Finding ways to save energy is on the minds of many homeowners these days. One area of your home that you may need to take a second look for savings is your water heater. After all, energy consumed for water heating in the average home is second only to the HVAC system. Use these tips and information for how and why you should lower your water heater temperature.
Lower Energy Bills and More
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), water heating accounts for approximately 18 percent of the energy consumed in the average home. By turning back your water heater’s factory temperature of approximately 140 degrees, or higher, to 120 degrees, you may expect to save 10 to 12 percent of water heating costs.
Additionally, water temperatures in excess of 140 degrees can cause scalding in a matter of seconds — especially in the very young, elderly, and physically or mentally impaired populations.
A lower water heater temperature reduces or slows corrosion and wear on your water heater and pipes, too. The higher the temperature, the faster that mineral deposits accumulate, which reduces efficiency and additionally increases energy bills.
Lower Your Water Heater Temperature
It may take a few tries and a few hours to adjust your water heater temperature just right. Here’s how to do it:
- Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of hot water at the tap most distant from the water heater.
- For gas models, turn back the thermostat dial located on the gas valve to the “low” setting.
- For electric models, remove the bottom and top panels that cover the thermostats (some models have only one thermostat located on the bottom). Turn back the thermostat dial a few notches.
- Give your water heater four hours for the temperature to fall.
- Using your thermometer, measure hot water temperature again at the most distant tap.
- Repeat as necessary until the temperature is at 120 degrees.