The flow of natural gas and propane is sometimes expressed in CFHs (Cubic Feet per Hour). This is a volumetric flow of gas that we use we can find on home energy meters (GFH on the gas meter). Obviously, we want to convert this volumetric flow to heating capacity; namely, we convert CFH to BTU. To help you out we have created two useful resources for this:
- CFH to BTU Calculator for natural gas, accompanied by a Natural Gas CFH To BTU Chart converting flows from 1 CFH to 1000 CFH to BTUs (1037 BTU to 1,037,000 BTU). Quick example: 250 CFH of natural gas is equal to 259,250 BTU.
- CFH to BTU Calculator for propane, accompanied by a Propane CFH To BTU Chart chart converting flows from 1 CFH to 1000 CFH to BTUs (2517 BTU to 2,517,000 BTU). Quick example: 175 CFH of propane is equal to 440,475 BTU.
The energy density (BTUs per CFH) for natural gas and propane are not the same; hence 2 calculators and 2 charts.
Let’s first look at the units we are converting:
- CFH or Cubic Feet per Hour. What is CFH in natural gas or propane? 1 CHF is a flow of 1 cubic foot of natural gas or propane per 1 hour. If during this hour 100 cubic feet of gas flows through the pipe, we talk about 100 CFH, for example.
- BTU or British Thermal Units. When home gas furnaces combust natural gas or propane, we get the heating output that heats our homes. Heating output is measured in BTUs; 1 BTU is the energy needed to increase 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Gas and propane furnaces have 80% to 97% efficiency. That means that they turn almost all of the gas flow (CFHs) into heating output (BTUs).
To convert CFH to BTU at 100% efficiency, we only need 1 equation for each gas (natural gas and propane). Here are these two equations:
- BTU (Natural Gas) = CFH Of Natural Gas × 1037
- BTU (Propane) = CFH Of Propane × 2517
As we can see, to calculate BTU from the CFH of natural gas, we have to multiply CFHs by 1037. That is because 1 CFH of natural gas contains 1037 BTU of energy, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
Similarly, to calculate BTU from the CFH of propane, we have to multiply CFHs by 2517. That is because 1 CFH of propane contains 2517 BTU, according to Inspectapedia.
You will notice that 1 CHF of propane contains about 150% more BTUs than 1 CHF of natural gas. Volumetrically, propane is energy-richer fuel than natural gas.
With these two equations, we can convert CFH to BTU via a simple calculator you will find here (1st calculator for natural gas and 2nd calculator for propane). Further on, you will also find calculated conversion charts for CFH to BTU for both fuels:
Natural Gas CFH To BTU Calculator (1st Calc)
Here you just insert the CFH of natural gas, and the calculator will automatically convert that volumetric flow to BTUs:
Here is how you can use this calculator to convert cubic feet of natural gas per hour to BTU:
Let’s say that your home meter reads 85 CFH. How many BTU are you piping into the house? Slide the slider to ’85’ and you get the result automatically: 85 CFM of natural gas is equal to 88,145 BTU.
Here is the full CFM to BTU conversion chart for natural gas:
Natural Gas CFH To BTU Chart
|Natural Gas CFH:||BTU:|
|1 CFH Of Natural Gas||1037 BTU|
|10 CFH Of Natural Gas||10,370 BTU|
|20 CFH Of Natural Gas||20,740 BTU|
|30 CFH Of Natural Gas||31,110 BTU|
|40 CFH Of Natural Gas||41,480 BTU|
|50 CFH Of Natural Gas||51,850 BTU|
|60 CFH Of Natural Gas||62,220 BTU|
|70 CFH Of Natural Gas||72,590 BTU|
|80 CFH Of Natural Gas||82,960 BTU|
|90 CFH Of Natural Gas||93,330 BTU|
|100 CFH Of Natural Gas||103,700 BTU|
|125 CFH Of Natural Gas||129,625 BTU|
|150 CFH Of Natural Gas||155,550 BTU|
|175 CFH Of Natural Gas||181,475 BTU|
|200 CFH Of Natural Gas||207,400 BTU|
|225 CFH Of Natural Gas||233,325 BTU|
|250 CFH Of Natural Gas||259,250 BTU|
|300 CFH Of Natural Gas||311,100 BTU|
|350 CFH Of Natural Gas||362950 BTU|
|400 CFH Of Natural Gas||414,800 BTU|
|450 CFH Of Natural Gas||466,650 BTU|
|500 CFH Of Natural Gas||518,500 BTU|
|600 CFH Of Natural Gas||622,200 BTU|
|700 CFH Of Natural Gas||725,900 BTU|
|800 CFH Of Natural Gas||829,600 BTU|
|900 CFH Of Natural Gas||933,300 BTU|
|1000 CFH Of Natural Gas||1,037,000 BTU|
As you can see, this chart illustrates well how many BTU you get from CFH of natural gas. For example, 600 CFH of natural gas is equal to 622,200 BTU.
Let’s look at a similar calculator and chart for more energy-rich propane:
Propane CFH To BTU Calculator (2nd Calc)
Here you just insert the CFH of propane and the calculator will tell you how many BTU is that:
Let’s solve one example for propane as well:
How many BTU is 175 CFH of propane? Just slider the slider to ‘175’ and you get the result: 175 CFH of propane is equal to 440,475 BTU.
Here is the promised propane CFM to BTU conversion chart:
Propane CFH To BTU Chart
|1 CFH Of Propane||2517 BTU|
|10 CFH Of Propane||25,170 BTU|
|20 CFH Of Propane||50,340 BTU|
|30 CFH Of Propane||75,510 BTU|
|40 CFH Of Propane||100,680 BTU|
|50 CFH Of Propane||125,850 BTU|
|60 CFH Of Propane||151,020 BTU|
|70 CFH Of Propane||176,190 BTU|
|80 CFH Of Propane||201,360 BTU|
|90 CFH Of Propane||226,530 BTU|
|100 CFH Of Propane||251,700 BTU|
|125 CFH Of Propane||314,625 BTU|
|150 CFH Of Propane||377,550 BTU|
|175 CFH Of Propane||440,475 BTU|
|200 CFH Of Propane||503,400 BTU|
|225 CFH Of Propane||566,325 BTU|
|250 CFH Of Propane||629,250 BTU|
|300 CFH Of Propane||755,100 BTU|
|350 CFH Of Propane||880,950 BTU|
|400 CFH Of Propane||1,006,800 BTU|
|450 CFH Of Propane||1,132,650 BTU|
|500 CFH Of Propane||1,258,500 BTU|
|600 CFH Of Propane||1,5102,00 BTU|
|700 CFH Of Propane||1,761,900 BTU|
|800 CFH Of Propane||2,013,600 BTU|
|900 CFH Of Propane||2,265,300 BTU|
|1000 CFH Of Propane||2,517,000 BTU|
You can just read off the chart how many BTU will certain flow (CFH) of propane generate at 100% efficiency. 350 CFH of propane, for example, is equal to 880,950 BTU.
With these two calculators and charts, you will be able to convert CFH to BTU quite easily. If you get stuck or have any other questions, you can use the comment section below, give us some numbers, and we will help you out.