 BTUH.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 10:36AM
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garyg

Aemeeich is indeed correct.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 12:07PM
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Pooh Bear

Thanks for the correction.
For the purpose of comparing heaters
I'm gonna round it off to to 1KW=3500BTUH.

Thanks.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 1:14PM
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