I installed a hot water heater in my house about 6 months ago. I recently had to replace a burnt out heating element and thermostat for an unrelated issue. When I replaced the heating element, I looked inside my hot water heater and found a large amount of what appeared to be calcium and other minerals built up at the bottom of the tank. My girlfriend and I have also been noticing that our skin is sometimes itchy after we take a shower because we both have very sensitive skin. I saw that my hot water comes out kind of cloudy so I got a water tester and found that there was 200ppm of minerals in it compared to 70 ppm for regular cold tap water. We have town water and sewer connections.
I was wondering if there was something I could buy to remove the minerals prior to the cold water getting into my hot water heater. I was looking at doing this to possibly cut down on the built up minerals at the bottom of my hot water heater and also potentially help us with the itchy skin.
Would I be better off buying a big filter or should I consider a whole water softening system? I feel pretty confident with plumbing with PEX lines but I was just wondering what would be more cost effective and beneficial for us.