What is the Best Temperature to Set my Home Water Heater?

April 26, 2022

What is the Best Temperature to Set my Home Water Heater?At 1st Choice Plumbing, Flood & Restoration one of the most common questions we get when installing a water heater is: what is the best temperature to set my water heater? This is actually a good question. What temperature you choose to set for your hot water heater will have a big impact on its performance and efficiency, as well as the health and safety of you and your family.

Performance and Efficiency

The standard water temperature setting for most hot water heaters is 140 degrees F. However, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting the temperature to 120 degrees F to get the maximum energy savings. Lowering the temperature reduces standby heat losses. It’s estimated that you save between 4% to 22% off your yearly energy bill by lowering the temperature to 120 degrees.

Another way to save money is to install a tankless water heater. There’s no tank to keep warm, so there’s no standby heat loss. The water is only heated when needed.

Higher temperatures can also affect your water heater’s performance. Higher water temperatures are thought to accelerate the accumulation of calcium carbonate and other hard water mineral sediments inside a tank. This accumulation can result in water tank corrosion, which can cause leaks and contaminate the water, as well as shortening the useful lifespan of your hot water heater.


The DoE recommends you turn your hot water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees to save money. But why not 110? Well, there are some very good reasons for keeping the hot water heater at 120 that have nothing to do with efficiency and savings.

It turns out 120 degrees is the minimum temperature for keeping bacteria growth in check. Any lower and you risk the possibility of Legionella (the bacteria that causes Legionnaires Disease) and other harmful bacteria contaminating your hot water supply.

In addition, keeping the temperature at 120 degrees reduces the possibility of scalding injuries, especially for young children and the elderly.

1st Choice Plumbing, Flood & Restoration Recommendations

We recommend keeping your hot water heater at 120 degrees if you’re looking to save money or have young children or elderly people living in your home. 140 is good in circumstances where you have a dishwasher that doesn’t pre-heat the water or you live in a household with high hot water demand. 140 degrees is also desirable if there is an immunosuppressed person living in the house.

Oceanside, CA’s First Choice for Hot Water Heater Repair and Installation

1st Choice Plumbing, Flood & Restoration has been repairing and installing hot water heaters in Oceanside, CA, and surrounding communities since 2012. If you need to replace a hot water heater, we offer a wide selection of replacement water heaters – both tank and tankless – from top manufacturers. In most cases, we can remove the old water heater and install the new one in a single visit.

In addition to hot water heater installation and repair, 1st Choice Plumbing, Flood & Restoration also provides outstanding plumbing services, including 24/7 emergency plumbing services. You can reach us through our website, or call us at 866-437-0205 to speak to a plumbing professional.