For many people, nothing feels quite as good as a hot shower to start the day. While that may just be a perfect way to wake up and start the day, experts say it’s possible to set your water too hot.

Setting your water heater to a temperature that’s above the recommended degree can squander power and cost you money. It also can cause a safety concern 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 provide adequate hot water for your household.

So, what temp should you set your water heater? In this article, we’ll establish the most cost-effective temperature to use, when there could be justification to set it a little higher and how hot is too hot for your personal water heater.

What Water Heater Temperature Is the Most Efficient?

Although many brands suggest setting the water temperature at 140 degrees, a more economical temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts say 120 degrees strikes the right balance between safety and energy use.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that setting a home water heater temperature at 120 degrees could save approximately 22 percent on energy costs. Energy waste is a frequent challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models always heat a tank of water in case it is demanded. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is constantly heating a tank brimming with very hot water.

What's the Right Temperature for My Hot Water?

More often than not, the suggested efficient temperature of 120 degrees is the right setting for your water heater. At 120 degrees, the water is heated enough to meet the needs of most residents, but not so hot that it could cause burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer option, 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.

Can I Set My Water Temperature Hotter 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 OK to set it higher? In addition to personal preference, there are some scenarios where it could be a good idea to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Hotter water temperatures can be a good way to eliminate harmful bacteria that can cause or aggravate certain health conditions. This also may be helpful if you know your home has an issue with bacteria, or if any residents of the house have a compromised immune system.
  • High usage: If your home has a tendency 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 sufficient hot water for everyone.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is getting up there in years and doesn’t heat water on its own, you may need to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work effectively.

What Temperature Is Too Hot for my Hot Water Heater?

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

Call Indoor Comfort Systems HVAC for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Croydon

Water heaters can be a little mysterious, but the qualified pros at Indoor Comfort Systems HVAC know these appliances extremely well. They’ve serviced many brands and designs of water heaters through the years, so they have the experience to handle your water heater repair in Croydon.

We also are skilled in water heater replacement, so contact us at 215-741-5505 if you believe you need water heater installation in Croydon. We are happy to examine your system and provide a free estimate!