Is your hot water heater set to the right temperature? If you’re not sure, you may be putting yourself at risk for bacteria development or even scalding. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of setting your hot water heater temperature correctly and how it can impact your life. Stay safe and comfortable by following our tips!
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The Ideal Water Temperature for Comfort
Though some prefer scalding hot showers and others like their water on the cooler side, most people fall into a happy medium range when it comes to water temperature. For comfort, your water heater should be set to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to remove dirt and grime from your body but not so hot that you’ll risk burning yourself. If you have young children or an elderly family member living in your home, you may want to set your water heater temperature even lower to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help prevent accidental scalding.
Related Reading: How Do I Know When I Need a New Water Heater?
The Ideal Hot Water Heater Temperature for Safety
Though comfort is important, safety should be your top priority when setting the temperature on your hot water heater. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends setting your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will also help reduce the risk of bacteria growth in your hot water heater. If you have a hot water heater with a tank, it’s especially important to maintain a safe water temperature. This is because hot water that sits in the tank can become stagnant and lead to the growth of bacteria.
The Ideal Hot Water Heater Temperature for Energy Efficiency
If you’re looking to save money on your energy bill, you may be tempted to set your water heater to a lower temperature. However, water that’s too cool can actually be less efficient and end up costing you more in the long run. This is because water that’s not hot enough can take longer to heat up, which uses more energy. For the most efficient hot water heater, set your temperature to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. (Are you noticing a pattern here? 120 degrees is really the magic number when it comes to hot water heater temperature!)
Risks of Too High or Too Low Heat Settings
We’ve discussed the ideal hot water heater temperatures for comfort, safety, and efficiency, but what happens if you set your temperature too high or too low? If you set your hot water heater temperature to a scalding hot 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you run the risk of accidental burns. On the other hand, if you set your temperature too low, it will actually encourage the growth of bacteria. Legionnaires disease is a concern: this potentially fatal form of pneumonia is caused by the legionella bacteria, which can grow in water heaters. The CDC recommends hot water heater temperatures between 110 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the growth of this bacteria.
Water Heater Maintenance Tips
Now that you know the ideal water heater temperature, it’s important to maintain your hot water heater to ensure it runs properly. Tank hot water heaters should be flushed of sediments and minerals at least once a year. This will help extend the life of your water heater and keep it running efficiently. You should also check the anode rod annually and replace it if necessary. This rod helps prevent corrosion in your hot water heater tank.
For more information on hot water heater maintenance, check out our blog post: Is It Worth It To Repair a Water Heater?
In conclusion, setting your hot water heater to the right temperature is important for both safety and comfort. 120 degrees Fahrenheit is usually the best option, but you may want to adjust based on your individual needs. Keep these tips in mind to stay safe and comfortable in your home!
If you have any questions or concerns about your hot water heater, contact a licensed professional. They will be able to help you troubleshoot and find the best solution for your needs.