For lots of people, nothing feels quite as good as a hot shower in the morning. Although that may be a perfect way to wake up and start the day, experts say it’s possible to set your water too hot.

Setting your water heater to a temperature that’s above the recommended degree can throw away electricity and cost you money. It also can create a safety issue for members of your residence. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can enable growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not supply enough hot water for your property.

So, what number should you set your water heater? Here, we’ll identify the most effective temperature to use, when there could be justification to set it a little higher and how hot is too hot for your home's water heater.

What Is the Most Efficient Temperature for a Water Heater?

Although many companies 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 usage.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that setting a home water heater temperature at 120 degrees could save up to 22 percent on energy costs. Energy waste is especially a challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models always heat a tank of water in case it is needed. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is forever heating a tank full of very hot water.

What Temperature Should I Set My Hot Water To?

More often than not, the suggested efficient temperature of 120 degrees is a good setting for your water heater. At 120 degrees, the water is hot enough to meet the desires of most members of the household, but not so hot there's a danger of burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer choice, especially in homes with younger 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 Raise My Water Temperature Higher 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 alright to set it higher? Apart from personal preference, there are some scenarios where it could be a good idea to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Increased water temperatures can be beneficial in eliminating harmful bacteria that can cause or exacerbate certain health conditions. This also may be helpful if you know your home has a problem with bacteria, or if any people who live in your home have a compromised immune system.
  • High usage: If your home is inclined to use a significant amount of hot water simultaneously—showering while also running the dishwasher and washing machine, for example—a higher water heater temperature may be necessary to make sure there’s sufficient hot water for all the household's needs.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is old and doesn’t heat water as part of its process, you may need to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work effectively.

What Temperature Is Too Hot for my Hot Water Heater?

Even though some people like their water extremely hot or like to blend hot and cold water to achieve their perfect water temperature, there is such a thing as water that is too hot. Plumbing and heating specialists say any temperature hotter than 140 degrees is too hot for a water heater in a residence. At 150 degrees, which is considered way too hot, it takes a few seconds for the water to create third-degree burns. This is why a water heater temperature of 150 degrees is considered very hazardous in residences with children or the elderly.

Call Comfort Concepts Heating & Air Conditioning for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Yukon

Water heaters can seem a little mysterious, but the skilled technicians at Comfort Concepts Heating & Air Conditioning know these appliances extremely well. They’ve serviced many brands and styles of water heaters through the years, so they have the experience to take care of your water heater repair in Yukon.

We also provide water heater replacement, so call us at 405-494-7444 if you suspect you need water heater installation in Yukon. We are happy to examine your system and produce a complimentary estimate!