Every time you take a bath, you get an idea of the ideal water heater temperature. You don’t want your skin to be scalded, and you likely don’t want a cold shower either.
It is imperative to set the ideal temperature for your water heater. Apart from enjoying comfortable water, you’ll also be saving on your energy bills. Water heaters account for as much as 18% of your energy bills.
With the right temperature setting you can reap significant financial savings. In this article, we will discuss the ideal temperature setting for your water heater.
Determining the Correct Temperature Range
You need to set the ideal temperature for your water heater for several reasons.
If the temperature is too low the water will be lukewarm. This might lead to the growth of bacteria, resulting in respiratory diseases such as Legionnaires’ disease.
Experts recommend fixing the temperature dial at a point that will not allow bacteria to thrive. As per OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), the water temperature should be 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This will prevent the growth of microorganisms.
You also need to consider the risk of burns. If the temperature is around 66 degrees Celsius or 150 degrees Fahrenheit, it might result in significant burns in just two seconds. Households with kids should be careful about scalding water.
CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) recommends that the temperature of your water heater should not exceed 49 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, excessively hot water can lead to a significant spike in your energy costs.
Therefore, the ideal range of temperatures should be anything between 49 to 60 degrees Celsius (120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on your specific requirements.
How to Adjust the Water Heater Temperature
With tankless water heaters, you need to make adjustments to the thermostat the same way you would on your air conditioner. These hot water heaters come with a digital control panel. This helps you to make adjustments in the water temperature easily.
Electric and Gas Water Heaters
In some gas heaters, you will find a thermostat dial at the bottom. You simply need to turn it to obtain the ideal water temperature. You won’t require any tool for this purpose. However, some of the newer models have a different setting. It will take you a few minutes to adjust the temperature in these water heaters.
- First, turn off the power at the circuit breaker for the electric water heater.
- Remove the access panel for thermostats with a screwdriver.
- Next, the insulation has to be peeled off.
- Make necessary adjustments in the water heater thermostat setting using a flathead screwdriver.
- In case there are two thermostats in your hot water heater, make sure to make the same adjustment in both. Note that the top thermostat is higher than the bottom by a few degrees.
- Reinstall the access panel by replacing the insulation.
- Now connect the water heater to its power source.
- Relight the pilot light if you have a gas water heater.
Wait for around 3 hours before you test the temperature of the water. Sometimes, you may have to carry out some additional adjustments.
Factors Affecting the Hot Water Temperature Setting
You need to factor in the following things before deciding on the ideal temperature for your water.
- If you have a dishwasher, 140 degrees Fahrenheit should be the ideal temperature, unless you preheat the water.
- For homes with children and older adults, 120 degrees should be the ideal temperature.
- If you have someone at home suffering from respiratory diseases, the default temperature should be around 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In some homes, the demand for cold water is high. If you love taking cold showers, you might fix the temperature setting below normal.
- If you are looking for an energy-efficient setting, you can save around 3% to 5% of the energy bills for every 10-degree drop in temperature.
- The number of family members also determines the water temperature. If you have more than 6 members in your family, it is recommended to fix the temperature at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you are living alone, set the temperature 20 degrees lower.
- If you are still in a dilemma, fix the temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and increase it slowly until you obtain the ideal temperature.
How Can You Check Your Current Temperature Setting?
You simply need to check out the dial on the heater to know the current temperature setting. You may also take the reading of the temperature from the faucet. Before noting the temperature, make sure to turn the tap on to allow the hot water to flow for some time to get an accurate reading.
How Can You Enhance the Efficiency of Your Water Heater?
Households can further minimize their water bills by using these tactics.
- To ensure minimal loss of standby heat, make sure that you get an insulated water heater tank or add a quality water heater blanket.
- Since water flow affects energy consumption, you should consider low-flow versions for your faucets and showerheads.
- Many homeowners opt for tankless water heaters to have hot water on demand. This does away with the storage requirements and minimizes heat loss.
The ideal temperature setting for your hot water heater depends on the way you use water at home. The number of members in your family and whether or not you have children or people with respiratory disorders will also help determine the actual temperature.
In a nutshell, you need to optimize the temperature to prevent scalding. You can get an anti-scald device to protect your family members. On the other hand, lukewarm water may turn out to be frustrating when you need a higher temperature. You need to adjust the temperature setting based on your preferences.
It may also be a good idea to seek professional services from plumbers for making the necessary maintenance and adjustments in the system if you have trouble.
For more such reviews and information about what size water heater you might need, be sure to visit weekly for new articles.
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