For quite a few people, there’s nothing better than a hot shower in the morning. Although that might be a fantastic way to wake up and start the day, experts say you should be careful not to set your water too hot.

Setting your water heater to a temperature that’s scorching can squander electricity and cost you money. It also can cause a safety issue for members of your residence. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can enable growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not provide enough hot water for your property.

So, what temp is the right one for your water heater? Below, we’ll identify the most effective temperature to use, when there could be reason to set it a little higher and how hot is too hot for your home's water heater.

What Is the Most Efficient Temperature for a Water Heater?

Although many companies suggest setting the water temperature at 140 degrees, a better temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Industry experts say 120 degrees hits the right balance between safety and energy use.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that setting a home water heater temperature at 120 degrees could save up to 22 percent on a home's utility bills. Energy waste is a frequent challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models continuously heat a tank of water in case it is demanded. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is forever heating a tank full of very hot water.

What Temperature Should I Set My Hot Water To?

In most cases, the suggested efficient temperature of 120 degrees is the right setting for your water heater. At 120 degrees, the water is hot enough to meet the desires of most members of the household, but not so hot that it risks burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer alternative, especially in homes with young children or elderly individuals. Cooler temperatures also decrease mineral deposits in your water heater, which could cause it to break down or need replacing.

Should You Ever Set Your Water Temperature Higher Than 120 Degrees?

While many industry experts say 120 degrees is the preferred water heater temperature if you’re trying to save money, is it OK to set it higher? In addition to personal preference, there are a couple of different scenarios where it could be a good idea to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Higher water temperatures can be a good way to eliminate harmful bacteria that can cause or worsen certain health conditions. This also may be helpful if you know your home has an issue with bacteria, or if any people who live in your home have a compromised immune system.
  • High usage: If your home has a tendency to use a large volume of hot water at the same time—showering while also running the dishwasher and washing machine, for example—a greater water heater temperature may be necessary to make sure there’s adequate hot water for all the household's needs.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is getting up there in years and doesn’t heat water on its own, you may have to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work correctly.

How Hot Is Too Hot for a Water Heater?

Even though some people like their water extremely hot or like to blend hot and cold water to create their ideal water temperature, there is such a thing as water that is too hot. Energy officials say any temperature above 140 degrees is too hot for a water heater in a home. At 150 degrees, which is considered way too hot, it takes just seconds for the water to create third-degree burns. This is why a water heater temperature of 150 degrees is particularly hazardous in residences with children or the elderly.

Call Childress Heating & AC for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Fredericksburg

Water heaters can sometimes feel a little mysterious, but the qualified technicians at Childress Heating & AC know these appliances extremely well. They’ve serviced many brands and styles of water heaters throughout the years, so they have the experience to handle your water heater repair in Fredericksburg.

We also provide water heater replacement, so reach out to us at [[phone]] if you suspect you need water heater installation in Fredericksburg. We are happy to examine your system and provide a complimentary estimate!