Whether you are curious about your home water or air or you would like to know specifics about hard water or should be benefits of softening your water, we welcome you to read through the following answers on popular topics to help you get valuable information.

1How is hard water formed?

Water becomes hard by dissolving minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium. Water with mineral content between 120-180 PPM (Parts Per Million*) is considered hard. Water dissolves these substances as it travels through the earth.

*PPM. One Part Per Million is equivalent to 1 milligram of something per litre of water (mg/l))

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2 What is the difference between hard vs. soft water?

The main difference is the content of minerals dissolved in the water.

PPM (or mg/l)Soft Vs. Hard
Less than 17Soft
17 to 60Slightly Hard
60 to 120Moderately Hard
More than 180Very Hard

Soft water lacks the mineral taste of hard water and does not leave residue on skin, hair, dishes or appliances. The excess minerals in hard water have a negative impact on cleaning products, appliances and plumbing. The minerals in hard water prevent the active ingredients in some cleansers and detergents from working correctly. Dishes and clothing would not be as clean compared with items cleaned in softer water.

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3Is hard water bad for drinking?

Report findings from both WHO (World Health Organization) and the NIH (National Institutes of Health) state that hard water has no known adverse health effects. Magnesium in drinking water could have protective qualities for the heart but other associations need more study.

WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality

4How can you test if you have hard water?

Soft water is more pleasant for drinking than hard water; but since you are probably used to the taste you need some other test. These are a few methods you can try at home. Keep in mind that these test will give you just some indication. After your initial assessment you might want to try a testing kit (you might be able to find it at Home Depot) or contacting Lifetime Water Systems for a free consultation. Meantime you can try the following

  1. Analyze the amount of suds produced by soap. Add 12oz of water to a clear bottle. Add 10 drops of soap dish. Shake the bottle vigorously for a few seconds. Soft water will produce plenty of suds and leave the water clear. Hard water will produce few or no suds and leave the water cloudy.
  2. Check for residues on surfaces. The minerals in hard water can leave a white scale on your sink, shower, or bathtub. If it's happening there, it's probably happening in your pipes as well.
  3. Look for spots and etching on your glassware. Hard water leaves white spots on glasses that could lead to permanent etching. You can look at the detailed explanations here: Determine if you have hard water
5What method is used to soften water?

Water softening is the removal of calcium, magnesium and other minerals. The most common method is ion - exchange. Calcium and magnesium are present in the water in the form of ions (thing of them as matter that is electrically charged). Ion-exchange devices reduce the hardness by replacing magnesium and calcium ions with sodium and potassium ions.

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6Will my family be deprived of minerals not present in softened water?

Minerals found in water such as magnesium and calcium are nutrients essential for human health but eating a healthy diet remains the best way to get the nutrients you need for your body. According to the Huffingtonpost the following foods are rich in magnesium

  • Green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale)
  • Fruit (figs, avocado, banana and raspberries)
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Legumes (black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans)
  • Vegetables (peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts)
  • Seafood (salmon, mackerel, tuna)
  • Raw cacao
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Tofu
  • Baked beans
  • Chlorella powder

Yes! Cacao (and therefore Chocolate) is a source of magnesium but it has to be dark.

According to betterhealth Channel (Victoria) the following foods are good dietary sources of calcium

  • Milk and milk products
  • Leafy green vegetables – broccoli, collards (cabbage family), bok choy, Chinese cabbage and spinach
  • Soy and tofu – tofu (depending on type) or tempeh and calcium fortified soy drinks
  • Fish – sardines and salmon (with bones).
  • Nuts and seeds

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7Is softened water bad for my plants?

Even though softened water tastes better and is good for your skin and appliances it might not be the best option in your garden. The reason is that the levels of sodium found in softened water are higher than what plants can tolerate. You can install a spigot (faucet) on the exterior that takes water before it is treated.

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8Is the sodium in softened water harmful to people on restrictive salt diets?

In general, typically softened water contains about 12.5mg of sodium per 8oz glass. If this water were graded according to the same scale the Food and Drug Administration uses for foods, it would be considered “very low sodium.” (verywellhealth) However, there are individuals in higher risk groups that are sensitive to heightened salinity, or sodium levels and should observe, with more attention, their daily intake of salt. These include diabetics and those with high blood pressure. The amount of salt in softened water will depend on the hardness of the water. The harder the water, the more sodium that would be added to the final product.

It is recommended to get a professional testing of the water before installing a water softener system and consulting your physician if you are in a salt restrictive diet.

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9How much soap or detergent should be used in softened water?

One of the first things you’ll notice when you start using softened water is that you can reduce the dishwashing soap by as much as 70% and laundry detergent by as much as 50%. It is recommended to use as little soap as possible and gradually increase the quantity to produce the desired results.

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1Why is clean air so important?
With each breath, we inhale between 45,000 and 75,000 particles of pollutants, such as:
  • Dust Mites and Micro-organisms
  • Pet Dander
  • Pollen
  • Smoke
  • Viruses
  • Dangerous Bacteria, Mold, and Fungi
  • Deadly Chemicals
  • Household Products
  • Pesticides
  • Ammonia, Alcohol, Formaldehyde, etc.
It’s important to be breathing in healthy, clean air, because of the health effects that are associated with these pollutants. Health effects like:
  • PBurning/Itching Eyes, Nose, and Throat
  • PHeadache and Nausea
  • PSneezing, Cold, and Fatigue
  • PFlu like Symptoms
  • PDifficulty Breathing and Wheezing
  • PAllergy and Asthma like Symptoms
  • PMucus Filled Sinuses and Lungs
  • PLung Cancer from Smoke and Chemicals
  • Possible Death
A quality air purification system, like the Clear Station DFS, can help you and your home benefit from the air you want and need.
2Are air purifiers loud?

The loudness of an air purifier (measured in decibels) depends on a few factors such as the model of air purifier, the fan operating speed, and personal noise tolerance. For example, air purifiers manufactured by Blueair are known to be much quieter overall than models from comparable brands.

Most air purifiers feature multiple cleaning speeds. Thus, if your air purifier is operating at its maximum cleaning speed, it will be louder than if it is operating at a lower speed. Keep mind, however, that noise is subjective and what might be intolerable to you might not be as loud to someone else.

3What are the different types of filters?
There are three main types of air filters:
  • HEPA Filters
  • High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters remove 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns and larger from the air. This makes HEPA filters ideal for removing small pet dander particles, dust mite residue, and pollen from your air. HyperHEPA units, such as the IQAir HealthPro Compact, are certified to work even more effectively than traditional HEPA air purifiers.
  • Carbon Filters
  • Using activated carbon, these filters remove odors and chemicals from your indoor air. These odors and chemicals include cigarette smoke, fireplace fumes, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (paint fumes, carpet glues, new building materials, etc.), pet odors, and kitchen odors. Some carbon filters contain granules of carbon, and some are
  • Pre-Filters
  • These filters are a great benefit because they help extend the time between filter cleanings or changes as well as maintain the air purifier's functionality and efficiency. Pre-filters do this by trapping large particles before they reach the main filters of the air purifier. We also offer a variety of replacement filters if your model needs a replacement.
4What are the best air purifiers for allergy- and asthma-sufferers?

Proper air filtration is crucial for homes of allergy- and asthma-sufferers, since allergy and asthma triggers can easily find their way into homes, despite your best attempts. Air purifiers that use HEPA filtration are the best choice for sufferers because they remove up to 99.97% of allergens up to 0.3 microns in size from your environment. The IQAir HealthPro Plus and the Austin Air Healthmate are all excellent choices for sufferers of allergy and asthma symptoms. All of these units feature multi-stage air filtration, which primarily includes a particle pre-filter, a HEPA filter, and a carbon filter. Browse more recommended air purifiers for these conditions on our air purifiers for allergies and air purifiers for asthma pages.

Additionally, asthma-sufferers should avoid using ionizing air purifiers because some models emit ozone, which can harm indoor air quality and aggravate asthma and other respiratory problems. The vast majority of ionic air purifiers produce little to no harmful ozone, making them safe for use in homes. However, it is a good rule of thumb for asthma-sufferers in particular to avoid using ionizers in general.

5What air purifiers are best for pet dander?

Ridding your indoor air of pet dander and odors is crucial, especially when you love your pets. Pet dander consists of several allergens that aggravate sensitive immune systems, including pet saliva, dead skin cells, and even outside particulates brought in by your pet on their coat.

These factors or allergens trigger those allergies and, more often than not, are dispersed throughout your indoor air and on furniture.

For pet-parents, the Austin Air Pet Machine Air Purifier (HM410) is a great selection for eliminating pet dander and odor. It contains a HEPA filter, which is essential for trapping pet dander particulates and eliminating odors through their unique stage filtration.

6Is it expensive to use an air purifier?

This is another situation where the answer lies within the differences among air purifiers. Some are much more energy efficient than others. HEPA air purifiers typically consume 50 to 200 watts of electricity.

To put this into perspective, a lamp uses approximately 60 watts and a computer uses 365 watts. Using an air purifier probably isn't going to impact your electricity bill tremendously.

However, if this is a top concern in your search for an air purifier, consider an Energy-Star rated air purifier or find out how many watts an air purifier actually uses before purchasing it.

7Do all air purifiers clean the same type of pollutants from the air?

People use air purifiers for a wide range of reasons, from basic air cleaning to high volume allergen removal for allergy- and asthma-sufferers. There are air purifiers that remove smoke, pet dander, pollen, and even chemicals.

For the most thorough particle filtration results, look for air purifiers with true HEPA filters. If you want to address odors and chemicals, look for models with carbon filters. To combat airborne germs, newer models are now being equipped with internal ultraviolet lights, in addition to traditional filters.

8Which air purifier is best for me?

This depends on multiple factors including the condition you want to treat, square footage, CADR rating, frequency of filter replacements, type of controls, and much more. Ultimately this choice is a personal one, which is why we supply you with the best information to make an informed decision when choosing an air purifier.

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