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What is the Ideal Temperature For Your Water Heater Thermostat?

Written on: February 17, 2020

water heater thermostat Tunkhannock
When most people think about temperature control and energy savings, they’re thinking about the thermostat on the wall that controls their furnace or boiler. But there’s another, slightly more hidden thermostat that could also help you save a few bucks: your water heater thermostat.
As it happens, the factory default setting on most water heaters sold today is 140 degrees – enough to scald, and more than most people need (there are exceptions to this, however, as we will see). According to the Department of Energy, a 120°F water thermostat setting is enough to slow mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes while keeping your water supply safe to use.
But the biggest reason to drop your water temperature is the savings you’ll get on your energy bills. By lowering the setting on your thermostat by 20 degrees, you’ll save money in two ways: first by reducing heat lost from water heater’s storage tank when it sits in a cold basement (we call this “standby loss”), and second by reducing the amount of fuel you’ll use (since you won’t need to raise the water temperature as high, you’ll burn less propane or heating oil to heat it).
When your water heater thermostat is set to 120°F rather than 140°F, you’ll save about $50 a year by reducing standing heat loss and more than $400 by reducing fuel consumption!

A 120° setting isn’t right for everyone

While most people can get by with a 120° setting, certain homeowners should keep their thermostats set at 140°. For example, if someone in the house has a suppressed immune system or chronic respiratory disease, you will need the extra heat to prevent Legionnaires’ disease and other water-borne health risks. Also, if your dishwasher doesn’t pre-heat water, you might want to maintain the higher temperature.

How to check your water heater thermostat temperature

If you’re not sure what temperature your hot water heater is set to, or want to change it, check out this video from the U.S. Department of Energy. If you’re still having trouble, give us a call – we’ll walk you through it.
If your water heater is having trouble maintaining its temperature, or if you’re experiencing other water heater problems such as odd noises, a sulfur smell, or sediment build-up, contact us today. We offer water heater repair and replacement in eastern PA and can provide a FREE estimate on a water heater upgrade for your home.
For expert water heater service and professional water heater installations in Tunkhannock, PA and nearby towns, no one beats the pros at Ace-Robbins. Contact us today to learn more!