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How many watts are in a BTU?

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December 21, 2013 10:12PM

1 watt is 3.41 btu per hour. You'll often see "btu" as a shorthand for btus per hour. For example on a propane heater I just bought the package says "3000 btus." what that really means is 3000 btu/h or about 880 watts.

Another Answer

A watt is the SI unit for power. The BTU (British Thermal Unit) is an Imperial unit for energy.

So, they are used to measure different quantities. There is no direct relationship between the two. The symbol, BTU, is not 'shorthand' for BTU/h -that's just slovenly practise on the part of manufacturers who can't be bothered to use the correct symbol.

It's a mystery why any manufacturer would label their appliances in BTU/h, these days! There's not much logic behind labelling electric heaters in watts, but gas heaters in BTU/h? Why not just use watts for all heaters??