BTU to MBH Conversion

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BTU is an energy measurement.
BTU is an energy measurement. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you are working on a construction job or a heating and cooling project, you will likely come across the need to convert units of measurement. This process can vary in complexity and the need for accuracy is very important. BTU and MBH are two similar units of measurement that can be converted in two different ways, depending on how they are represented on the project.

BTU

BTU, which stands for British Thermal Unit, is a unit that is used to measure energy. It is equivalent to 1,055 joules and 252 calories. Individually, all units represent the energy needed in order to raise the temperature of one pound of water exactly one degree Fahrenheit. It is also the amount of energy located within one match tip. This unit of measurement is common in the heating and cooling industry.

MBH, MBTUH and MMBTUH

Depending on where you look, MBH, MBTUH and MMBTUH can represent the same or different units of measurement. The "M" in each of the units represents 1,000. MBH stands for 1,000 BTUs per hour. This is a gauge that indicates the transfer of energy over a specified time. That said, some sources state that MBH represents 1,000,000 BTUs. In order to avoid confusion, some agencies have decided to represent 1,000 BTUs as MBTUH and 1,000,000 BTUs as MMBTUH.

Converting BTU to MBH

How you go about converting BTU to MBH will be dictated by how you measure an MBH. If you consider the "M" in MBH to represent 1,000 then you will divide the amount of BTUs you have by 1,000. If decide that "M" represents 1,000,000, then you will divide the amount of BTUs you have by 1,000,000. This relatively simple calculation will give you the total amount of MBH you have for every BTU. If you want to convert back, simply multiply by either 1,000 or 1,000,000, depending on how you break down an MBH.

Online Resources

The Internet provides a wide range of resources. A simple Google search will reap a host of online conversion calculators that will convert BTU to MBH with a few simple clicks. These types of utilities are useful if you have a calculator and you have a large conversion that would be difficult to do by hand. However, make sure that the conversion is correct for your needs. You may find that while your project dictates that an MBH is 1,000 BTU, the calculator you are using represents the number as 1,000,000. This will create issues with both your calculation and your project.

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