Your Long Island home’s water heater is likely one of the busiest appliances you have. Water heaters are essentially always “on” to maintain the water heater temperature setting. That helps explain how water heating accounts for up to 25 percent of energy usage in the average home.
Additionally, many manufacturers set the temperature of water heaters to 140 degrees. Temperatures this high can quickly cause scalding and speed mineral deposit buildup, which reduces water heating efficiency and the water heater’s lifespan. Read on to learn how to turn back your water heater’s temperature and start saving money today.
Gas Water Heaters
Before you turn back your water heater’s temperature, check the temperature of hot water with a thermometer at the most distant outlet. This will give you an idea how much to turn back the thermostat to maintain 115 to 120 degrees.
If you have a gas-fueled water heater, you can generally find the thermostat on the gas valve near the bottom of the storage tank. Turn back the thermostat and wait a few hours before testing hot water temperature again. Adjust as necessary until hot water at the farthest tap is 115 to 120 degrees.
Electric Water Heaters
The thermostat for electric water heaters is generally concealed behind a panel on the tank. Turn off the electricity to the water heater before you remove the panel. Newer water heaters have two thermostats (i.e. two panels and two heating elements). One is near the bottom of the tank and the other midway up. Here’s what to do:
- Check hot water temperature at the farthest tap.
- Remove the panels with a screwdriver.
- Many thermostat dials won’t have temperature digits (e.g. 110 degrees, 120 degrees and so on), but instead have line indicators.
- Adjust the thermostat or thermostats as needed. If you have two thermostats, set them the same.
- Wait a few hours and test hot water temperature again. Continue to adjust as needed.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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