Over recent years, whole house water filtration systems have almost become a necessary appliance in every home.
It is no longer enough to rely on your provider for safe and clean water especially if the water contains chlorine or dangerous contamination.
The use of water filtration systems continue to expand from just the kitchen faucet where clean drinking water and water for cooking are necessary to the entire home and even the whole property.
More and more homeowners are now using whole house systems regardless of their water source to be sure no one comes in contact with dangerous chemicals hiding in their water.
Table of Contents
- What is a Whole House Water Filter?
- What are the Different Types of Whole House Water Filters?
- What are the Benefits of Having Whole House Water Filter?
- What are the Drawbacks of a Water Filtration System?
- How Much Will It Cost to Have a Whole House Filtration System?
- How Can I Choose the Right Filtration System?
What is a Whole House Water Filter?
A whole house water filter system means installing water filters at the entry point of the water system. So before water is distributed to any point in the house, it must go through the filtration system.
Instead of putting individual water filters on every faucet or point of use, you only have to maintain one water filter system that will distribute clean water throughout your home.
These systems often come as a kit containing all the parts needed for complete water treatment.
How Does the Whole House Water Filtration System Work?
Whole home water filters remove any undesired contaminants like chlorine in the water and then supply filtered water through the plumbing system.
Depending on the water filter system, the specific filtration process could vary. They can be customized to deal with any chemicals or contaminants found in your water test resport.
What are the Water Sources that Needs a Whole House Water Filter System?
Whole house water filter systems work on different water sources. Whether you are in the mountains or urban area, it is still a good idea to have a water filtration system.
Experts recommend installing a whole house water filter if you have any of the following water sources:
Open Well Water
Open well water means the water could be compromised by animals, fallen debris, spilled chemicals, and sand.
Unless you want to take a risk with your health, you have to filter this water.
If you are using a river or spring water supply at home, you cannot be sure about its quality, especially if you are not connecting a water line directly at the point where the water comes out of the ground.
Like open water sources, parasites and disease-carrying bacteria, contamination from the environment and other waste and sediment could travel to your point of collection.
Deep Well Water
You might think that it is always safe to consume deep well tap water in your home but you are mistaken.
There is no guarantee that deep well water is properly filtered by the ground. Clean rain water can be considered safe once it has filtered down to a deep well, but there are many chemicals in our environment today.
Naturally occurring chemicals such as those that create hardness, lead, arsenic, and others can be naturally present in your area.
At the very least, your well pump may pull up sediment that needs a sediment pre-filter to protect the appliances in your home.
Local Water Provider
Just because the local water provider has processed the water before distributing to your home, it does not mean you should not filter the water.
City water (or municipal water) often contains chemicals like chlorine which are used for processing the water from the source. Your city may add fluoride or other substances you don’t want to consume.
Plus, city water can be hard or can contain hazardous chemicals that can’t be filtered at a large scale before they reach your home.
Do You Need to Filter Laundry and Other Non-Drinking Water?
Not only drinking and cooking water need to be filtered…
Water used for other purposes like appliances and bathing also require filtration.
There are harmful contaminants which can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin while bathing.
Bad odors and colors from the water in the washing machine could stain your laundry.
Buildup of hard minerals or other chemicals can damage faucets, appliances, and the items that come in contact with the water over time.
What are the Different Types of Whole House Water Filters?
There are many whole house systems available to help fix any water quality issues.
Cartridge filter systems are filtration systems where you place a tubular filter inside a casing or housing and then water passes through the filter while leaving contaminants behind.
These are commonly used to filter out larger particles, like silt, sand, and sediment.
Carbon filters are a common final stage in the process to remove chlorine, smells, and tastes before they reach your tap.
A typical whole house water filter system will have a large, closed tank with a combination of filter media inside.
By combining filtration types like activated carbon media, greensand, specialized filter media, and others, these systems will remove many known and unknown chemicals.
Sediment filters are often paired with these larger systems.
If your water contains one of a few select contaminants that are harder to remove, a specialized whole house water filter system may be needed, often along side a standard combination filter.
High levels of bacteria, lead, iron, nitrates, sulfur, minerals (hardness), or arsenic are all problems that may require a specialized filter to remove.
A water softener (water conditioner) is a special kind of filter that specifically removes hard water minerals and you can add one to any other filter setup.
Reverses osmosis is a very common and effective water filter type on undersink water filters, but can be expensive for the whole house. However, whole house RO filters are available for those looking for the ultimate in clean water.
What are the Benefits of Having Whole House Water Filter?
Whole house water filtration has become popular because of the benefits homeowners can enjoy with cleaner water.
When every point of use in your home has filtered water, you don’t have to worry about staining, damage, smells, tastes, or contamination no matter where you use the water.
Even the air quality is improved when chemicals are not dispersed by steam or vapors.
People, pets, and plants are all affected by unclean water and a reduction in contaminants with a water treatment system helps everyone.
What Can Filters Remove From the Water?
Depending on the filter type, whole house water filters can effectively remove various contaminants from the water.
Any water source in the U.S. will often contain calcium and magnesium minerals. Water softeners (or a water conditioner) will remove these and prevent white scale from forming on faucets and inside of appliances and protect your family from dry skin and dull hair.
When it comes to health, bacteria and other harmful microorganisms are the top contaminants everyone wants to remove from their water since exposure to them can cause many health problems.
There are ultraviolet water filters which can effectively remove these harmful organisms.
There are dangerous chemicals in the water especially near industrial and agricultural areas or where the ground has been contaminated.
Common toxic chemicals that can mix with water are pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
These chemicals are very harmful to the skin and other parts of the body and can cause serious illness and disease.
Due to the long life of perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS), they can remain even if the water is treated by other means.
Bad Odor and Taste
Water from any source can have bad smells or tastes due to natural substances or contamination. Bad water odor in the bathroom is more apparent with shower steam.
Carbon media filters integrated into a larger system will improve both the smell and taste of your water.
Chlorine is a common ingredient in city tap water that has a particular chlorine taste, smell and can be harmful to skin and lungs.
Well water can have a rotten egg sulfur smell that fouls the air in your bathrooms.
The cost of a whole house water filter is reasonable compared to installing individual water filters to all faucets inside your home.
You only need to maintain one system instead of multiple filters, which saves you money in the long run.
Paying the water bill may already be expensive where you live, so it’s important to maximize the value of the water you buy.
Improve Water Quality
As long as you install the right whole house filter system based on your water test, you can significantly improve the quality of your water everywhere you use it.
Whether you drink water from the kitchen, bathroom or even the backyard, safe and clean water are available everywhere.
By ensuring that all the water you and your family use and drink are safe and clean, the health of your entire family is improved.
You do not have to worry about your family member getting sick or developing chronic health issues because of your water.
What are the Drawbacks of a Water Filtration System?
Although it is beneficial to use whole home water filtration systems, it doesn’t mean that there are no drawbacks.
Extra Space Needed
Home water filtration systems require more space than installing a water filter at one of the faucets.
If you add sediment filters, carbon filters and water softeners, you would need more space for the home filter system.
Since you are installing a comprehensive whole house water system, you have to invest more compared to buying one filter for your faucet.
The cost starts in the hundreds of dollars and can go into the thousands of dollars depending on the number, capacity, and quality of the filters.
Since you are filtering the entire house, some products can be limited in capacity. This means the water pressure is a little lower than when water is unfiltered.
You can solve this problem by properly sizing the system for your home or you can add an extra tank after the filtration system to store filtered water and increase water pressure.
The Wrong Filtration System Could Lead to Reduced Effectiveness
If you add the wrong whole house filtration system to your plumbing, you might still have undesirable substances in your water.
Be sure to shop based on the results of professional water testing so that you know exactly what problems need to be fixed before they reach your tap.
Filtration systems need regular maintenance to be effective and efficient. While not constant, each filter will eventually need to be replaced, depending on the type and amount of work it is doing.
How Much Will It Cost to Have a Whole House Filtration System?
Depending on the whole house filters you use, you could spend as little as a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
If your filtration system requires multiple stages or needs to remove a unique contaminant, expect your costs to go up for the initial purchase.
It is important to research the best whole house water filters on the market since their prices vary depending on the brand and model. Sales and coupons for these products are common and a great way to save money!
How Can I Choose the Right Filtration System?
Know Your Water Source
Knowing your source can help you determine the best place to start.
Do you use city water? Many problems may already be removed but there could still be hard minerals, chlorine left over from the sanitation process, fluoride, or hazardous chemicals from contamination.
Is your water supply coming from a well or another natural source? Hard minerals, environmental contamination, and natural substances such as lead, arsenic, and iron could be present. There are special water filters for well water and systems to remove iron.
Determine the Contaminants You Want to Filter
It is recommended to get professional water testing done to know exactly what is hiding in your water. Your city or town may have good information from large scale testing, but every location can still have unknown dangers.
Is there a high lead content in the water? What about chlorine? There might be hydrogen sulfide, pesticides, or herbicides in the water. Iron and various metals might also be normal in your tap water.
Odors and tastes can be removed from your water as long as you choose the right options like carbon media filters.
Not all minerals are bad and low levels of some healthy minerals can be good.
How Much Pressure You Want Throughout the House?
When you install a filter, you need to know that the pressure on delivery can decrease compared to unfiltered pipelines. It is important that the system you choose is properly sized for the number of people and bathrooms in your home.
If all of the bathrooms are in use at once, you may notice a drop in pressure.
How Much is Your Budget for Replacement Filters?
Aside from the initial cost of your filtration system, you must prepare a budget for replacement of consumable filters on a regular basis.
Some parts, like a sediment pre-filter, can be cleaned and replaced.
You can hire a professional to install the filter in your home, but many popular manufacturers offer a DIY installation kit, which help you to install on your own.
You’ll be surprised to know that there are companies that provide lifetime warranty to their clients for the filtration system.
If this is important to you, be sure to look for home filters with a long or lifetime warranty.
Consult with Water Experts
If you are still unsure of your choice, you can hire water experts to visit your home and/or review the results of your water testing.
Many of the most popular water filter manufacturers will give you free consultations on your water test results without any obligation to buy.
With all potential threats and the need to have safe and clean water, it is important to consider a whole house water filter system.