At What Temperature Should I Set My Water Heater Thermostat?

water heater temp Greater Springfield MA

When it comes to saving energy at home, one of the first things that probably comes to mind is adjusting the thermostat settings of your home heating system. But what about the thermostat on your water heating system?

The factory default setting on most water heaters sold today is 140 degrees, and sometimes more – high enough to cause scalding, and higher than most people need (there are exceptions to this, however, as we will see).

According to the Department of Energy, a 120°F water thermostat setting is more than adequate to slow mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes while keeping your water supply safe to use. But the biggest reason to drop your water temperature is energy (and therefore money) savings. By dropping the thermostat on your water heater by 20 degrees, you’ll save money in two ways: first by reducing standby losses (heat lost from water heater’s storage tank when it sits in a cold basement) and second by reducing fuel consumption (since you won’t need to raise the temperature as high, you’ll burn less gas or heating oil to heat it).

When your water heater thermostat is set to 120°F rather than 140°F, you’ll save about $50 a year by reducing standing heat loss and more than $400 by reducing fuel consumption.

A 140° setting is right in certain circumstances

While most people can get by with a 120° setting, there are certain circumstances in which a 140° degree setting is preferable. For example, if someone living in your household has a suppressed immune system or chronic respiratory disease, a 140-degree setting is preferred to prevent Legionnaires’ disease and other water-borne health risks. Also, if your dishwasher doesn’t pre-heat water, you might want to maintain the higher temperature.

Checking your water heater thermostat temperature

If you’re not sure what temperature your hot water heater is set to, or want to change it, check out this video from the U.S. Department of Energy. If you’re still having trouble, give us a call – we’ll walk you through it.

If your water heater is having trouble maintaining its temperature, or if you’re experiencing other water heater problems such as odd noises, a sulfur smell, or sediment build-up, contact us today. We offer water heater repair and replacement in western MA and can provide a FREE estimate on a water heater upgrade for your home.

For expert water heater service and professional water heater installations in western Massachusetts, no one beats the pros at FSi. Contact us today to learn more!