Lowering the temperature on your water heater by 10 degrees shaves up to 5 percent off your water heating costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Water heater manufacturers often set the temperature of their water heaters to 140 degrees. So, there are plenty of energy dollars to keep in your pocketbook by turning down water heater temperature. Keep reading to learn how.
Lower Temperature, More Savings
The federal Energy Star program suggests that 120 degrees water temperature suffices for most households. Turning down your water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can keep up to 10 percent of water-heating costs in your pocket.
Another reason lowering your water heater’s temperature is standby heat loss. Heat from the hot water escapes through the storage tank, which causes the system to turn on — even though no hot water is being used.
Additionally, as hot water is used at an appliance, shower, or faucet, fresh cold water fills the tank. When the cold-water intake mixes with stored hot water, the temperature falls and your water heater engages to bring the water back up to temperature. It uses more energy to bring water temperature to 140 degrees as opposed to 120 degrees.
Lowering the Temperature
Lowering the temperature on your water heater is a simple task. The thermostat dial for gas water heaters is located on the gas valve. Turn back the dial a digit or two. Wait a few hours to let the temperature stabilize. Using a thermometer, measure hot water temperature at the nearest faucet. Adjust the dial as needed until the temperature is 120 degrees.
Electric water heaters are slightly different. The thermostat dial is located behind an access panel near the bottom of the water heater. Turn off the circuit breaker to the water heater before you begin. Next, remove the panel and turn back the dial, following the same steps as the gas water heater. Many electric water heaters have two thermostats (i.e., two heating elements). Turn back both dials to the same setting.
For more information about water heater temperature, contact Powers Heating & Air today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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