There’s no denying that a home water softening system is a major investment. When it comes time to invest in your water softener, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of renting versus buying the system. Most consumers would prefer to purchase and own their system outright, but some may find the expense too high, and renting might be the better option.
Is a water softener practical?
Before diving headfirst into a financial investment, it’s best to determine whether your home actually needs a water softener. Test your water yourself or have the friendly water softening pros at Advantage do it for you. If your water is measuring over 10 grains per gallon of calcium carbonate, then you need some sort of water softening. To get a better picture of how hard water affects the United States, check out this handy map.
You’ll also want to ensure that your home has enough physical space to accommodate a water softener. A typical dual tank system needs around 1.5 cubic feet of space near your home’s water supply entry point. If that doesn’t exist, a softening system might not be an option.
Considerations for renting versus buying a water softening system
Do you own or rent your home?
If you own your home, purchasing a water softener will provide long-term water softening and increase your home value, should you decide to sell down the road. If you rent your home, you’ll need to consult with your landlord before making a change. Some might not allow a water softener installation.
How long do you plan to use the softener?
If you do own your home, chances are that you plan to live in it for several years. If you are a renter, you’ll want to evaluate how long you plan to stay in the rental before deciding since the cost of installing and moving the water softener may not be worth it.
What’s your budget?
It’s no secret that purchasing a water softener comes with significant upfront costs. Even the cheapest softening systems can run well over $1,000. On the other hand, renting that same system could be less than $30 per month and far more practical for someone in a short-term living situation.
Pros and cons of renting and buying a water softener
All in all, both renting and buying have their distinct pros and cons, and it’s up to the customer to decide which option better suits them. Here’s a quick list of advantages and disadvantages to help make the decision easier.
Pros of buying
• More freedom for choosing a softener- some systems aren’t available for rental so purchasing allows customers more freedom to choose the system they really want as opposed to available rentals.
• More energy efficiency- Because your system is new, it will be more cost-effective.
• Purchase warranties can be helpful- new water softeners typically come with a one-year warranty though some can last longer, depending on the particular part or manufacturer.
• Once it’s paid for, you own it outright- unlike a rental, once the balance is paid (whether through one lump payment or a payment plan) the only recurring costs would be salt supply and any needed maintenance or repairs.
- Cons of buying
• High initial investment- if you choose a high-end water softener, the total could be over $2,000.
• Paying for repairs- once your warranty expires, any needed repairs would be your responsibility.
- Pros of renting
• No costly down payment- renting a water softener doesn’t typically require putting down a ton of money.
• No long-term commitment- Rentals can typically be canceled should you not find it worth the cost.
• Maintenance is included- Maintenance and repairs are typically covered with rentals. Customers should normally only need to purchase salt.
- Cons of renting
• Limited selection- not all water softener models will be available for rent.
• More repairs- rentals are typically older units and may require more repairs.
• Less economical in the long run- should you want to keep your water softener for several years, you’ll spend more on a rental.
Is it better to rent or buy a water softener?
Ultimately, the choice between buying and renting your water softener comes down to crunching a few numbers. If you own your home, how long do you plan to live there? If you rent, do you plan to stay there for several years? With Advantage Water Conditioning rentals, many customers find that renting is only feasible in rented residences or if they know ahead of time that the residence is short-term. Even if you only own your home for five years or less, the cost of buying a water softener could still be factored into your sale price so there is the opportunity to make your money back. Should you have any more questions about renting or buying your new water softening system, call the pros at Advantage Water Conditioning.