I’ve decided that I need a new unit to help me teach air conditioning concepts.  Everyone knows what a BTU is, right?  British Thermal Unit.  Those snobby, sophisticated little units of heat that are about the same as a wooden kitchen match.

So, what happens when you take a stream of cold air and blow it into a warm room?  Are you “adding coldness” to it?  No!  Any good BTU Geek will tell you that you are displacing BTU’s in the room air by diluting them with air that has less BTU’s, at a rate determined by the heat capacity of air and the volumetric flow rate of the entering air, blah, blah, blah.  I lost you already, didn’t I?

What does an air conditioner really do?  They are rated in BTU’s, units of heat, not units of coldness.  Well, yes, they extract heat from the air, but how is that really different than adding coldness? Who’s to say that we aren’t adding coldness to the room?  Who made that law?

So, to better understand air conditioning and cooling, I’m proposing a new unit.  I call it a BCU, which is short for “Bubba’s cooling unit”.  I call it that because it is not sophisticated, but it gets the job done.  From now on if someone asks me how much cooling something needs, I’m going to tell them in BCU’s.  When I teach people about cooling, I’m going to explain it in terms of adding BCU’s.

Wish me luck with that.