The global water softener market is expected to reach a valuation of $11.02 billion by the year 2024. Clearly, more people than ever feel the need to invest in a new water softening technology.
Are you considering buying a water softener for your home? Do you need to replace your current water softener?
If you’re ready to purchase a water softener, you might have questions about which type you should buy and how you choose the right one for your home.
Read on to learn more about the four different types of water softeners and get some other insight into picking the best water softener for yourself and your family.
Benefits of a Water Softener
For some people, a water softener is non-negotiable. Others don’t understand what the hype is about.
The truth, though, is that there are a lot of benefits that come with having a water softener in your home, including the following:
Any part of your home that comes in contact with water will be cleaner when you start using a water softener. This includes your plumbing fixtures, as well as everything you clean with water, such as your dishes, your floors, and your cars.
When you use a water softener, there are fewer mineral deposits, which means everything looks cleaner and shinier has less residue left behind.
Cleaner, Softer Skin
Your skin will get cleaner in the shower and will feel softer too.
Water softeners can also be very beneficial to those who struggle with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Hard water and mineral deposits can exacerbate these conditions.
When it comes to cleaning your home, you’ll find that you have to put in a lot less work after installing a water softener. This is because you’ll have fewer mineral deposits to scrub away.
If you feel that your clothes wear out faster than you’d like, your water might be the problem. Hard, mineral-saturated water is rough on clothes and can shorten their lifespan. Soft water is gentler and preserves them, though.
Longer Appliance Lifespan
Not only will your clothes last longer, but your appliances will, too. Your washing machine, dishwasher, and even your coffee maker will be more durable when you start using soft water in them.
Types of Water Softeners
Clearly, there are benefits that come with buying a water softener for your home. How do you know which kind to buy, though?
Start by deciding what type of water softener you want. The following are the four most popular options:
1. Salt-Based Ion Exchange Water Softeners
Salt-based ion exchange water softeners are some of the most popular water softening options.
They cycle your water through two tanks. The first contains special resin beads and the second contains saltwater.
This type of water softener softens minerals in your water by substituting them for sodium (or salt).
2. Dual Tank Water Softeners
A dual tank water softener features two resin tanks. Thanks to this addition, you can have a continuous supply of soft water.
While one tank is regenerating, the other is at work, so you never have to worry about not being able to access your soft water, whether you’re cleaning, bathing, or performing any other tasks.
3. Magnetic Water Softeners
Some water softeners use a magnetic plug-in device.
This device clips onto the water softener’s incoming pipe. It then sets up a special magnetic field that can change the properties of calcium-carbonate minerals.
When this happens, the minerals are repelled by your pipes and by each other. This, in turn, leads to softer water.
4. No Salt Water Softeners
Some people are wary of water softeners that use salt, especially those who have concerns about sodium intake from their drinking water. For these folks, a no salt water softener is a good alternative.
This type of water softener uses potassium chloride instead of sodium. It also acts as a descaler, meaning it prevents minerals from being deposited, rather than reducing their presence in the water altogether.
Tips for Choosing the Right Water Softener
In addition to understanding the different types of water softeners, there are some other questions you should ask yourself when deciding which one you want to buy. Consider the answers to these questions before you make a final decision:
What is Its Grain Capacity?
A water softener’s grain capacity refers to the specific number of grains it’s able to remove from your water. If you have very hard, mineral-rich water, you’ll need a water softener with a higher grain capacity.
You’ll likely need to do some research before you begin shopping to figure out how hard your water is. There are lots of low-cost kits you can buy online or at hardware stores to perform these measurements.
How Long is the Regeneration Period?
Along with knowing your water softener’s grain capacity, you’ll need to know it’s regeneration period. This refers to the length of time it takes for the water softener to get to a place where it can start producing soft water.
In most cases, the shorter the regeneration period, the better. If you’re shopping for a dual tank water softener, you won’t need to worry about this.
What is My Budget?
Of course, you also have to think about your budget.
In general, water softeners cost several hundred to a few thousand dollars, with salt-free water softeners being more expensive, on average. You also have to think of the installation price, unless you have the skills necessary to install it yourself.
For most people, the cost of a water softener is well worth it, especially since it improves the quality of their water so much.
Invest in a New Water Softener Today
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind when choosing a water softener for your home.
In addition to remembering the different types of water softeners, be sure to consider the other tips outlined above. They’ll help you ensure you’re getting the right one for your home.
If you need more help choosing a water softener or another type of appliance for your home, don’t forget to check out the Home Care section of our site today. You’ll find lots of great advice there.