When it comes to saving energy, you probably think about the major appliances in your home like the washing machine and HVAC system. What many households overlook is the amount of energy that your water heater uses. Most manufacturers pre-set their water heater thermostats to 140 degrees, but this setting is not typically what the majority of households require in order to enjoy the benefits of hot water. In fact, this high setting may also present a risk of potential scalding.
The Optimal Setting
While there’s really no magic number, the US Department of Energy recommends that you set your water heater to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This setting not only provides you with ample hot water, but it can also slow down mineral buildup, reducing the risk of corrosion in your plumbing and the water heater itself.
Lowering the temperature on your water heating can certainly reduce energy costs and consumption, but to what degree depends on some other factors. If you have heat lost from the water heater that seeps out to the surrounding basement area, it could present a loss in savings. The amount you could save also depends on the volume of consumption or use of water in your household. When the heater is set at around 140 degrees, you may lose approximately $400 or more in heat loss costs each year.
Helpful Tips for Your Water Heater Settings
Here are some tips that will ensure your water heater is working to its maximum capacity while operating under maximum savings for your household:
- Add your content…Dishwashers without a booster heater could require water temperatures between 130-140 degrees. However, water tanks that can maintain a constant high temperature of 120 degrees should be able to thoroughly and safely clean your dirty dishes without worry.
- Check your water heater’s owner’s manual to find out how you can change the thermostat setting. When in doubt, call a professional.
- If you have a gas water heater, the thermostat is usually located near the bottom of the tank near the gas valve.
- For electric water heaters, the thermostat should be located behind a screwed-on panel or plate.
- Some electric water heaters use two thermostats, each representing the upper and lower heating elements, respectively.
Following the standard setting of around 120 degrees should be enough to provide your household with the hot water it needs to bathe, shower, do laundry, and wash dishes while saving on energy. If you encounter any problems with your plumbing or water heater, contact the experts at Five Star Plumbing located in the San Antonio 210-446-4570 and Corpus Christi 361-400-0244, TX areas to schedule an appointment today!