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3 Key Types Of Water Softeners To Consider For Your Home

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If you have dry skin, mineral buildup on your faucets and clothing that gets crunchier with every wash, then installing a water softener is a smart idea. Water softeners remove excess minerals from your home's water supply, leaving you with so-called "soft" water that won't leave these deposits behind. But what kind of water softener should you have installed? That depends on your preferences. Here are three top types to consider.

Ion Exchange Water Softeners

This is the most common type of water softener. It removes calcium and magnesium from your water by essentially exchanging those minerals for sodium. The sodium does not deposit on your skin or plumbing as calcium and magnesium do. This exchange occurs as the water passes through a resin inside the water softener. Over time, the resin becomes saturated with calcium and magnesium, and when it can't hold any more minerals, you replace it. This only needs to be done every few years. However, you will need to add more sodium to the system on a regular basis. If you want a maintenance-free water softener option, an ion exchange system may not be your best bet.

Neutralizing or Salt-Free Water Softeners

Another type of water softener, known as a salt-free system or a neutralizing system, works by adding additional compounds to the water. These compounds bind to the free magnesium and calcium to make those minerals less "sticky." So, even though the calcium and magnesium are still in the water, they do not come out of the solution and cause all of the problems you typically see with hard water. Neutralizing systems are pretty expensive, but most filter out bacteria and other contaminants at the same time that they soften your water, making them a wise investment. They don't require any regular maintenance.

Reverse Osmosis Water Softeners

Reverse osmosis systems are not just water softeners. They're high-end water filters that basically remove any and all minerals and contaminants from the water, including the calcium and magnesium that make water hard. If you're worried about additional contaminants in your water, this is the way to go. Water that has passed through an RO system is very safe to drink and shower in. The only downside to RO systems is that they tend to be expensive.

To learn more information about having a water softener for your home, reach out to companies such as Ecowater of Central Florida