Narrowing down to a choice between a water softener and a water filtration system for your home can be a complex process. The best way to start is to understand what each of these does and then figuring what fits the best at your home.
Why is a Softener Used?
A water softener is an essential product if your home gets a supply that’s filled with hard water. There are several clear signs which will indicate the presence of hardness in your water supply. The first one is the difficulty in leather formation when you use a detergent, soap or shampoo. This will be quite an annoyance for all your washing and cleaning applications not to mention bathing. What you will also notice along with this is some build-up or blockage in your electrical appliances, especially products such as your coffee maker and water heater. Your hair and skin might also bear the brunt by developing dryness, redness and sometimes acne. All this happens because the water you are using is hard and that hardness occurs due to presence of excessive amounts of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
Now How Does a Softener Fix This?
A softener works on a very straightforward technique, it uses ion exchange phenomenon which involves an interchange of unwanted minerals with something that’s more acceptable for your consumption. A typical unit contains resins which contain sodium. The unwanted ions (magnesium and calcium) are absorbed and in return, some sodium ions are released along with water making it softer. Even though a softener is great at fixing hardness related problems, it might not be as effective in eliminating other impurities such as bacteria, virus and chemicals.
How Does Water Filtration Work?
Water filtration is a more comprehensive solution as it generally removes a wide range of impurities including bacteria, chemicals, microorganisms, radiations and much more. The most commonly used water filtration systems:
- Ultraviolet Purification – Great at killing and deactivating germs and bacteria but might not be applicable if your supply has large particles
- Reverse Osmosis – The most comprehensive when it comes to removing impurities. Eliminates not just bacteria, but destroys chemicals, microorganisms, dust and plenty more.
- Sediment Filtration – Is effective in case of large particles but when used alone, it might not resolve your water worries adequately
- Distillation – The most traditional method, great at removing most impurities. The disadvantages are that it can be expensive at all scales and is not capable of removing some stubborn chemicals
- Candle Purification – Highly economical, great at killing chemicals but will lack the firepower required to remove the rest of the impurities.
It is plain to see that in most cases, Reverse Osmosis is the best choice. In order to establish the need of a water treatment system out of the two, it’s important to understand the state of your water supply.
If the primary problem of your water supply is hardness causing minerals, a water softener might suffice and in case your water supply contains bacterial or chemical impurities, it is appropriate to go for a water filtration system. What has been identified as the best solution for many supplies is a combination of a water filtration and a water softener. This is a surefire fix for taking care of whatever problems your water supply might be plagued by.
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