For many people, there’s nothing better than a hot shower in the morning. Even though 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 energy and cost you money. It also can create a safety concern for members of your home. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can permit growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not produce adequate hot water for your property.

So, what temp should you set your water heater? Here, we’ll determine the most efficient 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 Water Heater Temperature Is the Most Efficient?

Although many brands advise setting the water temperature at 140 degrees, a more economical temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Specialists say 120 degrees strikes 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 roughly 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 consistently heating a tank full of very hot water.

What's the Right Temperature for My Hot Water?

In most cases, the suggested efficient temperature of 120 degrees is an effective yet cost-saving setting for your water heater. At 120 degrees, the water is warm enough to meet the requirements of most residents, but not so hot that it risks burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer choice, especially in homes with small children or elderly men and women. Reduced temperatures also decrease mineral deposits in your water heater, which could cause it to break down or need replacement.

Can I Set My Water Temperature Higher Than 120 Degrees?

While many industry 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 circumstances where it could be wise to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Increased water temperatures can be a good way to eliminate harmful bacteria that can cause or exacerbate certain health conditions. This also may be useful if you know your home has a problem with bacteria, or if any residents of the house are immunocompromised.
  • High usage: If your home has a tendency to use a lot of hot water simultaneously—showering while also running the dishwasher and washing machine, for example—a greater water heater temperature may be necessary to make sure there’s sufficient hot water for everyone.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is an older model and doesn’t heat water on its own, you may need to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work properly.

How Hot Is Too Hot for a Water Heater?

Although some people like their water very hot or would rather blend hot and cold water to obtain 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 home. At 150 degrees, which is considered way too hot, it takes only seconds for the water to create third-degree burns. This is why a water heater temperature of 150 degrees is especially 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 knowledgeable technicians at Indoor Comfort Systems HVAC know these appliances extremely well. They’ve serviced many brands and styles of water heaters over the years, so they have the experience to tackle your water heater repair in Croydon.

We also offer water heater replacement, so reach out to us at 215-741-5505 if you believe you need water heater installation in Croydon. We are happy to check out your system and produce a complimentary estimate!