4 Important Reasons to Lower Your Water Heater Temperature

When it gets colder, a hot shower in the morning becomes more important. However, keeping your water heater’s temperature above 120 degrees causes your water heater to work harder, especially in the winter. 

The thought of lowering the temperature might seem counterintuitive, but there are a few important reasons why should lower your water heater temperature.


Although many homeowners keep their water heater set at 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that you set your water heater to 120 degrees. A water heater set to 140 can get scalding hot quickly. A temperature of 140 degrees is hot enough to cause severe scalding in a matter of just a few seconds. This is dangerous for homes with small children or elderly family members. 

Money Savings

When your water heater is set above 120 degrees, the water inside your water loses heat. This is called standby heat loss. Basically, the stored water in the tank cools off as it sits in the tank. In order to bring the temperature back up, the water heater has to relight the burner. Each time the burner relights it uses energy. By keeping the temperature at a lower temperature, you can cut down on the number of burner cycles your water heater completes, thus saving you money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 22 percent on your energy bills by lowering your water heater temperature. 

Hard water minerals accumulate in the tank

Another problem that arises when you heat water above 120 degrees is that it can cause sediment to build up. Minerals in the water become more concentrated and leave a residue inside the tank. If the tank contains sediment, the burner may have to run longer to heat or reheat the water. To reduce the amount of sediment buildup, keep the temperature on your water heater set to around 120 degrees.

Extend the life of your water heater

If you want to extend the life of your water heater, run it at a lower temperature. The hot water will still get heated enough to enjoy a hot shower, but your water heater will not have to work as hard. In addition to reducing the number of cycles your water heater completes, it will also keep your water heater and pipes from corroding because of mineral deposits.

How to lower your water heater temperature

Locate the thermostat on your water heater. Check to see what the temperature is currently set at. Then, run the water in your sink and manually check the temperature with a thermometer. Adjust the water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees and wait a couple of hours. Then check the temperature at your sink again. If the temperature is below or above 120 degrees, readjust the thermostat and check again in a couple of hours.

If you need help or have questions, call the professionals at Sunrise Heating and Plumbing today at (616) 293-9326. We pride ourselves in providing nothing but exceptional customer service.