With more than 30 years’ experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Mark Nelson is a Class 1 Drinking-Water Operator and a CBWA (Canadian Bottled Water Association) Certified Plant Operator. As founder and president of Nelson Water in Ottawa, Mark focuses on dealing with challenging water treatment system designs for problem water. He also heads the largest water bottling plant in the city of Ottawa with a delivery network throughout the Valley.
At the moment, it’s a hard decision to sell your home. The market conditions are not ideal, and anything that you can do to improve your chances of a sale should be encouraged. When you want to sell your home, there are many improvements that you can make, and installing a water softener will certainly help. Let’s take a look at this issue in more detail.
What is the Attraction of a Water Softener?
Most homes are supplied with hard water, which contains elevated levels of naturally occurring minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. These minerals are dissolved because water is an effective solvent, but they can have a devastating effect on a home. When a homebuyer is searching for a listing, they like to see a water softener in place because they won’t have to deal with hard water. Hard water will create scale that accumulates on the inner surfaces of plumbing pipes and water using appliances. At first, the scale may only reduce the energy efficiency where it coats a heating element in your water heater. But, over time, the scale will cause damage leading to expensive repairs and an earlier than anticipated replacement. When you have a water softener in place, it gives the buyer peace of mind, and it’s hard to put a price on that feeling of security.
Will a Water Softener Increase the Value of My Home?
Recent research seems to indicate that a water softener installation can anywhere from $6,000 up to $12,000 to the value of a home. Like any smart and well considered home improvement project, the money invested in a water softener installation will pay off eventually. But this is especially true if you install earlier because you will gain significant benefits in the months leading up to the sale. After all, you cannot predict when your home will sell, and adding a water softener now will improve your quality of life immediately.
When you’re considering work on your home to prepare it for sale, installing the water softener first makes good sense. Why? Well, when you have a water softener, you start to notice a marked decrease in your overall utility costs. This is especially true if you choose a high efficiency unit and ensure that it’s optimized for your home. If you’re planning to sell your home a few years down the line, you can make gains on the lifespan of your appliances that could save you thousands of dollars. Another great thing about a water softener is that it will make it easier to upgrade your bathrooms because you will suffer less corrosion due to scale accumulation. The appliances that are most affected by hard water are the water heater, dishwasher, and washing machine. If you can get a few more years out of these appliances and even leave them in place as an extra incentive to buy your home, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Can a Water Softener Really Save me Money?
Yes. Aside from the aforementioned benefits for your plumbing pipes and appliances, there are other ways that a water softener can save you a significant amount of money.
Reducing the Soap
This may seem like a trivial expense; soap and detergent are not too expensive. But, one of the most annoying properties of the minerals that cause hardness in your water is that they inhibit the formation of soap suds. Most soaps, detergents, and shampoos rely on soap suds to deliver the cleaning power. When they don’t get the lather that they need, most people simply add more soap or detergent to improve their cleaning efforts. Sadly, this doesn’t work, it just wastes more soap, and that cost can really add up over time. Experts estimate that an average home could lower the amount of soap used by around 80% by switching to soft water.
Scale and Stain Prevention
Another annoying aspect of hard water is that it can create unsightly stains in sinks, bathtubs, and shower stalls. This residue can be hard to clean, which is an important consideration when you want to keep your home pristine for a viewing. Hard water creates a buildup of scale; most of it cannot be seen because it’s lurking inside your plumbing pipes and water using appliances. But, you may notice scale accumulating around your taps and plumbing fixtures, and it’s hard to remove. It is possible to break up scale with vinegar and plenty of elbow grease. But, the scale always returns because the underlying issue has not been addressed.
Using Less Detergent
According to experts, around 50% less detergent is needed to complete the same volume of laundry when a home makes the switch to softer water. Like soap, a detergent will not work well with hard water, and it will reduce the cleaning power. Again, people attempt to compensate for this with more detergent, longer cycles, and higher washing temperatures which is a waste of money. The mineral content that is left behind on the fabric tends to tangle in the fibers making the material feel stiff and uncomfortable on the skin. Clothes washed in hard water fade fast, the colors are dull, and they typically wear out faster than they should. When you don’t need to replace your clothes as often, you can save a lot of money, and your fabrics will look better when a potential buyer is viewing your home.
Reducing Utility Bills
When you make the switch to soft water, you will notice that your utility bills are lowered. When you’re using hard water, the accumulation of scale inside the pipes will lower the diameter and eventually lead to a loss of water pressure. This can affect your morning shower, but it will also lower the efficiency of your appliances. Water heating bills are lower when the heating elements can work efficiently without a thick layer of scale covering them. As we mentioned above, the washing machine can clean effectively at lower temperatures with better results when soft water is used.
As you can see, a water softener can deliver immediate benefits for your home, and it will act as an additional incentive for people interested in purchasing your home. If you want to install a water softener, contact your local water treatment specialist today.