How to save money by using soft water

Stretching Your Dollar
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For anyone living in the Midwest, they know hard water for your home is very common. Many residents have never experienced anything different.

So, what is hard water?

“Hard water is dissolved limestone or calcium carbonate. The water softener removes it, so it keeps it out of your house,” said Bret Betty, manager of Aqua Systems in Fishers.

If you get a water softener, it means you will use fewer cleaning products around your house. Customers will actually have to cut back on soaps for laundry, shower and dishwasher because everything suds up far more. It basically forces you to cut back.

“This is my second Aqua System water softener I've had. I went through a lot of research the first time. I installed one in my first home about three years ago, and it makes a huge difference in the quality of water, and the amount of cleaning product we use,” said Brent Reece, a customer with Aqua Systems.

For less than $1 worth of salt per month, you can get up to 2,000 gallons of soft water in this Indianapolis market, depending on where you live in the city. That's about 50 water tanks full of soft water for a dollar in salt.

And it's not just about getting rid of water spots, and saving on soap. The manager of Aqua Systems says the systems will save you money—and help the environment—by putting less down the drain. You can also opt for the reverse osmosis system for drinking water.

“With the reverse osmosis system, we no longer have to buy drinking water or bottled water. Also, from the efficiency of the water softener, it saved us a lot of money on the salt. It also just makes you feel cleaner in the shower,” said Reece.

Studies also show you can save up to 50% on the energy needed to heat the water in the tank. That can double the life of your water heater because you're not trying to heat the scale in the heater. As long as you can keep the heating surfaces clean, the water will heat much more efficiently.

So, what is the cost of a water softener?

You can buy a system outright for a wide range of prices. It can go up to a few thousand dollars, depending on the size you need. It will likely increase the value of your home, but you can also rent.

“It depends on the water quality, the size of your family and the demands of the family. But the cost might range between $16 and $30 a month. We use the term rental, but it’s really more of a service policy, because we provide the equipment and take care of all the maintenance on it,” said Betty.

With most of the new systems, they are not complicated to own, rent or operate. There's no guessing when you need salt or maintenance.

“Depending on the size of the family, every three or four months, the system will beep to let you know the salt is low. That’s when you need to add salt, but that's the only real maintenance needed for the system,” said Wayne Smith, an Aqua Systems installer.

If you’re considering getting a water softener, do what customer Brent Reece did: do your research and shop around. Many companies offer guarantees. Aqua Systems, for instance, provides a 100%, 90-day money back guarantee.

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