Hotter’s not always better when it comes to water heater temperature. In fact, hotter water temperatures waste money and may be less safe, as well.
- The hotter the water temperature, the more heat energy is lost from the tank while the unit is on standby. This means the water heater burner cycles on and off more frequently to maintain that higher temperature and consumes more energy, raising monthly utility costs.
- Many new water heaters come from the manufacturer pre-set at temperatures as high as 140 degrees. Water this hot can cause scalding burns in just three seconds of exposure. If that temperature wasn't properly lowered when the unit was installed, it could be a safety hazard.
The most economical and safest water temperature is no higher than 120 degrees. However, the water temperature of hot water coming out of the faucet at fixtures around the house may not match the setting on the water heater thermostat dial. That’s why this simple procedure to adjust the water heater thermostat to meet the actual water temperature produces the most accurate results:
- On the heater’s thermostat dial, make a small mark with a permanent marker to note the present thermostat setting.
- Now go to the fixture in the house furthest from the water heater and open the hot water tap. When the water's coming out fully hot, check the temperature with a cooking thermometer.
- If it’s above 120 degrees, go back to the water heater and turn the thermostat down a small amount. You’ll need to wait at least two hours for the water in the tank to adjust to the new setting. Then check the temperature at the fixture with the cooking thermometer again.
- Repeat this process until hot water coming out of the tap is at the most economical and safest desire temperature no higher than 120 degrees. Make another mark on the thermostat dial to indicate that preferred setting for future reference.
Ask the experts at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning for more about adjusting your water heater temperature for optimum savings and safety.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about lowering bills and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 260-376-2961.
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