Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

Want Lower Utility Bills? Turn Down Your Water Heater Temperature

One of the best ways to give yourself a raise is to lower your energy use. Chances are, even if you’re already super thrifty about saving power, there are at least a dozen more things you can do around the home to trim utility bills. One of the most overlooked is to turn down the water heater temperature.

How Hot Does the Water Heater Need to Be?

Have you ever checked the temperature of your water heater? Manufacturers frequently set thermostats at 140 degrees. The truth is, that’s a bit on the hot side. You can easily scald yourself with water that hot, while mineral buildup and corrosion in your pipes are exacerbated by the hotter temperatures. Turn the water down to 120 degrees, and you’ll have less chance of scalding while slowing corrosion and mineral buildup.

Water Heater Savings

Turning down the thermostat just 20 degrees also results in substantial savings on your water heating power use. Consider that with a tank-style water heater, you’re paying to maintain hot water at this temperature continuously. Your water heater will have to work extra hard when the weather is chilly, or when you have standby heat loss from the water heater being located in an unheated space such as a garage. Couple these factors with high consumption of that super-hot water in your home, and you’ll find your costs are much higher than they need to be.

Using 120-Degree Water

Most people find showering with water at 120 degrees quite comfortable. Water heated to this temperature is also adequate for washing clothes and, in most cases, for dishwashers. Although there is a slight risk of allowing legionellae bacteria to survive at 120 degrees, this shouldn’t be a problem for anyone except those with a suppressed immune system.

Turning the thermostat down also contributes to maintaining a greener household, in that you’ve reduced your carbon footprint.

To learn more about lowering your water heater temperature, contact Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning. We serve San Diego and the surrounding area.