Does heating capability being measured in BTUs an hour leave you asking “what does that really mean?” Electric fireplaces utilize fan forced heat measured in BTUs. British thermal unit, BTU, according to Princeton.edu, is a unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one Fahrenheit at one atmosphere pressure. The next question is many square feet can a 5000 BTU heater heat? There is a lot more to it than square footage.
To find out the heat load on any room or home consider having a load calculation performed. This process takes into account the location, construction features, etc. Secondly, take into consideration how well is the room insulated. A freestanding electric heater may heat a room with hard wood floors and a bank of windows differently than a room with wall-to-wall carpeting and a single window with curtains. With a portable electric heater (which is what you’re talking about if it’s 5,000 BTU), you can estimate heating ability with the 10 – 15 watt per square foot rule of thumb. To convert from watts to BTU, multiply watts by 3.4.