For quite a few people, nothing feels quite as good as a hot shower to start the day. Although that may be a perfect way to wake up and start the day, experts say you can set your water too hot.

Setting your water heater to a temperature that’s above the recommended degree can waste energy and cost you money. It also can pose a safety issue for members of your family. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can allow growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not supply adequate hot water for your property.

So, what temp is the right one for your water heater? In this article, 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 home's water heater.

What Temperature for my Water Heater Is the Most Energy Efficient?

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

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that setting a home water heater temperature at 120 degrees could save up to 22 percent on energy bills. Energy waste is a frequent challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models always heat a tank of water in case it is required. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is constantly heating a tank filled to the brim with extremely hot water.

So What Temperature Should My Hot Water Be?

In most cases, the suggested efficient temperature of 120 degrees is an effective yet cost-saving setting for your water heater. At 120 degrees, the water is heated enough to meet the needs of most residents, but not so hot there's a danger of burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer alternative, especially in homes with younger children or elderly men and women. Cooler temperatures also minimize mineral deposits in your water heater, which could cause it to break down or need to be replaced with a new one.

Can I Set My Water Temperature Higher Than 120 Degrees?

While many plumbing and heating experts say 120 degrees is the best water heater temperature if you’re trying to save money, is it acceptable to set it higher? In addition to personal preference, there are some 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 exacerbate certain health conditions. This also may be useful if you know your home has an issue with bacteria, or if any residents of the house are sick.
  • High usage: If your home tends to use a significant amount of hot water all at once—showering while also running the dishwasher and washing machine, for example—a higher water heater temperature may be necessary to make sure there’s adequate hot water for all the household's needs.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is an older model and doesn’t heat water itself, you may need to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work properly.

How Hot Is Too Hot for a Water Heater?

Although some people like their water very hot or like to blend hot and cold water to obtain their desired 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 considered 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 particularly hazardous in households with children or the elderly.

Call Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Kankakee

Water heaters can be a little mysterious, but the skilled specialists at Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating know these appliances inside and out. They’ve repaired many brands and models of water heaters through the years, so they have the experience to tackle your water heater repair in Kankakee.

We also are skilled in water heater replacement, so reach out to us at 815-933-8213 if you think you need water heater installation in Kankakee. We are happy to check out your system and give a no-cost estimate!