As a mindful homeowner that likes to save energy, you use your HVAC’s thermostat wisely to minimize cooling and heating energy bills, right? When you consider that water heating comes in third behind cooling and heating for home energy usage, you would do your pocketbook a favor by looking for ways to reduce your water heating bill, too. Fortunately, reducing your hot water energy usage is as easy as turning back the water heater temperature.
Benefits of Lower Water Heater Temperature
Your water heater uses energy to heat stored water for two reasons — your hot water demand and water temperature reductions due to standby heat loss. Lowering your water heater temperature from factory settings can reduce your water heating energy consumption by 10 to 12 percent.
Moreover, there are safety reasons to lower the temperature. Manufacturer temperature settings are generally set to 140 degrees or more, which can quickly cause scalding and expedites tank corrosion.
How to Lower the Temperature
The first thing you need to do is to measure hot water temperature at the most distant outlet with a thermometer. This will give you an idea of how much you need to turn back the dial. Next:
- Turn off the gas and/or electricity to your water heater.
- The temperature dial for gas water heaters is near the gas valve. Turn it back a bit.
- For electric models, you’ll need to remove one or two panels near the bottom and top of the tank to access the temperature dial or dials. Turn back the temperature a bit.
- After two hours, turn on the gas and/or electricity.
- After two more hours, measure the hot water temperature again at the most distant outlet.
- Repeat and adjust as necessary to reach 120 degrees.
You can further reduce standby heat loss by insulating all hot water plumbing pipes in your home with fiberglass sleeves. If you are away for two or more days, turn off your water heater.
If you have questions about lowering your water heater temperature, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We proudly serve residents of Traverse City and surrounding areas!
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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