Many homeowners don’t realize the benefits of turning down the temperature on their hot water heater. Due to the fact that water heating is responsible for a large percentage of energy use in the United States, turning down the temperature on your hot water heater can actually reduce monthly energy bills.
Cooling it Down
Running the average electric water heater will cost homeowners $415 a year or more. By turning your water heater down to 120 degrees, you can save 6% to 10% a year. Ultimately, this can save at least $25 or more each year, just by lowering the water heater temperature.
In order to actually turn down your water heater you will need to look for a control dial along the outside for gas heaters. Electric heaters will generally have two dials to control the water heating. Both dials are typically set for the same temperature. For electric heaters, you will need to maintain the same temperature on both dials. If your heater has copper plates covering the dials and the temperature gauges, be sure to remove these before attempting to change the temperature. Turn the dial towards warm, which is usually towards the left, and wait a day before testing the dial again. When your preferred setting has been reached, mark the temperature on your dial so you can refer to it again in the future.
Things to Consider
When you turn your hot water heater to 120 degrees, this leaves room for bacteria to grow in your heater. Such organisms include Legionella, which lead to a nasty disease. Typically, these bacterias cannot survive at 140 degrees or more, but if your water heater is set to 120 degrees, they might start to grow. Individuals that have compromised immune systems are more at risk for getting sick from these waterborne bacterias, so do your research and consult a doctor before decreasing the temperature on your water heater.
If you are looking to save a little more money, consider adding more insulation to your water heater. This can save $30 or more a year. Additionally, you may want to purchase a new water heater from Energy Star, as these systems are tankless and can save more than $100 a year.
Turning down the hot water in your heater can be a efficient way to save more money around the house. Whatever decision you make regarding your water heater, be sure you are making the right decision for your home and family.