Adjust the Temperature on Your Natural Gas Water Heater and Save

Have you ever relaxed in a hot shower after a long day of work or let the dishwasher take care of your post-dinner mess? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you have your natural gas water heater to thank.

Your home's water heater is responsible for storing and heating about 80 gallons of water at a time. Day and night, your water heater is working to keep your water warm and your family happy.

Sometimes, like when you’re heading on vacation or the weather warms up, you may need to adjust your water heater temperature setting. Knowing how to adjust the temperature can help protect your family, reduce your energy consumption and ultimately save you money. And the best part? It’s easy. Here’s how to do it yourself:

Saving energy and money doesn’t get much simpler than that! Here’s a few helpful tips to adjusting the settings on your water heater:
  • Find the Dial: Before you begin, know where your temperature dial is located. While older natural gas heaters may have the temperature dial behind a removable panel, newer tanks, like the one in the video, have the water heater temperature adjustment knob on the outside. If your dial is behind the control panel, you may need a screwdriver to gain access to it.    
  • Your Manual Knows Best: Every water heater model is different. Some may have dials that mark the temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit, while others may have numbers or letters to indicate temperature settings. Always consult your manual to understand which symbol corresponds to which temperature.
  • Make Your Mark: Set the temperature of your water heater by aligning your selected temperature with the marker on the outside of your dial. For newer models, this may be a triangle or a line just outside the dial.
  • Know the Ideal Setting: The best setting for gas water heaters is around 115 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Oftentimes, water heaters will have additional options to either lower or increase the temperature of the water inside. In the case of the video’s water heater, A, B and C each have an increase of about 10 degrees. Be careful: you should maintain a safe water heater temperature and setting it too high may result in scalding water that could hurt your family and lead to higher energy costs.
  • Even Water Heaters Need Vacation: If you’re heading out of town, don’t forget to set your hot water heater to vacation mode. This is done by simply turning the dial counter-clockwise. This will ensure the water inside is heated less frequently, therefore helping you save money and energy. When you get back, simply return the dial to the ideal setting to reheat the water inside. You should be back to warm showers within 20 to 30 minutes!

It’s that easy! Are your savings getting hotter – or is it just your water heater?  

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