Cool Down Your Water To Save Money
Save yourself some money by setting your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees. One and two person households could further benefit by dropping their thermostat to 115 degrees. This helps cut down on the amount energy that you are using and helps prevent the corrosion of your pipes. Not only that, but a lower temperature will prevent any scalding when you turn the hot water on full blast.
Let’s look first at the money benefits from turning down your thermostat. According to EnergyStar.gov, you could be wasting about $400 per year. While this may not sound like a lot, if you look at that over the life of your heater (8-12 years on average), that $3,600 – $4,800 starts to sound really good. With that kind of extra cash, you could purchase a newer, more efficient water heater with installation and still have money for maintenance and repairs!
Another benefit for turning down your water heater’s thermostat, is reduced sediment buildup. When water is heated up, it causes “calcium carbonate to precipitate out” and create a sand-like residue at the bottom of your tank. Most tanks are built with a slight curve at the bottom to help prevent this residue from causing clogs or other problems. Although precautions are made by manufacturers, if your tank is not properly maintained, then that residue can make it’s way into your pumps or pipes. That’s when the real problems can begin. Keeping your thermostat at 120 degrees slows down this process, which improves your water heater’s energy efficiency.
Scalding can occur after just 5 seconds when tap water temperature reaches 140 degrees. By reducing your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of a burn from simple tasks like washing your hands or taking a shower. Children under the age of 4 and adults over 65 are the most likely to suffer from these types of injuries. Most scalding injuries can be prevented, so please be aware of how hot your water can be.
One downside to turning down your water heater, is other appliances that use hot water such as your dishwasher or washer. Your dishwasher may not clean as well if your thermostat is below 130 degrees. Some dishwashers come with a booster that will heat the water to an optimal temperature. This typically falls within the 120-150 degree range. If you lower your water heater thermostat and experience your dishes not cleaning properly or detergent pods not fully dissolving, then you may need to increase the heater thermostat to 130 degrees. Every appliance has it’s own quirks, so consult your user manual or brand technican to make sure that there isn’t additional steps you should take to fix the problem.
Thanks for taking a few moments to read this article. Our goal is to help improve our members’ energy usage. It’s the small things that add up to large savings when it comes to electricity. If you want to know more about how to save on your electric bill, check out our other tips!