For lots of people, nothing feels quite as good as a hot shower to start the day. Although that may just 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 create a safety challenge for members of your residence. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can allow growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not produce adequate hot water for your dwelling.

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

What Temperature for my Water Heater Is the Most Energy Efficient?

Although many companies advise setting the water temperature at 140 degrees, a better temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Specialists say 120 degrees provides the right balance between safety and energy consumption.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that setting a home water heater temperature at 120 degrees could save approximately 22 percent on energy bills. Energy waste is especially a challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models always heat a tank of water in case it is required. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is constantly heating a tank full of extremely hot water.

So What Temperature Should My Hot Water Be?

In many instances, the suggested efficient temperature of 120 degrees is a good setting for your water heater. At 120 degrees, the water is warm enough to meet the desires of most homes, but not so hot that it risks burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer option, especially in homes with younger children or elderly men and women. Lower temperatures also minimize mineral deposits in your water heater, which could cause it to break down or need to be replaced with a new one.

Can I Raise My Water Temperature Higher Than 120 Degrees?

While many energy experts say 120 degrees is the ideal water heater temperature if you’re trying to save money, is it acceptable to set it higher? Beyond personal preference, there are some circumstances where it could be a good idea 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 practical if you know your home has an issue with bacteria, or if any people who live in your home are immunocompromised.
  • High usage: If your home tends to use a lot of hot water all at once—showering while also running the dishwasher and washing machine, for example—a hotter water heater temperature may be necessary to make sure there’s sufficient hot water to go around.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is old 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.

What Temperature Is Too High?

Although some people like their water exceptionally hot or would rather blend hot and cold water to create their ideal water temperature, there is such a thing as water that is too hot. Plumbing and heating specialists say any temperature higher than 140 degrees is too hot for a water heater in a residential dwelling. At 150 degrees, which is considered way too hot, it takes only seconds for the water to lead to third-degree burns. This is why a water heater temperature of 150 degrees is especially unsafe in residences with children or the elderly.

Call Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Holbrook

Water heaters can seem a little mysterious, but the skilled pros at Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation know these appliances like the back of their hands. They’ve fixed many brands and models of water heaters throughout the years, so they have the experience to take care of your water heater repair in Holbrook.

We also offer water heater replacement, so reach out to us at 631-460-5159 if you think you need water heater installation in Holbrook. We are happy to examine your system and provide a free estimate!