A homeowner in Hudson, New Hampshire recently asked:
“What’s the sweet spot for the temperature of my hot water heater?”
In doing so he wanted to reduce his monthly bill, while also being sure that the water never runs cold for his family. If you have the temperature set too high, you will begin to feel it in the pain of your utility bills, too low and you leave your tank susceptible to bacteria growth.
Many homeowners actually have the water temperature on their hot water heater set at a level that is too high. This means that they not only pay more, but also risk scalding their skin. According to the Department of Energy you will lower your bill between $12 and $30 annually for every 10° reduction in your hot water temperature.
This may have you running to the basement to drop the temperature of your hot water heater, as you see the cost savings. However, it is not recommended to lower the temperature in the tank below 120°. When you drop down to 100 to 110°, your hot water heater can become a breeding ground for bacteria, potentially causing health issues for you and your family.
At 120° the water will be cool enough to prevent potential burns, particularly in small children, while still warm enough to fill a bathtub or for a long shower. It is definitely worth your time to double-check your hot water heater’s temperature setting, and make the necessary adjustment to this “just right” temperature.
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