Save Energy and Money Through Modifying Water Heater Temperature

By: Ann Triune

Modifying the water heater temperature can actually be used in order to save energy. Water heaters are known to be the most energy-consuming appliances in your home, and you can be spending up to $400 in electric fees annually just through the use of water heaters alone!

There are several ways for you to save up on energy, and consequently lessen the amount on your utility bills. Among these is purchasing a water heater timer or insulating materials. If you are not ready to dip into your pockets, there is also an easy way to minimize your water heater energy consumption. Just change the water heater temperature.

How does this work?

By simply lowering the thermostat setting on your water heater, you can save critical amounts of energy. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit reduction in water temperature, you can save up to 5% of energy.

Did you know?

Some manufacturers calibrate water heater thermostats at 140 degrees Fahrenheit even when the average household only requires a water heater temperature setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you lower your temperature setting by 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you can be saving up to 10% of energy. Using 140 degrees Fahrenheit as your temperature setting can also pose some serious risks and hazards, such as scalding.

Lowering your water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit can also delay the process of corrosion and mineral buildup in your water heater and pipes. This contributes in making your water heater last longer and function at its optimal efficiency.

How do I operate the thermostat?

You can refer to the instructions found in your water heater manuals as to how the thermostat is operated. Usually, the thermostat dial for a gas storage water heater is located near the bottom of the tank of the gas valve. For electric water heaters though, thermostats can be found behind screw-on panels or plates. Remember that before opening the panels, make sure to shut off the electricity to the water heater. This is to prevent you from getting electrocuted. An electric water heater may also have two thermostats - one for the upper and lower heating elements.

After locating the thermostat and adjusting it to a lower water temperature, take note of the beginning temperature and the adjusted temperature displayed on the thermostat dial. This will serve as your future reference. Afterwards, proceed to checking the water temperature at the tap farthest from the water heater if the temperature has indeed dropped according to your specifications. Most thermostat dials are inaccurate so you might need to perform several adjustments before you finally get the right temperature.

Miscellaneous Tips on Using your Water Heater

If you plan to be away from home for several days, turn the thermostat down to its lowest setting or completely turn off your water heater. You can switch it off by turning off the circuit breaker to it.

For dishwashers without a booster heater, use water temperature with the range of 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum cleaning.

As a whole, if you want to cut back on electricity costs, but you're not ready to invest in water heater timers and insulating materials, you can do so by simply lowering down the water heater temperature setting.

Technology
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Technology