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Water Heater Hacks: Save Up to $400 On Your Energy Bill

Correct Water heater temperature could save you up to $400 per year.(Photo: brizmaker/Getty Images)

REDUCING your utility bills does not have to mean sacrificing convenience.

There are easier ways to reduce energy costs than limiting your showers or turning off your air conditioning.

While those energy hacks are beneficial, one simple water heater trick could save you up to $400 per year if combined with other tricks.

Finding the ideal temperature for your water heater is a huge money saver.

Finding the right temperature is beneficial not only to your wallet but also to your health, as incorrect temperature settings increase the likelihood of bacteria growing in your tank.

Water heater thermostats are typically set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but most households may only require them to be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the Department of Energy, if your water heater’s temperature is set too high, it can waste anywhere from $36 to $61 per year in standby heat losses.

Water Heater Hacks: Save Up to $400 On Your Energy Bill(Photo: Temporary Accomodations)

If you combine this simple trick with lower consumption, you could save more than $400.

Those who only want to change the temperature can save $12 to $30 per year for each 10-degree Fahrenheit reduction.


Consider the following before changing the temperature on your own.

Check the owner’s manual for instructions on how to operate the thermostat before adjusting the temperature of your water heater.

A gas storage water heater’s thermostat dial is typically located near the bottom of the tank on the gas valve.

Thermostats for electric water heaters could be hidden behind screw-on plates or panels.

Before removing or opening the panels, turn off the power to the water heater as a precaution.

Just keep in mind that an electric water heater may have two thermostats, one for each heating element.


Lowering the temperature should take no more than two hours to complete.

The Department of Energy has provided step-by-step instructions for changing the temperature.

To begin, determine the current temperature because thermostat dials are notoriously inaccurate.

This can be accomplished by using a thermometer to measure the temperature of your hot water at the tap farthest away from the water heater.

Second, mark the setting and then turn the thermostat down.

Wait a few hours before measuring the water temperature at the farthest tap from the water heater.

You may need to adjust a few times before you achieve the desired temperature.

Once found, use a marker to mark the new temperature on the water heater thermostat so you can make adjustments in the future if necessary.

Finally, if you are going to be gone for an extended period of time, set the thermostat to the lowest setting or turn off the water heater completely.

To turn off an electric water heater, turn off the circuit breaker.

Before turning off a gas water heater, learn how to safely relight the pilot light.

Read also: New York Spends $10 Billion For Economic Development Incentives

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