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water conditioners and water softeners – and why water softeners really aren’t as bad as some might have you to believe.
Water softeners actually remove the calcium and magnesium ions from the water by exchanging those ions with a salt or potassium ion. Water conditioners simply “condition” the water making it taste and smell better by reducing chlorine. Why do we sell both? Because they serve two different purposes. Our water softeners are for homes that have hard water and water conditioners are for homes that have unpleasant smelling or tasting water. So, if someone tries to convince you that you should opt for a water conditioner because it is better for the environment, make sure that a conditioner will solve your particular water problem.
To address the environmental concern, it is true that a traditional water softener does discharge a small amount of salt down the drain. However, new water softeners minimize this and we firmly believe that the environmental impact of NOT using a water softener is much worse than the impact of using a water softener. An independent laboratory study by Battelle Memorial Institute weighs the options very clearly.
Battelle researched the effect of water hardness on the performance of faucets, showerheads, laundry washers, and water heaters. The results? Overwhelmingly, softened water produced better function, efficiency, extended life, and appearance. There were no calcium-clogged pipes. The appliances used significantly less energy to operate. The appliances, plumbing, and fixtures lasted longer and needed fewer repairs. There were no water spots to be scrubbed away with harsh chemicals. To give you scientific evidence, the water heaters using soft water had operating costs 47% less than those water heaters used with hard water, and even the most energy-efficient water heater on the market was 10% more efficient when used with softened water. Water softeners also were shown to reduce a home’s carbon footprint by over 14% – just on water heating. So, when you consider all those appliances that wore out unnecessarily early and are dumped in landfills, and the extra energy required to operate them, the environmental benefit of using hard water simply isn’t there.
Because we are truly committed to being green as possible, we offer Exchange Tank Services. This service provides the same benefits of a water softener but uses no salt in the home. Rather, regeneration takes place in a properly-designed facility and a Rayne technician delivers fully-regenerated tanks to your home periodically. Not only is this the environmentally friendly way to go, it’s easy for you! Rayne does all the work for you.
To read the entire Battelle study, click here.