For quite a few people, there’s nothing better than a hot shower to get the morning started. Even though that may just 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 too hot can squander power and cost you money. It also can pose a safety concern for members of your household. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can enable growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not produce enough hot water for your dwelling.

So, what temp is the right one for your water heater? Here, we’ll determine the most effective temperature to use, when there could be reason to set it a little higher and how hot is too hot for your personal water heater.

What Is the Most Efficient Temperature for a Water Heater?

Although many brands encourage setting the water temperature at 140 degrees, a more efficient temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts say 120 degrees hits the right balance between safety and energy use.

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 a frequent challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models constantly heat a tank of water in case it is required. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is constantly heating a tank brimming with extremely hot water.

What's the Right Temperature for My Hot Water?

More often than not, the suggested efficient temperature of 120 degrees is the right setting for your water heater. At 120 degrees, the water is warm enough to meet the requirements of most members of the household, but not so hot that it could cause burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer alternative, especially in homes with younger children or elderly men and women. Lower temperatures also cut down on mineral deposits in your water heater, which could cause it to break down or need replacement.

Can I Raise My Water Temperature Hotter Than 120 Degrees?

While many plumbing and heating experts say 120 degrees is the ideal water heater temperature if you’re wanting to save money, is it OK to set it higher? In addition to personal preference, there are a few situations where it could make sense to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Hotter water temperatures can be a good way to eliminate harmful bacteria that can cause or worsen certain health conditions. This also may be helpful if you know your home has trouble with bacteria, or if any residents of the house have a compromised immune system.
  • High usage: If your home has a tendency to use a lot of hot water simultaneously—showering while also running the dishwasher and washing machine, for example—a greater water heater temperature may be necessary to make sure there’s enough hot water for all the household's needs.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is getting up there in years and doesn’t heat water itself, you may have to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work effectively.

What Temperature Is Too High?

Although some people like their water exceptionally hot or like to blend hot and cold water to obtain their perfect water temperature, there is such a thing as water that is too hot. Experts say any temperature higher than 140 degrees is too hot for a water heater in a home. At 150 degrees, which is considered way too hot, it takes just seconds for the water to cause third-degree burns. This is why a water heater temperature of 150 degrees is particularly dangerous in homes with children or the elderly.

Call Desert Husky HVAC/R Services for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Tucson and Phoenix

Water heaters can sometimes feel a little mysterious, but the qualified pros at Desert Husky HVAC/R Services know these appliances like the back of their hands. They’ve serviced many brands and types of water heaters throughout the years, so they have the experience to take care of your water heater repair in Tucson and Phoenix.

We also provide water heater replacement, so give us a call at 520-416-5415 if you think you need water heater installation in Tucson and Phoenix. We are happy to check out your system and produce a complimentary estimate!