Understanding BTU and its Impact on Temporary Construction Heating

BTU is the Most Common Commercial Heater Rating

Our construction clients must understand the concept of BTU and its impact when selecting a construction heater. BTU is a measure of the energy required to increase the temperature of a project area. BTU is how much energy can be created from a gallon of diesel. Most heaters are rated by BTU input, which tells you how much fuel the heater will consume. Regarding temporary heating, BTUs are units used to measure the fuel needed to attain a specific temperature at the outlet of a heater. It is important to note that BTU does not measure how much heat is produced.

Why is Cahill the Industry Leader in Temporary Heating?

large heat hoarding project using two temporary diesel heaters

BTU Rating Related to Construction Heater Performance

While selecting a temporary construction heater, the BTU rating should not be the only parameter to consider. A good heater creates the most heat per gallon of fuel burned.

The amount of heat produced per gallon of fuel directly correlates to the engine’s efficiency. A heater with a higher BTU rating does not necessarily have more heat than a heater with a lower BTU rating; it simply means that it consumes more fuel than a heater with a lower BTU rating.

Engine heat loss is a common problem with diesel engines. Excessive heat loss is a symptom of poor engine design, and BTUs do not account for this heat loss.

The Jet Heat heater is in a class of its own among flameless construction heaters in its class. Most temporary diesel heaters offer a maximum energy conversion ratio of 50%. The Cahill heaters convert an astounding 97% of potential energy from the fuel into dry, breathable air for your project.

image showing high fuel efficiency of cahill construction heaters

The best selection criteria for customers should be fuel consumption and fuel efficiency. A lower fuel economy is a strong indicator of an efficient heater. JetHeat consumes only between 2.9 and 4.9 gallons of diesel per hour. The fuel cost savings are substantial for winter construction projects.


We have a variety of portable flameless heaters engineered to meet your temporary heating needs.