Water softeners have a long list of advantages for your body, your home and even your budget. The biggest benefits include:
- Better hair and skin
- Easier household cleaning
- Protecting home appliances
- Improved cost savings
- Cleaner, brighter laundry
From improving your skin to protecting your water-using appliances, a water softener can make a difference in your life (and for your home).
Here’s a closer look at how installing a soft water system can create value in more ways than one.
Benefits of Having a Water Softener
If you have questions about water softeners and what they do, you may not be ready to add one to your home. That’s why it’s helpful to brush up on the real power of soft water.
Here are the top five benefits of having a water softener:
1. Better Health and Wellness
When you shower in soft water, you can feel the difference on your body. Hard water has high levels of dissolved minerals that create an unpleasant residue. This may dry out your skin and scalp, which could lead to dandruff, irritation, eczema, psoriasis and other skin issues. Plus, those same hard minerals prevent soap from lathering, which means you may need to spend more time (and use more soap) washing your hands or body.
But it’s not just your skin that suffers when you have hard water. You might also notice hair problems, including a dry, dull appearance that makes combing and styling more difficult.
Luckily, a water softener can put these issues to rest. Once your system is installed, you may begin to notice three key differences:
- Skin: Your skin feels softer with less irritation and dryness.
- Hair: Your hair looks shinier and feels silkier after a shower.
- Soap: It’s easier to get your soap and shampoo to lather.
2. Easier Household Cleaning
Hardness minerals leave their mark just about everywhere. You’ll see them as spots on your dishes, even after running the dishwasher multiple times. You’ll notice soap scum and mineral deposits on your shower doors, tubs and faucets. You may even have to deal with stiff, dingy laundry.
Softened water addresses all these problems at their source: hardness minerals. With a water softener, you’ll eliminate water spots, soap scum, mineral buildup and other issues — and your laundry will be softer and cleaner, too. You won’t have to spend as much time scrubbing your home or as much money on soap and cleaning products.
3. Protection for Home Appliances
When hard water minerals are left unaddressed, they can build up in your pipes, corrode your plumbing, wear down your water-using appliances and leave unsightly stains around your fixtures. This creates unnecessary strain that can reduce the efficiency and performance of dishwashers, washing machines and other parts of your home.
In fact, according to a Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) study on the benefits of soft water:
- Gas storage tank household water heaters operated on softened water maintained the original factory efficiency rating over a 15-year lifetime. On the other hand, hard water can lead to as much as a 48% loss of efficiency in water heaters.
- The efficiency and effectiveness of electric and tankless water heaters can be negatively impacted as well, the study notes.
- Showerheads on hard water lost 75% of the flow rate in less than 18 months, while faucets on hard water saw lower flow rates because of scale collection of the strainers.
- Dishwashers and washing machines tested with soft and hard water sources showed significant differences as well. Those on soft water were nearly free of scale buildup, while those using hard water showed the need for deliming and cleaning due to buildup.
That’s all due to the high concentration of calcium and magnesium in hard water. The good news is that a water softener eliminates these minerals before they have a chance to build up and create limescale or other issues. That means your appliances can work harder and last longer.
A water softener does this by:
- Reducing mineral deposits from accumulating in your dishwasher, hot water heater, washing machine and pipes
- Minimizing limescale around kitchen sinks, bathroom tiles, shower doors and utensils
- Eliminating the cause of stains on toilets, sinks and tubs
- Reducing mineral deposits that leave faucets spotty or streaky
4. Improved Cost Savings
If your house is running on hard water, it’s likely costing you. Since appliances that use hard water require more energy to operate, that means you’re left with a higher energy bill.
Furthermore, you’re likely to spend additional time cleaning limescale buildup from your fixtures and appliances. The amount of detergents and cleaners needed to get rid of the unsightly residue also adds up in maintenance costs – and the same is true for soaps and shampoos you use to clean your body.
For example, with soft water, detergent use in washing machines can be reduced by 50 percent and energy can be saved by using cold water – all while still seeing comparable or better stain removal and whiter clothes compared to results in hard water, according to a study from Scientific Services S/D and WQRF.
Additionally, if the buildup continues to accumulate over time on your plumbing, pipes and appliances, it can result in pricey repairs and replacements. When you compare the cost of installing a water softener to the cost of overlooking mineral buildup and other hard water issues, it’s obvious which one is better for your budget.
Keep your home running at its best and save money with a water softener system that can:
Keep your hot water heater, boiler and other appliances working efficiently, lowering energy costs
Reduce limescale buildup and spending on cleaning supplies, soaps and detergents
Save money on repairs and maintenance by reducing deposit buildup
5. Cleaner, Brighter Laundry
As with your showers, dishes and appliances, hard water minerals build up on your laundry as well. This can make laundry feel stiff, whites look dingy and colors fade faster than they should. And because hard water makes soaps and detergents less effective, it leads to reduced cleaning power for your wash as well.
The good news is that with soft water, you can use less detergent – and don’t even have to use hot water – to see better results, as noted in the data above.
How a Water Softener Works
The difference between hard and soft water can be traced back to one thing: the removal of hard water minerals. Let’s break down the water softening process into a few simplified steps:
- Water flows into the water softener.
- Water comes into contact with small resin beads.
- These resin beads have a negative charge, so they attract positive calcium and magnesium ions.
- Hardness minerals are left behind and softened water flows out to all your home’s taps.
- After a set period of time or as needed, the softener uses salt water to flush out the resin beads in a process called “regeneration.” This removes mineral buildup and ensures efficiency and high performance.
Choosing Your Water Softener
The best water softeners have a few things in common:
- Efficiency: Culligan® high-efficiency water softeners are the world’s most efficient; they can reduce operating costs up to 46% with patented technologies to optimize salt, water and electricity consumption*
- Smart features: A water softener with smart features will notify you when it needs a salt refill or a little maintenance. It can even tell you how much water you’re using and alert your local Culligan team if there’s a problem — all through an app on your phone.
- Available service: A water softener isn’t just a system; it’s also the beginning of a relationship with a water partner. Good providers offer salt delivery, free water tests, maintenance and support depending on your system and needs.
To choose the softener that’s right for you, you’ll need to start with a free, in-home water test and consultation. That’s because different water hardness levels require different softener types and sizes — so don’t skip this important step.
Water Softening and Water Filtration
Keep in mind that water softening isn’t the same as filtration. Instead, these are separate processes that require two different systems.
Luckily, water softeners and water filtration systems can work side by side for an even more comprehensive treatment solution. You can pair your water softener with a reverse osmosis drinking water filter and/or a whole-home filtration system, depending on what’s best for your home’s water quality.
Get Help Choosing and Installing Your Water Softener
If you want the better water you, your loved ones and your home deserve, all you need to do is install a water softener. Whether you want to save time, money and energy or reduce limescale buildup and cleaning frustrations, water softening can help improve your overall quality of life.
It all begins with a quick test, where a local water expert will determine your water’s hardness levels (and other potential water quality concerns).
*HE Softener when configured with proportional upflow brining with Aqua-Sensor®; versus a time clock regeneration softener
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