When looking for a "green" water softener, it is important to keep in mind that all water softeners are green.
By removing the minerals from your home's water, you are allowing your water using appliances to operate more efficiently, thereby saving energy and water.
- In the case of a washing machine and dishwasher, you can eliminate detergents with chemical water softeners and use pure soap, which is beneficial to the environment.
- Finally, by removing the minerals which build up and form scale in your water using appliances, you will prolong their life, keeping them out of a landfill for a while longer.
All water softeners use salt and water to clean themselves, but when sized properly, they can be dialed in to be very efficient. A water softener is not a one size fits all type of machine. By all means, you can purchase one locally, have it installed and enjoy soft water; but to have that system operating efficiently and not wasting a ton of salt and water, you want to consult with a local water professional. They will test your water, make sure that there is nothing else in the water which may interfere with the softener's ability to soften the water and adjust the system so that it will run as efficiently as possible.
I have been a dealer for EcoWater Systems for 15 years and they have just introduced a program which purchases carbon credits for every softener that they make. I have not heard of any other manufacturer offering this yet.
As far as the PEX goes, there are no issues with a water softener and PEX.