For lots of people, there’s nothing better than a hot shower in the morning. Even though that might 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 too hot can throw away electricity and cost you money. It also can pose a safety challenge 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 sufficient hot water for your dwelling.

So, what number is ideal for your water heater? Below, we’ll establish 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 own water heater.

What Is the Most Efficient Temperature for a Water Heater?

Although many brands suggest setting the water temperature at 140 degrees, a more efficient temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Industry experts say 120 degrees hits the right balance between safety and energy consumption.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that setting a home water heater temperature at 120 degrees could save up to 22 percent on a home's utility bills. Energy waste is a frequent challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models always heat a tank of water in case it is needed. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is forever heating a tank brimming with super-hot water.

What Temperature Should I Set My Hot Water To?

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 requirements of most homes, but not so hot that it could cause burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer alternative, 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.

Should You Ever Set Your Water Temperature Higher Than 120 Degrees?

While many energy experts say 120 degrees is the preferred water heater temperature if you’re trying to save money, is it OK to set it higher? In addition to personal preference, there are a couple of different scenarios where it could make sense to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Higher water temperatures can be beneficial in eliminating harmful bacteria that can cause or aggravate 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 sick.
  • High usage: If your home has a tendency to use a significant amount 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 enough hot water for all the household's needs.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is an older model and doesn’t heat water itself, it may be necessary to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work effectively.

How Hot Is Too Hot for a Water Heater?

While some people like their water very hot or would rather blend hot and cold water to create their ideal 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 home. At 150 degrees, which is regarded as way too hot, it takes just seconds for the water to cause third-degree burns. This is why a water heater temperature of 150 degrees is considered very hazardous in homes with children or the elderly.

Call County Line Mechanical LLC for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Reinholds

Water heaters can seem a little mysterious, but the skilled specialists at County Line Mechanical LLC know these appliances like the back of their hands. They’ve serviced many brands and types of water heaters throughout the years, so they have the experience to handle your water heater repair in Reinholds.

We also provide water heater replacement, so give us a call at [[phone]] if you think you need water heater installation in Reinholds. We are happy to take a look at your system and provide a complimentary estimate!