If you've been looking at Wichita homes for sale, you may have noticed that a number of them list a water softener as one of the features. But if you've never had one installed, you may wonder just what value they add to the property. Our real estate agents can tell you that it is a very popular upgrade. Here are some details to help you determine whether purchasing a water softener would be a wise decision for you:
- What is hard water?
When water is saturated with dissolved calcium and magnesium, as well as other minerals, it's considered "hard." When calcium carbonate exceeds 60 milligrams per liter, it is defined as hard. More than 180 milligrams per liter is extremely hard. Wichita has a water hardness level of 131 mg/L and Kansas City, 330 mg/L! To reduce these dissolved minerals, homeowners turn to water softeners for help.
- What problems does hard water cause?
Because heat causes dissolved minerals to harden, they collect inside pipes and, over time, will cause scale buildup and clogged pipes. Limescale builds up on heating elements, such as inside water heaters, and insulates them, preventing them from heating properly. The added time it takes to heat the water is not only annoying, it can negatively impact your utility bills. Soap will not dissolve efficiently in hard water, causing build-up on sinks and shower doors, dishes, and even your clothes.
- How do water softeners work?
To remove these offending minerals, water softeners must either remove them or neutralize them. These appliances, also called ion exchange units, depend upon a chemical change to rid the water of minerals. Water flows from the pipes through a trap of resin beads. A solution of salt or potassium then flows through the trapped minerals creating a chloride solution, which washes away as waste.
- Will a water softener really help?
If you've ever scrubbed a shower door for the longest time, only to have it still appear dull, you will appreciate how much time a water softener will save you. You'll step out of the shower feeling clean and fresh, without that sticky feeling of soap still on your skin. Your hair will glisten. In the kitchen, you'll find your glasses sparkle without a hint of water spots.
Appliances like washing machines, coffee pots, dishwashers, and water heaters will enjoy a much longer useful life with mineral deposits. Your clothing will look newer longer, as the colors stay bright and the fabric soft. You'll reduce the amount of detergent, toothpaste, dish soap, and shampoo by as much as 80%! The water flow in your home will be far more efficient, saving on water use and increasing the water pressure at your faucets and showers. Money, time, efficiency are all positively impacted by the installation of a water softener.
- How much will this cost?
You have several options, each with its own installation cost. The national average, according to Home Advisor, falls somewhere between $1,000 and $2,800. A larger home with a smart filtration system may mean a price tag of $6,000. You've already seen how a water softener can save money each day, but the ROI is much greater. The value of a home will increase by $5,000 to $10,000 with the installation of a water softener. Few upgrades will pay for themselves quite as well!
For more ideas about home improvements when you're preparing to sell or looking for a new place, contact us to help you with the process. Our agents are looking forward to meeting you!