How Much Money Does Hard Water Cost You Every Year?

Is hard water costing you hundreds of dollars every year? Hard water negatively impacts the efficiency and lifespan of your water heater and other appliances. It also neutralizes your soaps and cleaning products, forcing you to use more than you need. These factors add up—install a water softener from Angel Water and keep that money in your pocket!

Hard Water Is More Than Inconvenient—It’s ExpensivePhoto of hands holding open an empty coin purse.

If you’ve been living with hard water, it’s easy to minimize the problem and keep putting of doing anything about it. So your sink has some stains and your dishes are a bit foggy—no big deal, right? It seems like just a minor inconvenience, not something worth sinking money into in order to fix it. However, what you may not know is just how much money you’re losing every year due to hard water’s many hidden costs.

Hard water robs you by making your water heater, appliances, cleaning supplies, and personal care products less effective, forcing you to spend more in all those areas. Here’s a breakdown of just how much this may be costing you.

For a more complete overview of hard water and water softeners, read this guide.

Hard Water Reduces Water Heater Efficiency

One way that hard water may be costing you big at home is by reducing the energy efficiency of your water heater. Over time, hard water leaves behind scale deposits which steadily coat the inside of the water heater. Your water heater’s manual says to flush it annually to remove this buildup, but most owners never read the manual and don’t perform this important maintenance task. Left unchecked, scale buildup can drastically reduce the efficiency and lifespan of your water heater.

You can estimate how much it costs to run your water heater by calculating the water heater’s power use (measured in Watts), how many hours it runs per day, and the price you’re paying for electricity (measured in kilowatt hours or kWh). An average model might use 4000 Watts for 3 hours a day at $0.10 per kWh, costing you about $440 per year. You can use this calculator to create an estimate more specific to your model.

An independent study commissioned by the Water Quality Association showed that “water heaters operated on softened water maintained the original factory efficiency rating over a 15-year lifetime. On the other hand, hard water can lead to as much as a 48% loss of efficiency in water heaters.”

That’s hundreds of dollars lost every year due to the reduced energy efficiency caused by hard water. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just install a water softener?

Your Appliances and Fixtures May Cost You More

Another effect of hard water you may have noticed is the foggy film it leaves on your dishes. However, have you thought about how it affects your dishwasher to have hard water flowing through it? What about your other water-using appliances and fixtures?

If you still have your dishwasher’s owner’s manual lying around, take a look inside. You’ll often find recommendations for how much soap you should be using based on how hard your water is. This is because hard water reacts with and neutralizes soap, producing soap scum. As a result, you have to use more dishwasher soap to get the same level of clean the harder your water is—and soap isn’t free!Photo of hard water buildup and corrosion on a drain.

On top of that, some high-end dishwashers also have lots of tiny orifices used for dispensing the soap. These can get clogged by hard water buildup, so the dishwasher actually includes a tiny self-contained water softener. Why pay extra for this when you can just get a more affordable dishwasher and a water softener for your whole home?

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Other fixtures can get clogged as well. For example, your faucet’s blending valve can get clogged and require servicing. Calcium buildup can also negatively affect your faucet’s internal diameter and thus reduce the water pressure. Many owners get frustrated by this and then needlessly spend money replacing the whole faucet.

You Spend More on Cleaning Supplies with Hard Water

As we mentioned, hard water neutralizes soap and reduces its effectiveness, making you use more of it to get the same level of cleanliness. As a result, you’ll need to spend far more on cleaning supplies every year—but exactly how much more?

A household of four spends about $800 per year on cleaning supplies. This is far more than you should have to spend. When you have soft water, your soaps are more effective, and you use less.

Laundry detergent is an especially big culprit for the inflated spending on cleaning supplies. Technically speaking, the largest water softener company around is Proctor & Gamble, because they include liquid softener in their products. They know these detergents need soft water to work well, and they know that you and most of their other customers have hard water, so they add liquid softener and charge you extra. If you have a water softener, you can use just a single tablespoon of powdered detergent to do your laundry instead of a whole cup of Tide.

All things considered, a water softener can cut your spending on cleaning products by as much as half, saving you hundreds of dollars every year.

You Also Spend More on Personal Care Products

Of course, the same principle applies for other products as well, namely your personal care products. That includes shampoo and conditioner, body wash, skincare products, and more.

The average American household spends about $600 a year on personal care, including cosmetics, shaving cream, etc. Why spend all this money if the hard water is going to make those products less effective? Why use more than you have to, and spend more than you have to?

Save Money—Install a Water Softener!

As we’ve seen, living with hard water is more than inconvenient. It’s also expensive. No matter how costly a water softener may seem to you right at this moment, the costs of hard water add up to a much greater sum over the years.

Hard water causes water stains, dry itchy skin, and frizzy hair, but these costs are hidden, sapping your finances in secret. Don’t let this happen! Our trained technicians here at Angel Water have been installing, maintaining, and repairing water softeners for decades. Give us a call at 847-382-7800 and start saving money today!

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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