For quite a few people, there's nothing like a hot shower to start the day. Although that may just be a fantastic 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 above the recommended degree can squander power and cost you money. It also can pose a safety concern for members of your home. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can enable growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not produce sufficient hot water for your dwelling.

So, what temperature should you set your water heater? Below, we’ll establish the most effective temperature to use, when there could be cause 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 manufacturers advise setting the water temperature at 140 degrees, a better temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Industry experts say 120 degrees provides 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 a home's utility bills. Energy waste is a frequent challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models constantly heat a tank of water in case it is needed. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is constantly heating a tank full of super-hot water.

What Temperature Should I Set My Hot Water To?

In many instances, the suggested efficient temperature of 120 degrees is a good setting for your water heater. At 120 degrees, the water is warm enough to meet the desires of most homes, but not so hot that it risks burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer alternative, especially in homes with small children or elderly people. Reduced temperatures also decrease mineral deposits in your water heater, which could cause it to break down or need replacement.

Can I Set My Water Temperature Hotter Than 120 Degrees?

While many energy experts say 120 degrees is the preferred water heater temperature if you’re looking to save money, is it OK to set it higher? Apart from personal preference, there are a couple of different situations where it could be a good idea to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Higher water temperatures can be helpful in eliminating 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 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 hotter 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 an older model and doesn’t heat water on its own, you may need to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work correctly.

What Temperature Is Too Hot for my Hot Water Heater?

Even though some people like their water extremely hot or prefer to blend hot and cold water to obtain their ideal 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 residential dwelling. At 150 degrees, which is definitely 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 considered very hazardous in households with children or the elderly.

Call ACE Solutions for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Hasbrouck Heights

Water heaters can seem a little mysterious, but the skilled technicians at ACE Solutions know these appliances extremely well. They’ve repaired many brands and types of water heaters throughout the years, so they have the experience to take care of your water heater repair in Hasbrouck Heights.

We also are skilled in water heater replacement, so give us a call at 201-579-2562 if you think you need water heater installation in Hasbrouck Heights. We are happy to check out your system and provide a no-cost estimate!