A water softener works by removing hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium, out of your home’s water supply. One of the biggest issues with hard water is the scale buildup inside your plumbing, as it can clog piped and wear down your water appliances. A home without a water softener is also just a nuisance, as it makes it harder to properly clean your home and clothes. No homeowner should have to put up with hard water, especially when a softener can drastically improve your home’s water supply. If you’re still considering whether it’s time to start shopping for a softener, here are a few reasons why you should.
Benefits of Water Softeners
- You’ll have healthier skin. Washing with hard water can be harsh on your skin, making you your skin feel dry and scratchy after a shower. Soap is less effective with hard water because the chemicals in the soap react to the calcium and magnesium and soap curds are formed. Soap curds not only make it difficult to clean yourself, but it also irritates your skin and dries your hair. Installing a water softener means you’ll have healthier skin and shiny, manageable hair.
- Cleaning the bathroom is easier. A softener not only improves the quality of your own personal washes, but it also makes household chores a lot easier. Soap and hard water don’t mix, and the result is frustrating soap curds that can be difficult to clean. A water softener helps rinse any stubborn soap residue more thoroughly, and it usually means using less soap and cleaning products because of it.
- Your water appliances last longer. The minerals in hard water end up building inside appliances such as your coffeemaker, dishwasher, or washer, and can drastically reduce their lifespan and efficiency. Installing a water softener not only protects your water appliances, but it also spares you the expense of some frustrating plumbing repairs.
- It helps your plumbing. Your drains, sewer line and water heater can all benefit from a softener. Mineral deposits can form over time and wear down your plumbing drastically, not only causing damages but potentially increasing your water bill.
- You’ll have cleaner dishes. A common and very frustrating problem when using the dishwasher is discovering that all your clean dishes have unappealing water stains on them. The culprit is usually hard water. Adding a softener to your home prevents that nuisance, and keeps your dishes looking clean and new.
- Your water heats faster. If you’re tired of waiting for the water to heat up, a water softener can help. The reason why is simple, as softened water makes it easier for your water heater to do its job.
What to Consider When Buying a Water Softener
A water softener is a great appliance to have, but there are a few things to consider first. Adding a water softener to your home is a big expense, and it’s important to make sure you find a unit that best fits your needs. A licensed plumber can help you determine what softener will work best for you and ensure a safe installation. There are several different types of softeners. Before you start collecting quotes, here are a few different types to consider.
- Salt-based ion exchange. Considered one of the most common of water softeners, a salt-based ion exchange water softener works by substituting calcium and magnesium with salt. It might not be every homeowner’s preference, especially if you’re concerned about your sodium intake.
- Salt-free. This type of water softener is less of a water softener, but a descaler, as it prevents the minerals from scaling up in your plumbing. Since it only descales, it’s not as effective as a salt-based ion exchange water softener. If your home’s water supply has moderate amounts of minerals, a salt-free softener might be the ideal choice.
- Dual-tank. For larger households who want soft water on demand, a dual-tank softener may be the best choice. Traditional water softeners need to recharge, and they do so by disconnecting from the house’s water system, usually overnight when no one typically runs water. A dual-tank softener, however, has two tanks, enabling it to run continuously.