If you were to lower your water heater temperature by just 10°F, you would reduce your energy costs by 3 to 5 percent. So check the thermostat on your water heater. If you’ve never adjusted the temperature, it’s probably sitting at 140°F, which is where many manufacturers set it. But the hottest temperature you’ll ever really need is 120°F (unless you have a standard dishwasher without a temperature-boosting feature, in which case your water temps need to stay between 140 and 150°F, or the soap won’t dissolve). Anything higher than that could cause a nasty scalding.
So bring the temperature down to 120°F if it’s not already there, and your wallet will thank you. Your water heater will say gracias, too—a lower temperature will reduce the amount of mineral deposits that collect in your heater, which means it’ll last longer. And whenever you plan to be away from home for three or more days, make sure you turn the thermostat down to the lowest setting.