Water softeners are notorious wasters of water and salt. Choosing the right features can ensure your water bills don't go through the roof and you won't be stuck lugging 40-pound bags of salt to the basement every few days. In fact, with some choices, you won't have to do anything at all.
Some options to consider
The following options can save you hassle and help save the environment:
Portable exchange units - Regeneration doesn't happen in your home if you subscribe to one of these services. portable exchange water softeners are brought in as needed by a local company specializing in the service. Centralized regeneration is not only easier for the homeowner; it can be a lot easier on the environment, too.
Hardness sensor - A hardness sensor can detect how hard your water is and adjust the time between regeneration so that it happens only when needed. A water softener with a hardness sensor will save you salt and water because regeneration isn't happening unnecessarily. These days, a water softener with a hardness sensor is the only way to go. Time-clock softeners regenerate at a set time regardless of whether capacity has been reached and produce a lot of unnecessary waste.
Demand-initiated regeneration - DIR water softeners will only regenerate when softening capacity has been reached. Remember to look for a water softener that uses the least amount of water when regenerating to make the process even more efficient.
A few questions to ask yourself and the dealer
Choose a dealer you trust or at least one you know has been around for a while. Ask friends and neighbors who they deal with and what the service has been like. A water softener's brand name isn't always the most important factor, but well-known brands can allow you to see the track record of everything from durability to customer satisfaction.