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We can all agree that whole house water filters are a big blessing. Not many areas and communities are fortunate enough to receive quality, clean water. However, whole house water filters help circumvent many of the common water purity issues.
Since water filtration for the whole house has become almost a norm in the US, the choices have skyrocketed. Both well-established brands and new entrants are making all sorts of products. This, obviously, translates into a lot of confusion.
Similarly, confusion also arises about where to buy a whole house water filter from. You’re probably thinking, do I go to a store or shop online? Is Amazon a good place to buy, or do I directly buy from the manufacturer?
Allow us to help you out, as we have boiled down all the information you need in this regard. In this article, we’ll explore the different options along with their advantages and disadvantages.
So, here is our guide on where to buy a whole house water filter!
- 1 Where to Buy a Whole House Water Filter?
- 2 What to Consider When Deciding Where to Buy a Whole House Water Filter
- 3 Conclusion
Where to Buy a Whole House Water Filter?
Regardless of where you end up buying your whole house water filter from, your ultimate goal is to find one that fulfills your needs and is well within your budget. That applies to both new and used filtration systems.
Typically, you can shop for a whole house water filter from online marketplaces, big-box retailers, manufacturer websites and local water expert stores/businesses.
Before we talk about each, it’s important to note that you should know what you’re looking for beforehand. Making a list can help immensely, even if you’re just browsing for now. The top entry on this list should be the contaminants you’re dealing with.
Most water filter manufacturers and brands nowadays directly sell to customers online through their own websites. This essentially cuts out any middle man, and many customers find this way to be more reliable.
There are many benefits of visiting the manufacturers’ websites directly and buying from there. The thing is, the manufacturer or brand makes the filter, so they know everything about it.
Plus, you can expect them to deliver the complete appliance with all its parts, along with the owner’s manual. Missing parts when ordering from retailers or whole sellers is often a complaint with systems and appliances that require assembly.
This is also a good option if you have already decided which brand you want to buy. There is no need to deal with lots of listings and product choices. Another thing to note is that manufacturers often present a lot of details about the products on their website, which can be immensely helpful when you make the final call and choose the product.
Those who have unique water needs that most whole house water filters may not meet can take advantage of customization offered by the different brands on their website. For instance, if you need a UV filter for dealing with bacteria in water, you can customize the whole house water filter to have this option post-filtration.
Another example is when you want a system that filters water and also purifies it to remove hardness (water softener). You can easily customize the whole house water filter to have this included, along with other treatment options. Also, you can pick filters by the type of water: city or well.
Everybody loves a good bargain, and that’s yet another benefit when shopping directly from the manufacturer. Since there’s no middleman involved, they can offer lower prices. In addition to that, they offer better warranties and money-back guarantees.
Since whole house water filters are expensive systems, some even offer complimentary shipping or long-term financing options. If you gave up on whole house filters looking at the exorbitant prices, you might want to look at manufacturer sites, just once at least.
- Makes it easier to choose
- Low prices (factory prices)
- Other money-saving offers like holiday discounts, bundle offers, free delivery, etc.
- Quality products with no damage
- Possibility of customization
- Expert customer support before and after purchasing
- Financing option
- Add-on accessories at low cost
- Easier to make claims on warranties as you are buying directly from the brand
- Fake reviews and testimonies
- Limited variety
Online: Retail Store or Large Marketplace
Even if you’ve already made up your mind that you’ll buy your whole house filter from a brick and mortar store, it’s typically best to start with an online retail store or marketplace. It’s also a great option if you don’t know which brand or type of filter you want.
Amazon, being the world’s biggest marketplace, offers the most variety of models at competitive prices and often times at great discounts. If you’re looking for top brands like Aquasana you can find these at online marketplaces.
Then, you also have other smaller online stores, some of which specialize in household appliances like whole house filters. But you have to be a bit careful, ensuring the operations are legit and products genuine.
The good thing about shopping from places like Amazon is that you can use helpful search tools to find particular brands, sizes and prices, among other specifications. Yes, you can use filters to filter out whole house filters (pun intended).
Other advantages include fast delivery, discounts, payment method of your choice and bundle offers (with replacement filters or installation kits). What’s even better is that you can check reviews and ratings by the other customers. While not all reviews are honest, it does help narrow down your choices.
Lastly, some sellers offer a generous return period, usually 30-days. So if you find anything faulty, you can simply return it. You do have to pay a restocking fee at times, though.
- You get many different whole house filtration system models from a variety of manufacturers
- You may use search filters to find exactly what you need
- Customer reviews from verified buyers
- Quick shipping (free or paid)
- Competitive pricing often with discounts
- Dedicated customer service
- Up to 90-days return window (varies by seller or marketplace)
- Counterfeit products make their way into listings sometimes
- Fake 5-star reviews
- Warranty may not apply if bought from someone other than the manufacturer
- Shorter warranty period
- Seller support may be poor
Offline: Local Water Expert
Not every town may have a water expert, but if your town or city does, you’re in luck. These people know everything about water filtration systems and can help you pick out one for your home. This basically eliminates all the guesswork and research work for you.
More importantly, these experts have the knowledge of local water problems, so they know what works and what doesn’t. Some of them can evaluate your water filtration needs for free and make recommendations.
Since they are located nearby, you can always reach out later, too, when it’s time to replace filters or if you run into some problems.
This is a great option for people who don’t have the time to research and don’t want the hassle of ending up with a bad product.
Some of the water experts also offer installation, free or paid. Either way, you won’t have to hire another professional and pay exorbitant labor for that.
That said, all of the benefits do come at a price. Local water treatment experts are usually pricier than online marketplaces and big-box retailers. This is because these are essentially small businesses that don’t really work on economies of scale.
Expensive as it is, on the one hand, it may be a good idea to support a local business, especially one that is helping people drink safer water.
- Experts in the field
- Aware of local water conditions
- Good aftersale support
- One-stop-shop for a complete whole house water filter package
- A limited selection of products (but usually high-quality)
Offline: Local Hardware or Big Box Store
Online buying may have become the new normal, but some of us still prefer driving to the store, picking out the product by ourselves the good old way. If you want to buy a whole house water filter from a physical store, big-box retailers, like Home Depot or Lowes, are a good place to start hunting.
If you prefer going to these big retailers, you’re probably already aware of their prices. Since they buy in bulk, they can keep their profit margins low. That results in good discounts for the customers.
Typically, the discounts are really good on products like whole house filters because these are pricey products. Also, they have a decent variety, so the chances of finding your preferred brands are good.
While local hardware stores can offer better prices than specialty retailers, they do attract a lot of customers. You’ll definitely need some luck finding parking on the weekends there!
Another reason you might find yourself better off buying online is that you’d still have to research online beforehand. Unlike specialty stores and online retailers with detailed descriptions and reviews, don’t expect the sales staff to help you find the ideal water filter for your home. In other words, their sales staff may not have the technical expertise to advise you.
However, things are different if you go to a specialty store where the staff is generally more knowledgeable.
- Highly competitive pricing
- Special discounts on holidays
- Everything under one roof (filters, installation kit, servicing and replacement filters)
- No need to wait for delivery
- Quality not guaranteed
- Lacks technical customer support
- Latest models often arrive late
- Limited warranty
What to Consider When Deciding Where to Buy a Whole House Water Filter
Before you swipe that credit card or count the cash to pay for a whole house water filter, here are a few important things to consider, regardless of where you buy it from:
Of course, pricing is perhaps the first thing you consider. Giant marketplaces like Amazon and big-box retailers like Walmart can easily offer the lowest prices of all. However, since not everything that shines is gold, make sure to look out for any trade-offs (no warranty or refurbished products).
Always read the return policy no matter where you’re buying the system from. These tend to vary based on the seller.
This is an expensive appliance, and you don’t want to end up with something that has been damaged or simply doesn’t work for you. A return window of 30-days is good enough to take it for a spin and send it back for a refund if it’s not up to mark or faulty.
You probably don’t care for customer service when buying a t-shirt, but you should definitely care for it when buying a whole house water filter. Even if you’re buying from a marketplace, the seller should be able to answer your queries.
This is important because you may need technical support with installation and maintenance. Since the system is crucial for your home, you should also look into how efficient the customer service is. You don’t want to wait for days to get a response in case the filter stops working.
The biggest tell that a retailer is not worth your money is the site user experience. With so many products on the website or marketplace, there should be easy ways for you to sort out and narrow down your choices. So filters like price, brand, type, size and even certifications are necessary.
Some have very detailed markers for sorting out water filters, such as contaminants, filtration capacity, number of stages, etc. These advanced search features can come in very handy when looking for the #1 whole house water filter.
For something pricey and prone to logistical damage like a whole house water filter, you want to pay attention to the shipping. Check which courier company the seller uses for shipping (USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, or another?).
Amazon has reliable shipping, as many whole house water filters are Prime eligible, which means their own truck or van will deliver it in a matter of hours.
Also, make sure they deliver to your specific area. Some retailers don’t ship such products everywhere.
There should be some kind of shipping insurance you can purchase or a money-back guarantee on damages that occur during shipping.
In conclusion, you have 4 options for where to buy a whole house water filter.
- Online directly from a manufacturer/brand
- Online from a retail store or large marketplace
- Offline from a local water expert
- Offline from a hardware or big box store
Each option has its pros and cons. For example, if you buy online from a brand you get manufacturer-direct savings, but the selection is limited.
In contrast, marketplaces like Amazon have plenty of products and product lines, but you might have to pay a higher price tag.
What else to consider when buying? Customer service, a money-back guarantee and shipping insurance are some of the important factors.
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-  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S147789391500174X
-  https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/natural-environment/air-water-quality
Jason is the founder of Water Masterz and head of content creation. After six years in the industry, he has tremendous knowledge and first-hand experience on all things related to water treatment.
His credo: Not a single American should have to drink unhealthy water at home.