A study of the external, loaded and unloaded quality factors for frequency selective surfaces (FSSs) is presented. The study is focused on THz frequencies between 5 and 30 THz, where ohmic losses arising from the conductors become important. The influence of material properties, such as metal thickness, conductivity dispersion and surface roughness, is investigated. An equivalent circuit that models the FSS in the presence of ohmic losses is introduced and validated by means of full-wave results. Using both full-wave methods as well as a circuit model, the reactive energy stored in the vicinity of the FSS at resonance upon plane-wave incidence is presented. By studying a doubly periodic array of aluminium strips, it is revealed that the reactive power stored at resonance increases rapidly with increasing periodicity. Moreover, it is demonstrated that arrays with larger periodicity-and therefore less metallisation per unit area-exhibit stronger thermal absorption. Despite this absorption, arrays with higher periodicities produce higher unloaded quality factors. Finally, experimental results of a fabricated prototype operating at 14 THz are presented.