The Benefits of Turning Down Your Water Heater’s Thermostat

Written by Tom Elliott. Posted in Rakeman Blog

Imagine the last shower you took. You probably turned up the temperature as hot as you could stand it so it could soothe your stiff muscles. The shower’s steam helped your lungs relax as well, and you basked in the hot cascade for a moment before you turned to your shampoo and body wash.

Then, as you exited the shower, you felt warm, relaxed, and happy, albeit it a little drowsy. Your shower gave you the boost of positivity you needed to face the day. But it also had other effects.

For example, did your skin feel dry and flaky after it dried? And did your hot shower habit make your electricity bills spike?

Hot water has a surprisingly detrimental impact on many aspects of your life. So if you turn your water heater’s thermostat down, you’ll reap a plethora of benefits. We’ll outline some of those benefits below.

  1. Your electricity/gas bills will decrease.

Your water heater supplies warm water to many features and appliances in your home. You already know that it provides the hot water for your shower. However, that hot water also goes into your washing machine, your dishwasher, and various sinks. So the energy your water heater uses adds up and becomes a significant expense.

According to Energy.gov, you will save up to 5% on your electricity bill for every 10°F reduction in water heater temperature. So, if comfort allows, turn your water heater’s thermostat to 120° or lower. You shouldn’t have it much higher than that anyway because water over 140° could scald your skin.

  1. Your water heater will last longer and give you a better return on your investment.

The hotter the water in your heater, the more the materials inside it will expand and contract. As materials expand and contract, they weaken slightly, and they begin to corrode or erode. Additionally, the more you use this appliance’s heating elements, the quicker they wear out as well.

So if you turn your water heater’s temperature down, your appliance will last longer. And because it lasts longer, you won’t have to pay for a new water heater anytime soon. You’ll save money and have a better return on what you originally spent for the appliance.

  1. Your plumbing will last longer.

Again-when you keep your water blisteringly hot, the plumbing that transports it expands and contracts more with the changing temperature. Your pipes, washing machine, and dishwasher have to expand and contract more often because they don’t always have hot water inside them. So they may begin to erode, and their parts may begin to bend and warp because they don’t always expand and contract at the same rate.

This process doesn’t ruin your plumbing in a day, a month, or even a year. It happens slowly. But the hotter you keep your water, the more often you will have to replace your pipes-especially the pipes near the water heater. Turn down the heater to save money and help your pipes last longer.

    4. Your hair and skin will become healthier.

As mentioned above, you probably notice that your skin feels dry after a hot shower. The dehydration might not make sense to you because you just spent several minutes covered in water. However, the heat in that water makes it evaporate. And because the water in your skin and hair has just as much heat, it evaporates too.

As a result, you experience dry, flaky skin and brittle hair. But if you turn down the temperature just a few degrees, you’ll see your skin’s and hair’s health improve. You’ll look and feel more beautiful in no time.

Although you can manually adjust the temperature in your shower, you should also adjust the thermostat on your water heater. If you turn down the maximum temperature, you’ll remove the temptation of a scalding hot cascade.

  1. You will feel more alert.

Colder water doesn’t soothe your nerves the same way warm water does. Rather, the colder temperate stimulates your nerves and helps you feel more awake. The different signals travel to your brain and chase away your morning grogginess.

Again, while the handles on your showers or faucets allow you to manually create this effect, you should still turn down your water heater.

    6.  Your immune system will improve.

Hot water doesn’t just leech the moisture from your skin. It also kills the symbiotic bacteria living on it, and it destroys some skin cells as well. The skin cells work with symbiotic bacteria to keep harmful germs from entering your body. If these skin cells or bacteria die, you lose your immune system’s first barrier. So keep your water cooler if you’d like see your immune system become stronger than ever.

 

Your life will improve in a variety of ways if you turn down your water heater’s thermostat. For more tips on maintaining the plumbing around your home, check out the rest of our blog (http://rakeman.wpengine.com/blog).

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