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April 2022

About Whole Home Water Filters: Everything You Need to Know

Drinking water is one of the most important things we can do to improve and maintain our health and the health of our family members. But most water carries within it any number of contaminants that can affect our well-being. 

Filtration systems are a great way to get rid of those contaminants in our drinking water so we can hydrate with clean, clear, great tasting water. 

You can get filtered water from bottles, but bottled water is expensive and the containers are harmful for the environment. The best way, then, to start enjoying clean drinking water in your own home is through a home water filtration system. 

And if you really want to do everything you can for your health and the health of your family, the best filtration option is a whole house water filtration system. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry — we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about whole house water filters, like how these filters work and their benefits, and answer questions you might have along the way. 

What Is a Whole House Water Filter?

Let’s start at the beginning. Whole house water filtration systems are hooked up directly to your home’s main water supply. From there, they filter out contaminants, and filtered water is then sent through your home’s pipes to feed into your faucets, showerheads, toilets, and water-using appliances. 

Unlike other water filters that only clean small amounts of water at a time, whole house water filter systems filter every drop of water in your home. These powerful filters provide far more than just drinking water; they give your entire household clean water to cook and clean with, too. 

If you are considering a whole home water filter system for your home, then HomeWater can help. We’ve done the research on whole house water filtration systems so you don’t have to. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know before you buy. 

How Does a Whole Home Water Filter Work?

Most homes in the United States and Canada are hooked up to a city water supply. Water typically goes from a water treatment facility where the water is passed through sediment filters and then treated with chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride to make it safe to drink. 

While government agencies set guidelines for water safety, these standards are unfortunately not always achieved. According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, over 5 million people across the U.S. have recently been exposed to lead in their water that exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommendations for safe drinking water. 

Sadly, this is just one example of the concern with water safety in the United States. Whole house filtration systems are a handy solution to this problem, though, because they can help protect against unsafe water when other safeguards miss the mark. 

Whole house filtration systems act as an intermediary between the city water and the water that comes out of your faucets. By connecting directly to your home’s water supply, whole house water filter systems help filter out contaminants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrogen sulfide, chloramine, manganese, and heavy metals before the water gets to your pipes. 

Once installed, your home’s water will run through a filter that was designed to remove a wide range of harmful contaminants, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, PFOA, PFOS, and hard minerals. Most modern water filtration systems for your home will take advantage of a multistep process that may include water softening, an activated carbon filter, and a reverse osmosis filter. 

The filtered water that is produced offers many advantages for your health, as well as the integrity of your home’s pipes, faucets, and appliances that use water (like your water heater, washing machine, and refrigerator, to name a few examples). 

What Are the Benefits of a Whole Home Water Filter?

Whole home water filters are increasing in popularity for many reasons. Some of the advantages of filtering all of the water in your home include benefits to your health, home, and pocketbook. 

Improved Health for You and Your Family 

Everyone needs water to survive, but contaminated water can actually harm your health. Filtering your water at home with a whole home filter will give you peace of mind that you and your family are always drinking pure, clean water. 

If you are unsure about your home’s water quality, you can always order a water test kit and perform a water test to be sure. High-quality filters using the latest technology will help ensure your water never has significant amounts of harmful contaminants. 

Protection for Your Home

Water with all that extra “stuff” in it is not only bad for your health, but it can also cause damage to your home. Minerals found in hard water can damage your pipes, faucets, showers, and appliances. 

That’s because calcium and other minerals stick to nearly any surface they touch, and over time build up and cause damage and wear. As we’ll soon see, softening or conditioning your water can prevent buildup and may extend the life of your home’s pipes and water fixtures. 

Better Tasting Water 

If you have well water, a whole house water filter system will mean your tap water will not only be better tasting, but it will be cleaner for washing your dishes, and for taking baths and showers as well. 

Whole house water filter systems are also great at disinfecting your water without negatively affecting your water flow rate. 

If you’ve noticed a chlorine taste to your water, that’s likely due to water disinfection processes at your local municipal water treatment plant. A whole house water filter is an excellent way to eliminate that chlorine taste and start enjoying better-tasting water throughout your home. 

Substantial Cost Savings 

There are several ways that using a whole house water filter can help save you money. By eliminating contaminants in your water, whole house water filters can extend the life of your home’s pipes and water-using appliances, saving you a bundle in the long run. And if your family buys bottled water, then a whole house water filtration system can save you hundreds of dollars every year. 

Additionally, many whole house water filters have low yearly maintenance costs and can be more cost-effective than some other filter alternatives. 

What Are the Benefits of a Whole Home Water Softener?

Water softeners and water conditioners are popular add-on components to whole house water filtration systems. But what exactly is the purpose of water softeners and water conditioners?

What Is the Difference Between Hard Water and Soft Water?

First, let’s talk about what we mean by hard water and soft water. Generally speaking, water hardness simply describes how much calcium and magnesium is dissolved in your water. If your water has a lot of dissolved calcium and magnesium, it’s considered hard water. Conversely, if it’s low in these dissolved minerals, you have what’s called soft water.

Where Does Scale Buildup Come From?

If your municipal water is hard water, you may have noticed calcium buildup on things like your showerhead in the form of a white, chalky substance that is difficult to remove. When hard water is heated, it leaves behind these calcium deposits which are sometimes referred to as scale. You might also notice scale on your glassware after it has been run through the dishwasher. 

Scale buildup can reduce the life of your water-using appliances — especially your water heater — and it can even clog your pipes. By removing calcium and magnesium from your water, you can make it soft. 

What Are Water Softeners and How Are They Useful?

Water softeners are used to reduce water hardness and scale buildup in your home. Traditional water softeners use a process of ion exchange where calcium and magnesium ions in the water get exchanged for sodium ions from salt.

This process is the reason you need to refill water softeners with heavy bags of salt. 

What Is a Water Conditioner?

Some whole home water filtration systems use a process called water conditioning to treat water. Water that is conditioned binds calcium and magnesium molecules so that they won’t stick to surfaces like pipes and faucets. 

One advantage of water conditioning is that you won’t need any salt to make it work, requiring less maintenance and upkeep for the homeowner. 

How Easy Is It to Install a Whole House Water Filter?

Compared to other varieties of home water filtration systems, installing a whole house water treatment system can be complicated, and you may require professional assistance. 

Because the installation of whole house water filtration systems requires hardware, these systems are generally not recommended for people who are renting their living space. Instead, these water treatment systems are best used in a home that you own. 

Many companies that sell whole house water filters will offer affordable — and sometimes even free — installation with a purchase. Alternatively, you can call a plumber for installation assistance. 

If you’re planning on installing one of these whole house water filter systems on your own, keep in mind that whole house water filters can differ in both size and complexity, depending on the needs of your house. That said, if you’re feeling up to the challenge of installation, you can go the DIY route by using an install kit and following these seven steps to get your whole house water filtration system up and running:  

Step 1: Choose a location for your filter. 

Step 2: Shut off your main tap water supply or water source to lower the water pressure and let the system drain. 

Step 3: Cut your pipes and install a new shut-off valve. 

Step 4: Place in the new fittings for your filter. 

Step 5: Install your filter and secure your fittings. 

Step 6: Turn your water back on and check for any leaks. 

Step 7: Install replacement filters as needed. 

Do I Need a Whole House Water Filter Cartridge/Pre-Filter?

Whole house water filters typically require a filter cartridge. Often these filter cartridges are composed of carbon block filters or activated carbon filters. 

These types of filters absorb chemicals, minerals, and other contaminants, and will need to be replaced periodically to maintain their effectiveness, similar to a refrigerator filter or a water pitcher filter you may already be using at home. 

How Often Do I Need to Install Replacement Filters?

Every filter type will have a different lifespan, and if your whole house filtration system employs multiple stages, each using a different kind of filtration, then you will be replacing filters at different times throughout the lifespan of your system. 

How long your filters last will vary on the filter type and brand and the water supply to which it is connected. Get in touch with a customer service representative from the company that supplied your whole house water filtration system to learn more about the specific lifespans of your various filters. 

What Is the Best Whole House Water Filter System?

We’ve learned what whole house water filters are, how they work, and why they’re important for you, your family, and your home. If you’ve decided that a whole house water filtration system is right for your home, you’re probably wondering where to find the best option. 

There are many different companies that provide whole house water filters, including iSpring, Pelican, and Aquasana. But one of the leaders in this industry — and a company that’s well worth looking into — is HomeWater. 

HomeWater offers a variety of whole house water filter systems that can be tailored to the needs of you and your family, and they have years of experience providing top-notch products and excellent customer service. 

Learn more about how HomeWater’s whole house water filtration system options can help your family enjoy better water throughout your home. And check out HomeWater’s blog if you’d like to find out about a variety of water filtration topics, like the benefits of ionized alkaline water or the ins and outs of whole-house reverse osmosis systems.

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