If you currently have a water softener in your home and have noticed that your water is tasting foul again, now maybe a good time to replace it.  When it comes to finding the best water softener for your home, there are a few things you want to look out for, for example, if it is energy star rated, you may be able to get money back from your electricity company.  The other thing you want to pay attention to is how long the unit and tank warranty is for and how long the company has been around for.

Companies like Culligan and Fleck who have been around for decades you can be reasonably assured that they will continue to be around to support your unit, however, if you purchase some unknown brand, they might be out of business in a couple of years.  When replacing your water softener, you should also check on the condition of your water heater, if your water heater is more than 5 or 8 years old, now maybe a good time to look at replacing it as well.  The other thing you should keep in mind is whether the manufacturer will extend the warranty of your unit if a professional plumber installs it.  Many manufacturers will offer you an additional year or two if you have the unit professionally installed.  While installing a water softener isn't too complicated, if you have never had a water softener in your home or you have copper piping that needs to be soldered, it may make sense to have a professional do the installation for you.  The other thing you will want to do, before purchasing a water softener is to shop around, besides your local hardware stores, check online to see if any manufacturers or plumbing supply stores offer units for a better price.