3 Reasons to Lower Your Water Heater's Temperature

You may not be aware that you can lower your water heater temperature. As long as water is hot enough for daily use, most homeowners never give it a second thought. Water heating is the second largest energy hog in your home. But proper water temperature shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Here are some reasons to check your thermostat settings yourself and perhaps lower your water heater’s temperature:

• Water above 120 degrees accelerates the accumulation of hard water mineral sediment, especially common calcium carbonate, inside the tank. Sediment accumulation is a trigger for water heater tank corrosion and shortens the expected service life of the water heater. 

• Water above 120 degrees increases the risk of scalding. Exposure to water at a temperature of 140 degrees can cause severe scalding in as little as 5 seconds of exposure. This is especially dangerous in homes with small children, the elderly, or others who may not be agile enough to quickly react to scalding water.

• Water above 120 degrees causes excessive standby heat loss. Hotter water stored in the tank cools faster. This means that a unit on standby re-lights the burner more frequently to compensate for heat loss and to bring the water temperature back up to thermostat settings. Frequent burner cycles waste energy and increase operating costs. The average home spends about $300 - $600 per year for hot water from a water heater. Lowering the temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can reduce standby heat loss and save up to 15% in annual water heating expense.