For lots of people, there’s nothing better than a hot shower to start the day. Even though that might be a great 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 above the recommended degree can waste energy and cost you money. It also can cause a safety concern for members of your residence. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can enable growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not provide adequate hot water for your property.

So, what number is the right one for your water heater? Here, we’ll establish 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 Temperature for my Water Heater Is the Most Energy Efficient?

Although many manufacturers 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 consumption.

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 especially a challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models continuously heat a tank of water in case it is demanded. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is consistently heating a tank filled to the brim with very hot water.

What's the Right Temperature for My Hot Water?

In many instances, 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 members of the household, but not so hot that it risks burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer choice, especially in homes with young children or elderly individuals. Cooler temperatures also cut down on mineral deposits in your water heater, which could cause it to break down or need replacing.

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

While many industry experts say 120 degrees is the preferred water heater temperature if you’re looking to save money, is it OK to set it higher? In addition to personal preference, there are some circumstances where it could be a good idea to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Increased water temperatures can be beneficial in eliminating harmful bacteria that can cause or exacerbate certain health conditions. This also may be practical if you know your home has an issue with bacteria, or if any residents of the house are sick.
  • High usage: If your home has a tendency to use a lot of hot water at the same time—showering while also running the dishwasher and washing machine, for example—a higher 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 getting up there in years and doesn’t heat water as part of its process, you may have to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work effectively.

What Temperature Is Too High?

Although some people like their water exceptionally hot or would rather blend hot and cold water to create their perfect water temperature, there is such a thing as water that is too hot. Experts say any temperature hotter than 140 degrees is too hot for a water heater in a home. At 150 degrees, which is considered way too hot, it takes only seconds for the water to lead to third-degree burns. This is why a water heater temperature of 150 degrees is particularly hazardous in homes with children or the elderly.

Call Mountain Air for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Morgantown

Water heaters can be a little mysterious, but the skilled specialists at Mountain Air know these appliances extremely well. They’ve repaired many brands and designs of water heaters through the years, so they have the experience to take care of your water heater repair in Morgantown.

We also provide water heater replacement, so contact us at 304-413-1287 if you suspect you need water heater installation in Morgantown. We are happy to take a look at your system and give a free estimate!