Where Can I Find the Best Water Softeners for My Home in Chicago?

This post features the following key takeaways:

  • You need a water softener because hard water is a significant problem in Chicago.
  • The best water softener companies will help you find the right softener for your home and install and service it for you.
  • Culligan and Costco provide higher quality water softener services than big-box stores like Home Depot.
  • Angel Water offers all the services you need and a wide selection of water softeners to choose from.
Who can you trust? It’s hard to know who to confide in these days, isn’t it? This is especially true regarding a big decision for your home, like getting a water softener.

A water softener is a significant investment. So, the last thing you want to do is give your money to a company that produces a low-quality softener—or, even worse, that’s actively trying to scam you!

Instead, you want to be sure you’re getting the best water softener system possible for your home. But where in all of Chicagoland can you find such a softener?

The good news is there are companies out there worth buying from. We know because we’ve been in this industry for over 50 years and know a great water softener supplier when we see one.

In this post, we’ll show you what the best water softener companies will do for you. Then, we’ll evaluate some of Chicago’s most popular water softener suppliers, including Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, Culligan and Costco. By the end, you’ll be ready to find the softener of your dreams!

Ready to shop for top-rated water softeners right away? Visit the link below to see the water softener services we offer.

The Best Water Softener System in Chicago is a Necessity

Before we get into where to buy one of the best-rated water softener systems, let’s go over why you should get one.

A softener is a worthwhile investment for your home and health because hard water is a significant problem in Chicago.

The Entire Chicago Region Has Hard Water

The Chicago region gets its water from Lake Michigan, which contains an average of 137 milligrams/liter of dissolved calcium and magnesium minerals. The U.S. Geological Survey classifies water with that amount of minerals as hard water.

Of course, not all residents of the Chicago region get their water from Lake Michigan. Some receive water from private wells instead.

Well water is usually also hard because the rock surrounding those wells consists of calcium and magnesium. Those minerals often very easily contaminate the wells. Plus, those with wells may face additional contaminants that make their drinking water unsafe. If you battle both problems, a whole-house water softener and filtration system combo is your best bet.

Hard Water Causes Many Problems

You’ve likely experienced at least a few hard water problems in your home. You may have multiple issues and not even know hard water’s causing them!

For example, do you feel itchy after you shower, and is your hair brittle and hard to maintain? That’s hard water!

Or do your dishes come out of the dishwasher cloudy, and clothes come out of the laundry machine faded or discolored? Hard water causes those problems, too!

But that’s not all. Hard water will also clog your plumbing, damage your water heater, stain your toilet bowl and more!

A water softener is a godsend for homeowners who want problems like these to go away. It uses ion exchange to remove harmful calcium and magnesium from the water.

Beyond this, water softeners can also filter out other harmful pollutants, such as radium 226/228, barium and iron.

So, if you had any doubt about your decision to get a softener, hopefully, that helped increase your confidence.

Now, let’s find the best place for you to get a water softener, shall we?

A showerhead with low water pressure
Problems like low water pressure can be caused by hard water.

Services the Best Water Softener Companies Should Provide

Here’s an interesting question. What do you want from a water softener company? Don’t just say an affordable water softener. That’s thinking too small.

Instead, close your eyes and envision your dream water softener company. What services would they provide for you?

We’re guessing you’d probably like a company that offers expert guidance to help you find the best water softener system for your needs. After all, that knowledgeable assistance would take a lot of stress out of the buying process.

What about product selection? A company that sells many industry-leading brands sounds good, doesn’t it? It always helps to see all the best options in one spot.

Wouldn’t it be great if the company also professionally installed and regularly serviced your system? It would relieve a lot of pressure.

Good, now open your eyes. If you enjoyed imagining the company we just described, then pursue it! Look for a business that can give you your dream water softener experience.

How can you find such a company? Here’s a checklist of services the business should provide:

  1. Free water testing to help you find the best water softener system for your home
  2. Knowledgeable guidance from an experienced team of professionals
  3. A wide selection of quality systems to choose from, including NSF/ANSI 44 certified brands
  4. Installation provided by licensed plumbing professionals
  5. Ongoing regular service to maintain your system’s warranty coverage
  6. Salt delivery to your home so that you can keep your softener running

A company that excels at all these services can provide you with the best water softener system for your home. But does such a company exist?

Let’s examine some of the water softener providers in Chicago and see if they meet these criteria.

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Comparing the Best Water Softener System Companies in Chicago

Many different companies sell water softeners in Chicagoland. But we don’t have the space to review them all here. So, instead, we’ll examine three of the most popular options for purchasing a system in this region: Home Depot, Culligan and Costco.

Home Depot Water Softeners

Home Depot is one of the many big-box stores where you can buy a water softener. Other big-box stores include Lowe’s, Menards and Ace Hardware.

While these stores vary slightly in the brands they sell and the services they provide, they’re all similar in value. So, the qualities we discuss below for Home Depot can also generally be applied to the other big-box stores.

Pros of Shopping at Home Depot

The biggest draws of shopping for a water softener at the Home Depot are cost and convenience. You can browse a decent selection of softeners at the lower end of the price range right in the store. Home Depot also offers pickup and delivery options to get the unit you choose to your home.

At first glance, Home Depot seems to meet the third criterion we listed above: a wide selection of quality systems. However, you won’t find any of the best water softener systems in Home Depot – the softeners sold here are of low quality.

Cons of Shopping at Home Depot

Home Depot sells softeners from brands like Aquasure, Rheem and Waterboss. These brands make small, all-in-one units that are notorious for reducing water pressure in homes and not lasting very long. These softeners also only come with a one-year warranty.

So, while these lower-priced systems seem appealing, there’s a reason they’re lower-priced. They aren’t big enough to effectively soften water for a whole family, and they’ll likely only last you two to three years at most.

They may be ideal for single people looking to soften their water for a short time. But beyond that, families looking for long-term coverage will want to look elsewhere.

What about the other criteria we listed for the best water softener company? The only other one Home Depot kind of meets is providing help with installation. But we wouldn’t call it a trustworthy installation. It will be from third-party contractors, and we can’t vouch for the quality of those companies.

Home Depot also doesn’t provide free water tests, a regular maintenance program or salt delivery. You also won’t get much helpful guidance on making your purchase from them. The team members you can talk to at the stores aren’t water treatment experts.

In short, purchasing from Home Depot or other box stores is risky. Only do it if you’ve done a lot of research, are okay with a lower-quality system and feel comfortable handling maintenance on your own. If that’s you, then you’ll benefit from saving money on the less expensive system.

Graphic comparing the different water softener companies in Chicago

Culligan Water Softeners

Culligan has provided water softener services for homes in Chicagoland for over 80 years. In that time, it’s become one of the most well-known providers in the region. But how does it measure up to the standards of the best water softener company?

The Pros of Shopping at Culligan

When we look at the six criteria listed above, it’s clear that Culligan is a big step up from big-box stores like The Home Depot. Unlike those stores, Culligan provides all the following:

  • Free water tests
  • Regular maintenance services
  • Salt delivery

Cons of Shopping at Culligan

While all of this is great, there are also a couple of issues to watch out for with Culligan. They are 1) the quality of service and 2) the limited product selection.

Culligan has received many complaints from customers about its service over the years. So, we can’t vouch for the quality of the support and guidance you’ll receive from the company. Instead, we recommend doing your homework by looking at recent customer reviews before going with Culligan.

We also should point out that Culligan only sells Culligan-branded products. So, the selection of water softeners is somewhat limited. If you’re looking to compare different brands on the market to find the best water softener system for you, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Costco Water Softeners

Costco used to be like other big-box stores when it came to the water softeners it provided. It sold smaller systems that lacked the durability and longevity most families needed for their homes.

However, Costco has upped its water softener game recently, making it one of the best places to shop for a system. What changed? Costco started exclusively selling high-quality softeners made by EcoWater. The company also partnered with our team at Angel Water to offer its customers the services they need for success.

Pros of Shopping at Costco

What’s so great about EcoWater systems? Where do we begin? First, EcoWater softeners are NSF/ANSI 44 certified for effective water softening and removing other contaminants like radium 226/228. The systems are also 100% made in America, which means you won’t have to worry about any subpar foreign-made parts as you do with lower-quality softeners.

Beyond this, EcoWater designs its water softeners with some of the most advanced and convenient features in the industry. For example, you can connect an EcoWater softener to your smartphone and monitor its status. It will also alert you on your phone when salt refills are needed.

Best of all, EcoWater systems are much more durable and long-lasting than the softeners you find in big-box stores. They are built to last 10+ years and can easily handle softening water for a large family home. So, while they may cost more than those lesser softeners, the investment is worth it for the peace of mind they provide.

However, Costco doesn’t just provide the best water softener system. It also employs our team at Angel Water to handle the other essential services, including free water tests and consultations, licensed installation, maintenance and more.

Cons of Shopping at Costco

You’ll pretty much have all your bases covered when you choose Costco as your shop on the journey to find the best water softener system.

The only drawback?

You can’t shop at Costco unless you’re a Costco member, and they only sell EcoWater products. While EcoWater is an excellent brand, if you’re looking for a place to compare multiple brands, you’ll want to look for a company with a broader selection.

Angel Water Can Help You Find the Best Water Softeners

We hope this guide has helped you understand what to expect from different Chicago water softener companies. But before we go, we should also mention that our company, Angel Water, also sells water softeners in Chicago!

We offer all the services you need, including a free water test and knowledgeable guidance from our experienced team. We also have a massive selection of water softeners, including everything from big-box softeners to NSF/ANSI 44-certified EcoWater models.

Our team would be happy to help you compare these models to find the best water softener system for your budget and situation. All our softeners come with a 10-year warranty so that you can enjoy peace of mind with your softer, healthier water.

Once you find the right softener, we employ licensed plumbers (it’s the law in Illinois) who can install and service your system to keep it running smoothly. Plus, we provide salt delivery right to your home. You could also swing by our drive-thru in Barrington, IL, to get some brought to your car.

Interested in getting started? Please call 847-382-7800 to talk to an expert and schedule a free consultation. You can also stop into one of our locations in Barrington, IL, or St. Charles, IL, to browse our softeners.

Interested in a Water Softener System for Your Home?

You don’t have to live with a dry, itchy scalp and brittle hair anymore! It would be our pleasure to help you find the right water softener to make your showers enjoyable again.

Please give us a call at (847) 382-7800 or visit our water softener page to learn more.

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