Curious about water softeners, but just don’t know if you need one for your home? The best thing you can do is contact your local water company to find out if the water in your area is hard, or test your home’s water yourself. If your water isn’t hard, then the benefits of a water softener will be few and probably won’t justify the price. However, if – like most people in the United States – you do have hard water, then a water softener is almost a must. Here are some of the reasons why, in no particular order.
1. Your appliances last longer
Hard water forms deposits wherever it goes, including inside appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and even coffee pots. Over time, these deposits clog up these water-using appliances and eventually cause them to break down sooner than they otherwise would have.
2. You can save energy
Your water heater isn’t immune to the effects of hard water, which can cause it to work much less efficiently. In fact, given the energy savings, a new softener can pay for itself in a short period of time.
3. Showering feels nicer
Most people prefer the feel of soft water. This isn’t universally true, as some think soft water feels oily, or dislike the fact that it doesn’t dry as quickly. But for most people, being able to shower every day in soft water is a definite plus.
4. Water softeners also remove iron
Most water softeners remove iron in addition to hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium. If you have a high concentration of iron in your water – a problem common to people on well water – then a water softener offers the added benefit of taking care of that potential problem for you.
5. No more limescale
If you have hard water, you may have noticed scale buildup on your shower head and other fixtures. With a water softener, this should no longer be an issue.
6. Your hair and skin look healthier
Soft water not only feels nicer to shower in, but is better for your hair and skin. Hard water can cause mineral buildup on your body and interfere with soap lathering so you don’t get as clean.
7. You don’t have to use as much soap
As mentioned, soap doesn’t work as well in hard water. And we’re not just talking about bar soap here, but laundry detergent and dishwasher soap as well. With a water softener, you will save a modest amount on soap each month because you’ll find a little bit of it goes a long way.
8. Clothes are softer and brighter
While your favorite outfit might not get washed as much as your skin, it suffers the same effects from hard water. Without a water softener, hard water will leave your clothes stiff and dingy.
9. Dishes have fewer spots
Hard water problems are acute in appliances that use a lot of hot water, and your dishwasher certainly qualifies. Hard water results in glasses being cloudy or spotted – a problem that’s quickly corrected when you move to soft water.
10. No more soap scum to clean up
Hard water isn’t great at working up a lather, but it certainly creates a lot of soap scum. With a water softener, you will notice less soap scum buildup in the sink and shower.
Water softeners are expensive appliances that are inconvenient to maintain, so don’t bother with one if you don’t need it. However, if you have hard water like most people, the benefits of a water softener are pretty convincing. In fact, it’s quite likely that not having a water softener will eventually become more expensive than buying one, even if it’s a top rated model. Hard water isn’t just an annoyance, but a real problem that can cost you money if left untreated.