Water softeners are essential for many homes, particularly those located in areas with hard water. While there are many different brands and models on the market, not all water softeners are created equal. So, if you’re in the market for a new water softener, there are a few things you need to take into account. These include the hardness level of the water in your home, your budget, the amount of water you use in your household, and the technical functionality of water softener systems.
Here’s a breakdown of what to consider when choosing a residential water softener.
1. Water Softening Capacity
The first thing you need to think about is the water softening capacity that you require. This will be based on the hardness of your water, as well as the size of your household. A small unit may be fine for a family of four with relatively soft water, but if you have hard water and/or a larger family, you’ll need a unit with more capacity.
You should also consider the regeneration cycle. This is the process that the water softener uses to clean itself and recharge the beads or resin that it uses to remove hardness from the water. The regeneration cycle can be set manually, or it can be automatic. Professional plumbers in Franklin, IN, note that if you choose an automatic unit, ensure that it has a backup power source in case of a power outage.
2. Overall Energy Efficiency
Before choosing a water softening system, find out about its overall energy efficiency. How much power will it use, and how often will it need to regenerate? The answer to these questions can help you narrow down your choices. Of course, the size of the unit will determine how much power it uses. Modern water softeners are also designed to use less salt and water during regeneration.
This helps to reduce the overall cost of ownership, as well as your environmental footprint. They feature more energy-efficient motors and use less water during backwashing, the process of flushing clean water through the system to remove any build-up of minerals. This helps to keep the unit working efficiently and prevents mineral buildup in your pipes. Many modern units are designed to use less water during this process, saving you money on your water bill.
3. Iron Removal
An efficient water softening system will remove iron from your water, making it safe to drink and preventing staining on your fixtures. Hard water often contains higher levels of ferrous iron, which is soluble and leaves a reddish-brown stain in laundry, on fixtures, and in dishwashers. It can also cause problems with plumbing fixtures, stain clothing, and leave a bad taste in your water.
Excessive iron levels can also lead to rusting of pipes and fittings. If you have high levels of iron in your water, you’ll want to choose a system that can handle it. There are a few different ways to test for iron levels in your water, so you may want to consult with a professional before making your final decision.
4. Salt Usage
The amount of salt that a water softener uses is also an important consideration, especially if you are on town water and are charged per gallon of water used. A high-efficiency water softener can use as little as four pounds of salt per year, while a conventional model can use up to 200 pounds. If you have your own well, the amount of salt used is not as important.
How often you will need to add salt to the unit also matters. Some units have sensors that monitor the level of salt in the unit and add more when needed, while others require you to manually add salt on a regular basis. Consult with a water treatment expert or plumber to determine which type of system is right for you.
5. Contaminant Filtration Capabilities
One of the main reasons you may be considering a water softener for your home is because of the presence of contaminants in your water supply. Whether you get your water from a private well or a public water source, there’s always the potential for harmful contaminants to make their way into your home’s plumbing system.
Water softeners are designed to remove these contaminants from your water, providing you with clean, safe water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. When choosing a water softener for your home, be sure to choose one that is certified to remove the specific contaminants present in your water supply.
Get the Best Solution for Your Household
There are definitely more factors to consider when choosing a residential water softener. Carefully weigh your needs against the cost and maintenance of the different types of systems to find the best solution for your household. The right water softener will be a worthwhile investment for your home. Plus, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of having soft water, including longer-lasting appliances, cleaner laundry, and improved plumbing.