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Do your clothes feel stiff after doing a load of laundry? Have you stumbled upon a buildup of unexplained scum in your sink or mineral-like crust around your shower head and faucet? If so, you may have a hard water issue.

Thankfully, you can address this issue with a water softener. Wondering “what does a water softener do?” and “where can I get one?” In this article, we’re covering everything you need to know about water softeners, so you can address the issue as soon as possible.

What Is a Water Softener?

A water softener is a type of filtration system designed to remove high concentrations of calcium and magnesium, which cause hard water. They’re important because hard water can do a ton of damage if left unaddressed. It can clog pipes, make your hot water boiler less efficient, and even cause major plumbing problems.

Wondering if you have a hard water issue? Here are the most common signs to look out for:

  • Stiff clothing after doing laundry
  • Soap scum in your sink or shower
  • Mineral buildup around your faucet
  • Irritated skin after showering
  • Dry and dull hair after showering

If you notice scum and mineral buildup, you should consider getting a professional test for hard water. They’ll be able to judge how serious the situation is.

What Does a Water Softener Do?

Water softeners are specific ion exchangers designed to remove hardness minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals are trapped by resin within the water softener and then exchanged for sodium and potassium ions.

It’s important to know that while these systems remove mineral ions, they don’t remove contaminants or heavy metals. If you’re experiencing these issues, you may need a water filtration instead.

How Much Does a Water Softener Cost?

The cost of a water softener depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your home and the difficulty of installation. There are also additional features you can pay for such as UV disinfection. In general, you can expect to pay between $500 to $2500 for the system.

Thankfully, most water systems can last up to 20 years. Just make sure to have your system serviced from time to time to make sure it’s in tip-top shape.

What Are the Benefits of a Water Softener?

Now that you know what a water softener is and how much it costs, you’re probably wondering if it’s really worth it to purchase one. Here are some of the biggest benefits of a water softener.

Cleaner Dishes

If you have hard water, chances are your dishes and silverware are left with a cloudy appearance when they drive. That’s because of the minerals that build up on them. With a water softener, dishes are cleaned more thoroughly so you don’t have to waste time re-washing anything.

Brighter and Softer Clothes

Hard water wears down your clothing and causes them to fade over time. It can even cause stains. A water softener will help detergent dissolve more effectively, which will make your clothes brighter and softer after you wash them.

More Savings

Mineral buildup in your water can cause irreversible damage to your plumbing and appliances, which will shorten their efficiency and overall lifespan and cost you more money over time. It can also cause you to run up your gas and electric bills as you try to compensate for the problems the hard water has created.

Thinking of purchasing a water softener but not sure where to start? Check out Filtersmart to see what water softener options are available.

Ready for Better Water?

Hard water can put your home at risk. But it can be effectively addressed. Now that you know the answer to “what does a water softener do?”, you can decide if buying one is the best decision for your home.

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