Brookline, NH Homeowner Seeks Recommendations

The best temperature setting for a hot water heater is between 120 and 140 degrees. Below 120 degrees, bacteria can develop in the stagnant water sitting in the tank. Above 140 degrees, the water is so hot that you and your family members can be at risk for scalding in as little as two seconds.

A Brookline resident had just replaced his hot water heater. Unsure of the proper temperatures, he asked the Joyce Cooling & Heating Inc. technician who installed the heater.

Keeping the Water Hot Enough to Kill Germs and Bacteria
A water heater in the room of a house

Since the water in your water heater is often standing for extended periods, this must be kept at a temperature that will prevent bacteria from developing. One common bacterium that can spread through this is Legionella, which causes Legionnaire’s disease. Keeping the water temperature at 120 degrees or higher will prevent bacteria growth.

If the home has a dishwasher that does not pre-heat the water, a setting of 140 degrees may be ideal. When you go above 140 degrees, you put family members at risk for burns from the water. This is important if there are young children in the home, who may not be as careful about the water temperature.

Turning Down Your Hot Water Heater’s Temperature Can Save Money

By turning down the temperature, the hot water heater will use less energy to heat and maintain the temperature of the water. In general, every 10 degrees that you decrease the temperature will result in a 5% saving on your energy bill. Just be sure not to drop the temperature below the 120-degree mark for safety reasons.

The homeowner in Brookline was pleased to have this information. He is starting off with a setting of 130 degrees, hot enough to be safe while still saving a little bit of money on his energy bills each month.

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