A water softener that uses salt or a salt-free conditioner - What is better for me?
Some people are appalled that a water softener puts small amounts of sodium and chloride back into the environment, while failing to understand that if you don’t have a water softener (in a hard water area), you will put copious amounts soaps, detergents, phosphates, chemicals, lime removers and the like back into the environment.
Additionally, a water softener is proven to save tremendous amounts of energy each year for the average homeowner. Battelle Memorial Institute recently published this long-term study on the effects of soft water:
You can only get soft water two ways:
- 1. A salt-regenerated ion-exchange water softener; or
- 2. A whole-house reverse osmosis system.
Here is a side by side comparison of the pros and cons of both a saltless conditioner and a water softener:
|Comparison of Salt-Regenerated Water Softeners and Salt-Free Water Conditioners (no matter what brand) – Estimate Based Upon Average Family of Four with Water of 15 to 20 GPG|
Salt-Regenerated Water Softener
Feature or Benefit
Salt-Free Water Conditioner
Is this a Salt-Free Water Softener?
Scale Prevention Efficiency
41% to 96% Efficient
$1.00 to $3.00
Electricity Used per Year
$0 to $25.00
$60.00 to $80.00
Operating Cost Per Year
$25.00 to $225.00
Whiter Whites, Brighter Colors?
Slick Feeling in Shower?
Eliminates calcium and magnesium which forms curd and clogs pores of the skin
Impact on Skin
Calcium and magnesium reacts with soap to form curd, not suds, which is irritating to skin
Spots on Dishwasher Dishes?
$200.00 to $300.00
Yearly Energy Savings
Selected Ones Can
Removes Chlorine & Chemicals?
Some sodium and chloride are added to the environment,butchemicals, phosphates, soaps, cleansers, lime removers and detergents are reduced by 50%+
No sodium or chlorides are put back into the environment, but added chemicals, phosphates, soaps, cleansers, lime removers and detergents are added in significant amounts
The long and the short of it is that a water softener offers the most benefits and is probably the only appliance you can put in your home that actually saves more than it costs (soap savings, energy savings, plumbing & appliance savings and clothing savings) and makes life much better. Which is right for you?