Change Your Appliance Settings
Adjust your fridge settings, lower your water heater temperatures.
Raising your refrigerator’s temperature setting from 35 to 38 degrees, and lowering your hot water heater temperature to 120 degrees can save energy and money. It’s just a few degrees that you won’t even notice. It won’t affect operation of your appliances, and it’s free and easy!
U.S. Department of Energy: Lower your water heating temperature.
How-to Video: Lowering your water heating temperature.
Lower energy bills and reduced risk of scalding are the biggest incentives to make these changes. If your refrigerator or hot water heater are outdated and due for replacement, you may qualify for a rebate. Check for appliance rebate details in our Incentives & Programs section.
How do I find the temperature setting on my water heater?
It’s best to check the owner’s manual for your specific water heater’s controls. Typically, gas water heaters have a thermostat dial near the bottom of the tank. Electric water heater controls are often behind a removable panel. Some electric water heaters have two controls — one for the top section of the tank and one for the bottom. Click on the Resources tab above for more detailed how-to info.
How do I adjust my refrigerator temperature?
It’s best to consult the owner’s manual, but typically dial or digital pushbutton controls are located inside the refrigerator near the top; often there are separate refrigerator and freezer controls. Make small adjustments, and remember that it may take 24 hours for the temperature to stabilize. You can put a thermometer inside the refrigerator to check the actual temperature. Click on the Resources tab above for more refrigerator tips and info.
What about my fridge in the basement/garage?
If you have a spare fridge in your basement or garage with only a few items, you’re using extra energy to keep an empty box cool. First, consider recycling your extra fridge, but if you must keep it either turn the temperature up to 38 (or even 40 if you’re not storing meat), or consider keeping it full with other liquid or solid items. A full fridge keeps it cool and requires less energy.