With the environment and sustainability on everybody’s mind we are constantly thinking about ways to reduce each of our carbon footprints and preventing wastage of energy and water. Installing a water softener has traditionally been seen as a solution to remedy the effects of hard water in the home. However, awater softener can also reduce gas consumption and the amount of chemicals you are releasing back into the environment and can therefore be an effective means of reducing your carbon footprint.
In hard water areas, water contains high traces of magnesium and calcium ions which can cause the buildup of scale. This is usually noticed as a white chalky deposit which is left on surfaces that are frequently exposed to running water. It can most commonly be seen forming on tap and shower heads, although sometimes the real damage can go unnoticed.
It is estimated that over 1.5mm of scale will form within an average household’s heating system within a year. Scale is an insulator and will prevent heat being transferred to your home sometimes resulting in a decrease in heating efficiency of up to 26%. This means that more and more gas will be burned to adequately heat your household. Since a water softener will effectively remove all the mineral content that creates scale, you will experience less buildup of scale. In fact, soft water will act as a long term treatment to wherever scale has been deposited in the household, gradually dissolving it and removing it, improving your heating efficiency in the process.
Obviously, this will decrease your need of descaling products. In addition, soft water is a more suitable solution when used in conjunction with washing products. Due to the alkaline composition of hard water, you will often find that it is difficult to build an effective lather, this is because of the magnesium and calcium ions effectively prohibiting the chemical reaction from properly taking place. This can mean that you are using larger quantities of soap and washing detergents when cleaning.
Softened water, however, is perfectly suited to soliciting the chemical reactions with soap meaning you will get a far more effective clean using a fraction of the solution. This limits the amount of chemicals you are flushing out into the environment. Excess chemicals have often been associated with raising the toxicity of our waterways and are sometimes linked to cancer.
A house with a water softener installed can lessen the effects of hard water, reducing your gas consumption, whilst maintaining the efficiency of your boiler and heating systems. As a more effective solvent it also maximises the chemical reactions, which can increase the economy of your preferred washing substances, yet decrease the amount of chemicals that you are passing out into the environment.