For many people, there’s nothing better than a hot shower to start the day. Even though that might be a fantastic way to wake up and start the day, experts say you can set your water too hot.

Setting your water heater to a temperature that’s too hot can throw away energy and cost you money. It also can pose a safety challenge for members of your family. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can enable growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not supply adequate hot water for your property.

So, what number is the right one for your water heater? Here, we’ll identify the most efficient temperature to use, when there could be cause 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 manufacturers encourage setting the water temperature at 140 degrees, a better temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts say 120 degrees hits the right balance between safety and energy use.

The U.S. Department of Energy states 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 especially a challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models constantly heat a tank of water in case it is needed. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is constantly heating a tank brimming with extremely hot water.

What Temperature Should I Set My Hot Water To?

In many instances, the suggested efficient temperature of 120 degrees is a good setting for your water heater. At 120 degrees, the water is heated enough to meet the needs of most homes, but not so hot there's a danger of burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer choice, especially in homes with younger children or elderly men and women. 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 energy experts say 120 degrees is the best water heater temperature if you’re trying to save money, is it alright to set it higher? Beyond personal preference, there are some circumstances where it could be wise to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Increased water temperatures can be beneficial in eliminating harmful bacteria that can cause or exacerbate certain health conditions. This also may be recommended if you know your home has trouble with bacteria, or if any members of the household are immunocompromised.
  • High usage: If your home is inclined to use a large volume of hot water all at once—showering while also running the dishwasher and washing machine, for example—a higher water heater temperature may be necessary to make sure there’s adequate hot water to go around.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is an older model and doesn’t heat water as part of its process, it may be necessary to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work effectively.

How Hot Is Too Hot for a Water Heater?

Even though some people like their water exceptionally hot or prefer to blend hot and cold water to achieve their desired water temperature, there is such a thing as water that is too hot. Experts say any temperature higher than 140 degrees is too hot for a water heater in a residential dwelling. At 150 degrees, which is definitely way too hot, it takes a few seconds for the water to create third-degree burns. This is why a water heater temperature of 150 degrees is particularly hazardous in homes with children or the elderly.

Call Dave's Diversified Services for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Front Royal

Water heaters can seem a little mysterious, but the skilled technicians at Dave's Diversified Services know these appliances extremely well. They’ve repaired many brands and styles of water heaters through the years, so they have the experience to tackle your water heater repair in Front Royal.

We also offer water heater replacement, so call us at [[phone]] if you suspect you need water heater installation in Front Royal. We are happy to check out your system and provide a complimentary estimate!