Yes, filtered water is cleaner, purer, and healthier — we all know that. But do you really need a whole house water filter installed? Is it worth the price?
In this article, we’ll discuss all of the benefits and cost savings it offers, and provide you with a logical conclusion on whether it’s worth it for your house. Let’s start!
- Benefits of Whole House Water Filters
- Indirect Cost Savings
- Why Is It Important?
- Choosing the whole house water filter—here’s how to do it right!
- How can you tell if you need a whole house water filter?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Benefits of Whole House Water Filters
The main benefit of these filtration systems is that they effectively remove chlorine and other sediments from your tap water. You’ll find this feature available in the cheaper and mid-range whole house water filters too.
Some more expensive ones, sometimes costing thousands of bucks, can provide fancier cleaning technologies like reverse osmosis.
High-end options claim to remove all of the micro-contaminants that may be present in your water, such as chemical by-products, heavy metals, and several forms of bacteria.
The more they cost, the better their capabilities and features get. However, even the reasonably priced whole house water filters get the main cleaning task done, i.e. removing chlorine and sediments.
Chlorine in water can cause several types of allergies and skin irritations when it comes into contact with your skin. If you’ve ever felt itchy after a long swim with eyes gone red, that’s attributed to the pool’s chlorine content. Getting rid of that from your tap water can keep various health risks at bay, especially if you have babies at home.
For finer protection, you can go with options having higher quality water filtering cartridges.
Dig through the specs list to find the cartridge’s micron number if you don’t mind getting a bit nerdy with your online purchase. Lower values mean that the system will easily remove the smaller contaminants in your water.
Indirect Cost Savings
Apart from the direct benefits mentioned above, there’s a long list of potential cost savings on the side. It’s all thanks to a whole house water filtration system.
A whole house water filter might be an enemy of impurities, but a close friend of your plumbing and electrical appliances. They’ll save your taps, water heating systems, washing machines, dishwashers, and every other water-based appliance from accumulating scaling residue.
Scaling occurs when the minerals in hard water stick to surfaces while the water evaporates away, leaving a chalky white buildup on everything the water comes into contact with.
Apart from giving you cleaning nightmares, scaling makes your electrical appliances less energy-efficient and reduces their lifespan. Some of the particles in unfiltered water can even build up over time and lead to corrosion.
This naturally translates into higher repairs, maintenance, and replacement costs. Whole house water filters can lead to tremendous cost savings in those departments. They also keep your electricity bill from going up due to inefficient appliances.
Most importantly, it prevents skin and hair damage caused by impurities in unfiltered water. With chlorine-free water, you can save yourself and your family from long-term health risks. This especially applies if you also drink your tap water.
So, you’ll even be saving up on medical bills without ever knowing it. Keeping all of this in mind, the one-time cost of installing a whole house water filter definitely seems worth it.
Why Is It Important?
To sum things up, let’s discuss the key reasons why it’s essential to have one of these systems installed.
Your water is most probably treated with chlorine, as it’s one of the most common chemicals added to water to ward off bacteria growth.
It kills bacteria and microorganisms to disinfect water. It attacks the bacteria’s cell wall and kills it off, along with other undesirable microorganisms. Chlorine does this through its naturally ‘harsh’ nature, terminating bacteria by penetrating and shutting down its cells.
The bacteria cells modify as a result of chlorine’s attack. However, as great as that sounds, it can also negatively impact human cells when the chemical gets ingested in drinking water or comes into contact with the skin through daily use.
Chlorine’s disinfection capabilities have saved many lives in the last few decades by preventing countless cases of and other waterborne illnesses like dysentery, typhoid fever, etc.
However, some minor skin irritation isn’t the only caveat to all of these benefits. Research shows that drinking chlorine-rich water regularly can significantly increase the risk of cancer.
As you and your family regularly uses (and possibly drink) tap water every day, the harmful effects of chlorine can snowball into serious long-term health concerns.
With a whole house water filtration system in place, you’ll get to enjoy the best of both worlds. The chlorine will disinfect the water and keep it free of bacteria as it reaches your household. Once it gets there, the chlorine will get filtered out, which means you don’t have to deal with either of those issues.
Keeping these safety issues in mind, especially when combined with the cost savings mentioned above, it becomes a no-brainer to get an effective filtration solution installed as soon as possible.
Choosing the whole house water filter—here’s how to do it right!
The market is generous and you might find it challenging to decide which type of filter is most suited for your home. Take note of the essential aspects to check out when selecting the whole house water filter.
Select the type of whole house filter
The type of contaminants in the water is essential when selecting the filter for your homes. We recommend you talk to a professional to see which contaminants require removal from the water flowing into your home. Chlorine, chemicals, sediments, and minerals are standard when the municipal service maintains your main water line.
The filter will remove contaminants such as sediment, iron, and hardness minerals if you connect your home to private water well. The number of contaminants can vary from mild to toxic.
Consider the flow rate of dispensers and appliances
The flow rate is measured in gallons/minute. It refers to the amount of water you may run through your house dispensers: showers, toilets, water heaters, and dishwashers. When selecting the water filter, you need to make sure that you’re in the know about the demands stated by the manufacturer of your appliances and the water dispensers in your home.
For instance, a regular showerhead has a 2.5-5 gallons per minute flow rate, whereas toilets and dishwashers have 3gpm and 5gpm. The number of water dispensers, size of your family, and flow rate of every dispenser are also factors used to identify the most appropriate flow rate for your whole house water filter.
If the water filter has a flow rate lower than the necessary rate, it will cause low water pressure and interrupted water flow.
The durability of the water filter system
The lifespan of the filter will vary on the condition of water you will filter. The quality and quantity of the sediment in the water are also factors to consider when buying. The amount of water that has to be filtered plays a big role too. If the water pressure decreases, you may have waited for too long to change the filter. Ideally, keep records of maintenance so that you can stay on track with the servicing.
Examine the size of the filter
A large filter leads to an increased water supply and a low frequency of maintenance. The port side of the filter is also essential as it affects the gallons per minute and the pressure of water flow. A 4.5”x20” filter is appropriate for an average household. A large house will require a filter with a flow rate of 25gpm and 11/2 in ports.
See that it’s NSF-Certified
The last thing to check on the whole house water filter is the NSF certification. Regardless of the size of the filter you buy, you should see if it’s certified or not. Examine the seal as it tells if the filter system has been tested and approved by the authorities.
How can you tell if you need a whole house water filter?
Not all households require whole house water filters, and some signs will tell you if yours needs one or not.
The water has a funny taste
Municipal water systems are effective at eliminating harmful toxins from tap water. However, the water still tastes terrible in some communities. Even if the water is safe to drink, the high concentration of minerals or too much chlorine leads to a bad taste.
Bad-tasting water is enough of a reason to purchase a water filtration system. If you want to enjoy the convenience of a glass of water right from the tap, you should install a carbon filtration system at the kitchen sink. Install dispensing drinking water through another faucet.
You use well water
Many private wells give healthy and clean water. However, the intense usage of chemicals and pesticides has contaminated many private wells. Regular carbon filters cannot remove the dangerous toxins in healthy water. A reverse osmosis (RO) system is necessary to remove pesticides, heavy metals, and nitrates from the healthy water. Such a system can also eliminate carcinogens as nitrate and arsenic.
With a RO system, the water will be crystal clear and, more importantly, safe and better tasting.
The clothes seem dingy after washing
Even if you buy the expensive detergents, you notice that your whites are never as white as you want, and the colors start to fade. More often than not, the detergent or the washer aren’t the cause, but it’s the content of your home’s water. A high level of iron in water can cause a rusty hue to light-colored clothing, whereas hard water can make your clothes look dull and grey.
An under-sink filter won’t be enough to reduce the shading of your laundered clothes. You will need a whole house water filter that removes minerals, iron, sediment, and other contaminants that make clothes look dingy. You should have it installed on the primary water supply pipe, right where it gets in your home.
You do too much scrubbing
Most of us try to stay on top of cleaning and rub sinks, toilets, bathrooms, etc., once or twice a week. However, if you need to rub the fixtures to remove the soap scum constantly, the water in your home is too hard. High levels of magnesium and calcium stop soap and other cleaners from working and rinse away with water. As a result, a layer of soap residues on your fixtures will always be present and make your fixtures look unsightly and dull. When the water is hard, you will have difficulties lather with shampoo and hand soap. Install a whole house water filter that removes minerals for sparkling fixtures.
Your house was built before 1986
1986 was the year when lead was banned in water supply pipes. If your house was built before that year, some lead particles might still get into your drinking water from the lead solder used to seal joints on copper pipes or from the lead-based pipes. Lead poses a high risk for health and is harmful, especially for children younger than 6.
The good thing is that removing lead from the drinking water is easier than thought. Install an under-sink carbon filter beneath every sink for drinking water in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will you pay to install a whole house water filtration system?
Expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $4,200 to install a whole house water filter. You will pay between $5,000 and $15,000 to purchase and install a commercial grade system. The type, number of stages of filtration, and how many gallons a filter can clean will impact the final price for the system. The prices range from $300 to $3,500. Don’t forget to add materials and labor, which cost from $300 to $700.
Does the whole house water filter require maintenance?
A whole house water filter is an appliance and needs regular maintenance, similar to any other device. The entire house water filter lasts longer than the point-of-use filters. However, some of its components require replacement from time to time.
What happens if you postpone replacing the whole house water filter?
Typically, if you don’t change the water filter when it’s time, it will not be able to work at the best capacity. It will be only a matter of time until it doesn’t do its job correctly. Therefore, it won’t be able to filter the water and become useless.
Is it possible to clean a whole house water filter?
You can clean your whole house water filter. Use some warm water with one/two spoonfuls of bleach and a brush to scrub off the paper layer on both sides. You should sanitize the filter by soaking it in a water-bleach mixture. If necessary, you can clean the housing while the filter is washing. Rinse everything with clear water when you’re done.
What’s the lifespan for a whole house filter?
The lifespan of whole house water filters varies according to their type. A pre-filter will last for 3 to 6 months and a carbon filter can last up to 12 months. Expect a post-filter to last up to a year.