For many people, there's nothing like a hot shower to start the day. Even though that may be a perfect way to wake up and start the day, experts say you should be careful not to set your water too hot.

Setting your water heater to a temperature that’s too hot can squander energy and cost you money. It also can create a safety challenge for members of your residence. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can allow growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not supply sufficient hot water for your household.

So, what temp should you set your water heater? Here, we’ll determine the most effective temperature to use, when there could be reason to set it a little higher and how hot is too hot for your personal water heater.

What Is the Most Efficient Temperature for a Water Heater?

Although many companies suggest setting the water temperature at 140 degrees, a more efficient temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts say 120 degrees provides the right balance between safety and energy usage.

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 costs. Energy waste is a frequent challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models constantly heat a tank of water in case it is demanded. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is forever heating a tank full of extremely 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 hot enough to meet the desires of most homes, but not so hot there's a danger of burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer option, especially in homes with young children or elderly men and women. Cooler temperatures also decrease mineral deposits in your water heater, which could cause it to break down or need to be replaced with a new one.

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

While many industry experts say 120 degrees is the ideal water heater temperature if you’re wanting to save money, is it alright to set it higher? Apart from personal preference, there are a few circumstances where it could be wise to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Higher water temperatures can be a good way to eliminate harmful bacteria that can cause or worsen certain health conditions. This also may be practical if you know your home has an issue with bacteria, or if any people who live in your home are immunocompromised.
  • High usage: If your home is inclined to use a significant amount of hot water at the same time—showering while also running the dishwasher and washing machine, for example—a greater water heater temperature may be necessary to make sure there’s sufficient hot water to go around.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is an older model and doesn’t heat water on its own, it may be necessary to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work correctly.

How Hot Is Too Hot for a Water Heater?

Even though some people like their water very hot or prefer to blend hot and cold water to achieve their ideal water temperature, there is such a thing as water that is too hot. Plumbing and heating specialists say any temperature above 140 degrees is too hot for a water heater in a residence. 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 especially dangerous in households with children or the elderly.

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

Water heaters can sometimes feel a little mysterious, but the skilled specialists at Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating know these appliances like the back of their hands. They’ve serviced many brands and styles of water heaters throughout the years, so they have the experience to tackle your water heater repair in Kankakee.

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