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Can a Water Softener Make Appliances More Energy Efficient?


Can a Water Softener Really Make Your Other High Efficiency Appliances More Efficient? 

The major appliances in your home – refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers – consume a hefty portion of your monthly utility bill. That’s why many savvy homeowners have switched to high efficiency appliances that use half the energy of older models and can cut costs by up to $2,000 per household1. 

Recent Study Exposes Hard Water Drains

But consumers who’ve invested in high efficiency, water-using appliances may unknowingly be cancelling out their benefits if they don’t have soft water. Imagine purchasing a brand new, high efficiency washing machine only to have to de-lime it due to scale and deposit build-up after only 30 days! That’s what a recent Water Quality Association study found, along with the effects of untreated hard water on other home appliance like water heaters.2 According to the report, using hard water also caused… 

  • Premature failure of tankless water heaters due to scale plugging in the downstream plumbing after only 1.6 years of use;
  • 24% loss of efficiency in gas storage tank water heaters;
  • Shortened lifespan of the heating element in electric water heaters due to scale buildup that raised the operating temperature.

Soft Water Boosts Equipment Performance 

In contrast, the same study found that soft water can actually improve the performance and lifespan of these appliances2. That’s good news for homeowners who don’t want to see their investment in high efficiency units go right down the drain. In fact, soft water can actually make these appliances even more efficient. The report showed that by using soft water: 

  • Gas storage tank and tankless household water heaters maintained their original factory efficiency rating over a 15-year lifetime;
  • Tankless water heaters running on soft water can help recover the cost of a water softener and operating supplies in just one year;
  • Reducing washing machine water hardness is 100X more effective at stain removal than increasing temperature or detergent dose. Detergent can be cut by 50% and temperatures run as low as low as 60ºF with the same stain-banishing benefits!

Smart Softening Leads to Savings 

If you’ve made the investment in high efficiency appliances there’s one way to make sure the energy and money savings start flowing: installing a high efficiency water softener, like the Culligan HE Water Softener.

The Culligan system cuts energy usage by up to 46% and operating costs by 60%3 – while also ensuring you’re getting the most from your other high efficiency appliances. 

Contact your local Culligan dealer today to determine your water softening needs, visit or call 1-800-CULLIGAN. 

1 Natural Resources Defense Council: 

2 Water Quality Association “Softened Water Benefits Study” 

3 Versus a time clock regeneration softener

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