What Temperature Should A Hot Water Heater Be Set At?

What Temperature Should A Hot Water Heater Be Set At

💧 What Temperature Should A Hot Water Heater Be Set At?

When setting the temperature of your hot water heater, you may think that one single temperature is ideal for all households.

However, there are several factors to consider when deciding the best temperature.

From energy efficiency and cost savings to safety concerns and personal preferences – each household has different needs regarding its hot water supply.

In this article, we’ll explore those factors and help you determine the best temperature for your situation.

So while there is no one-size-fits-all answer as to what temperature a hot water heater should be set at, you can find an optimal solution for your home with some careful consideration.

🛀 What Temperature Should A Hot Water Heater Be Set At?

The temperature of a hot water heater should be set between the range of 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 to 48.9 degrees Celsius).

This temperature promotes energy efficiency and safety, ensuring that the water does not become too hot for use.

Temperatures lower than 120F can create a risk for bacteria such as legionella to develop inside your hot water tank.

🛀 How Low is Too Low?

To guarantee your safety and ease, set the temperature of your water heater to no lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you or anyone in your family suffers from suppressed immune systems, cold water can present a major disease control problem.

A higher temperature kills more bacteria, so using a lower temperature could expose them to bacteria such as the one that causes Legionnaire’s disease.

Reducing it further will only make taking a shower or bath uncomfortable.

💧 Worried About Your Water Heater’s Temperature?

woman checking a utility bill

Regulating the temperature of your hot water circulating system is essential.

Too low, and you may not experience a hot shower, while too high could lead to painful scalding.

Moreover, correctly doing so can save on energy bills and protect children and older family members from accidental burns.

Finding that sweet spot between comfortability and safety will ensure an enjoyable yet secure home environment for everyone.

💧 What Can Affect The Best Temperature For Hot Water Heaters?

woman showering

🛀 Energy Costs

Setting your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit is a great way to save money on your home’s energy consumption without skimping out on comfort.

By adjusting the thermostat of water heaters to this exact temperature, or at least around it, you can experience significant cost savings while still enjoying all the hot-water benefits you desire.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy estimate that setting your water heater from 140 to 120 degrees saves around 3 to 5 percent on your overall energy bill.

For a household of three with an average electric water heater, this could add up to a savings of $7 per month.

If already at 120, by setting the thermostat just a few degrees lower, between 118 and 119 degrees, you can expect additional savings of up to 2 percent more.

Furthermore, these savings can increase depending on the size of your hot water tank and the amount of hot water used in the home.

For example, households with larger tanks may notice even more dramatic savings when reducing the thermostat from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees.

With careful consideration and planning, it is possible to experience significant cost savings without compromising comfortability or safety.

And starting with small increments is the best first step to finding your comfort zone.

🛀 Family Members Comfort

The temperature of your water heater matters.

It should be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit which is warm enough for baths and showers but not so hot that it could cause third-degree burns or scalds.

Elderly homeowners and small children need extra care regarding the water heater temperature setting because they might get burned more easily.

For these people, a lower temperature, like 110 degrees Fahrenheit, is best to ensure everyone in the house stays safe and comfortable.

🛀 Washing Machines

For optimal efficiency, it’s essential to consider other appliances that use hot water when setting the temperature for water heaters.

Most washing machines will perform their best with a temperature between 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit.

This way, you ensure both excellent cleaning results and low energy consumption.

Before making any changes, though, consult your washer’s user manual first!

🛀 Other Appliances

To ensure the optimal performance of dishwashers, and other home appliances, you’re best off setting your water heater’s thermostat at a target temperature of 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Without this ideal temperature range, these machines may be unable to do their jobs efficiently or take longer than necessary.

In many cases, the correct setting on your water heater can make all the difference in how well certain appliances work!

💧 How To Change Hot Water Heater Temperature

adjusting water heater temperature

Accessing your water heater settings and changing the temperature only takes a few easy steps.

First, turn off the power to the water heater.

You can do this by turning off the circuit breaker in your home’s electrical panel.

Locate the thermostat and adjust it using a screwdriver; most models have an adjustable temperature dial you can turn clockwise or counterclockwise to change the water temperature.

Finally, turn back on the power and wait about an hour to apply your new water temperature setting before testing it with a bath or shower!

💧 Final Thoughts

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Water heaters are essential to your home’s plumbing system and your family’s comfort.

It is important to know what temperature to set your water heater to get the most efficient hot water for your needs.

The recommendation for most homes is between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep reading our blog for more information about your home’s plumbing system!

Russell Jones

Russell, a native Australian and VP of Operations at Phyxter Home Services, is also part-owner of Vernon Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical Services. When he's not busy with work projects and renovations, Russell enjoys putting his vast knowledge of home improvement to good use by sharing his tips and tricks.

About our blog

Phyxter (pronounced Fix-ter) is a national home services brand specializing in Residential HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing solutions.

Phyxter is laser-focused on writing the best articles and guides to empower homeowners to get the best out of their homes.

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