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What I learned from my home energy visit- Turn my water heater down!

26 July 2013

The first week I moved into my new place I had a Home Energy Squad visit to make my place more energy efficient. Despite being the energy nerd that I am, I still learned a couple things about how my new place uses energy. One of those things is that my water heater was turned up to 160 degrees- the highest it can go! No wonder I had to turn down the shower temperature! The installer promptly showed me how to turn down my water heater to a safe temperature of 120 degrees.

Every 10 degrees you turn down your water heater temperature you save 3-5% on your water heating bill. Since I went from 160 degrees to 120 degrees I am looking forward to a 12%-20% reduction in water heating costs (not including the high efficiency shower head that was installed at my visit!). The average household spends anywhere from $100 to $200 a year on water heating. So taking a minute or two to turn down your water heater and saving $6 -$40 a year is worth it! Not to mention it is safer for your family; at 120 degrees the risk of scalding and burns is dramatically reduced.

How do you do it?

Most water heater temperature knobs do not have the actual temperature on it. It is often indicated by a triangle, rectangle or the word “warm”. To be sure check out your owner’s manual before changing the temperature.


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