What Temperature Should My Water Heater Be Set At?

Save energy while still enjoying hot water!

water heater thermostat temperature Maryland or DelawareWhen your new water heater is installed (something we at Poore’s Propane do very well, by the way!), it comes with its temperature already pre-set from when it was built at the factory.

That temperature is usually 140˚ Fahrenheit. But the temperature dial moves for a reason: You can set your water heater temperature to a temperature you prefer. While factory settings may be fine for some, there’s some facts you may want to know about how, and why, to adjust that initial temperature.

Lower the water heater temperature to save money

Water heating accounts for close to 20 percent of your home’s energy costs. Thus, reducing your energy usage when it comes to your water heater can make a big difference in your monthly energy bills.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that when your water heater is set at 140˚, your water heater can cost you up to $61 more a year in standby heat losses and more than $400 in demand losses.

To save energy, and lower your energy bills, the recommended temperature setting is 120˚.

This, however, is not a one-size-fits-all matter. There are exceptions.

If you have a dishwasher without a booster heater, you may need a water heater temperature setting between 130˚ and 140˚ for optimal cleaning of your dishes.

If you or someone in your home have a chronic respiratory condition or a suppressed immune system, you may want to set your water heater at 140˚ because a lower temperature setting presents a slight risk of promoting the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s Disease. Talk with your doctor before adjusting your water heater temperature setting should this affect you or someone in your residence.

Other benefits of lower water heater temperature

Setting your water heater to 120˚ instead of 140˚ is also better for your water heater and pipes, as it slows mineral buildup and corrosion in both.

There’s a big safety reason for setting your water heater to 120˚. Water heated to 140˚ poses a greater risk of scalding, especially in children and the elderly.

Whatever temperature you set your water heater to, remember to turn it to low or vacation setting if you’re going away for three days or longer for even more energy savings.

Poore’s Propane offers safe, expert water heater installation by our trained and experienced service technicians. If you live in our Delaware HVAC service area, Contact us today for a FREE, no-obligation estimate for installing a new water heater in your home!