Q's Daily DIY Green Tips: The Why of Water Heater Temperature

Controlling the temperature setting of your hot water heater can save you energy.  For some time I lived in a home with a tankless hot water heater running off of an oil burning boiler.  When I moved in I first wondered why the boiler was firing so often, especially as it was summer.  After a limited inspection I learned that water temperature was set to 180 degrees.  Hot.  The minor scalding at the kitchen sink immediately explained.  Knowing the dishwasher we used brought the water temperature up to between 140 - 145 degrees for optimized performance, I turned the hot water setting to 120 - 125 degrees.  The result: hot water still "hot", a non-scalding sink, clean dishes, and lower energy consumption.  The same premise works for conventional water heaters, though you may need to consult the manual to determine the temperature of each setting (Very hot, hot, ect.).  Why not give it a try?

P Quentin Unsworth