Many of us have experienced the impact of limescale within our homes and sometimes on an almost daily basis, but have you ever considered it’s effect on your home appliances? Studies show that over 60% of the UK live in a hard water area, which greatly increases the amount of limescale build-up on and within home appliances. Whether it’s at the bottom of your kettle, or stuck to heating elements inside your boiler, unfortunately the true effects often remain un-seen and it’s these ‘hidden’ areas that can end up costing you the most.
Let’s take a look at the impact of limescale build up on some of the most common home appliances:
Has your dishwasher ever finished a cleaning cycle and left you wondering if it’s ever been on at all? Limescale could be the culprit. Water that is high in mineral content (like in hard water areas) can leave what is known as ‘spotting’ on glassware and shiny surfaces, making them look dirty and un-clean. Not only that, but scale can also build-up on the heating element within your machine, which over time hinders it’s cleaning ability.
Boilers are notorious for decreasing in efficiency as they age, but have you ever wondered what the cause may be? Research has found that even as little as 1.6mm of scale build up can cause a loss of up to 12% in heating efficiency, which means that if you live in a hard water area then you’re likely wasting money on heating your home. Limescale is made up mainly of Calcium and Magnesium which are poor conductors of heat, which is why it’s important to take preventative measures to reduce, or remove any scale build up.
Like boilers and dishwashers, washing machines use heating elements to warm-up your water during the cleaning process. Unfortunately they are also prone to scale build-up in other area’s such as the drum, pump and hoses, which can lead to costly repairs or even replacement if not dealt with.
If you live in a hard water area you are probably aware of how quickly limescale can build up within your kettle. Kettles are notoriously difficult to manage as the heating element is usually in direct contact with your water, unlike most other home appliances. Excessive limescale build up can cause a visible film on the top of your hot-drink and leave behind unpleasant sediment deposits.
Is There A Solution?
Depending on the appliance you’re concerned about, there may be solutions to combat the effect of limescale head on. One example is the use of a detergent which is specially formulated to soften your water and protect your machine (often including a form of de-scaler and or salt).
Where it gets more complicated however, are the appliances that you cannot simply add a detergent to. One such example is your boiler, which is often part of a ‘closed loop’ or ‘open loop’ heating system and is typically connected directly to your mains water supply in the home. As it is connected to your mains water supply your options are limited, one of these options is to use a Domestic Water Softener to soften your water before it gets to your boiler. A Water Softener uses a process called ion exchange to remove the hardness molecules from your water (like Calcium and Magnesium) leaving behind soft water which not only prevents scale build up, but reduces any existing scale over time.
Should You Buy A Water Softener
The average home can expect to save around £200 per year on both appliance and heating bills after installing a Water Softener. It’s important to look around if you want to maximise cost efficiency, with systems varying greatly in price once installation is considered. One way of saving money on your home water softening system is to purchase one online from a supplier like Ultra Soft Water Softeners and to arrange installation separately.
Using this method you may be able to save upwards of 50% on your final installation versus a supply to fit alternative, keeping your home as cost efficient (and limescale free) as possible.
The Effect Of Limescale On Home Appliances is a feature post