Water Filter Benefits, Pros & Cons – Whole House Systems and More

Author: Lisa Keller - Published: 2021/09/02 - Updated: 2021/09/15

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Whole house water filters are nothing short of a blessing. They save your kids, elders, and the entire household from the hazardous effects of not-so-clean water. You may ask, does it end here?

Luckily, whole house filters provide benefits way beyond what goes in your tummy. They help improve indoor air quality, save you money on plumbing repairs and pay for themselves in the long run.

But, since we have done our research we know there are drawbacks, too. So, stay tuned for an honest review of these systems.

So, here is our take on whole house water filter benefits, pros and cons!

What is a Whole House Water Filter?

Unless you are living under a rock, you must know about water filtration and why it is imperative for most households. But what on earth is a whole house water filter and do you even need it?

The answer is simple, whole house water filters purify every drop of water in your house. Whether you drink it, brush your teeth with it, use it for cooking or showering; the water has been filtered and is hopefully free from unwanted pathogens and pollutants.

While it’s true that city water is disinfected and filtered at the source, often it doesn’t come close to the extent of purification achieved by an in-house filtration system. And when it rolls down to private wells, the water has never seen any kind of treatment before flowing through your taps.

In both applications, the prospect of unfiltered tap water is bleak.

Benefits of Whole House Water Filters

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Like any technology, whole house water filtration has its set of advantages and disadvantages. Here we discuss the main strengths and limitations of these systems so you can make an informed decision.

Better Health for You and Your Family

Contaminated water can cause health issues like diarrhea. Long-term exposure to water containing heavy metals such as lead or chromium 6 can even lead to cancer.[1][2]

Thankfully, whole house filtration systems remove harmful contaminants from your water, making it safe for drinking, cooking, brushing, showering, washing dishes, and laundry too.

At the risk of sounding cliché, health is wealth. Hence, if you have a contaminated water supply, whole house filtration is a must-have piece of equipment.

Moreover, contaminated water can be far more dangerous when not drunk. Even if you have a drinking water filter, you are only shielded from ingesting the contaminants. They can still be absorbed through your skin and inhaled through your lungs causing serious trouble.

Here is a list of some of the contaminants a whole house water filter can remove.

  • Chlorine/chloramine
  • Lead
  • Sediment
  • Organic substances
  • Chemicals
  • Arsenic
  • Radiologicals
  • Iron
  • Bacteria, viruses, cysts

Since all filtration technologies target a different set of contaminants, always test your water and select the appropriate type of whole house filter system accordingly.

Healthy Skin and Hair

Have you noticed your skin and hair health also go through a visible change when you shift homes? At times the difference is pleasant, while other times, you struggle with hair fall and dry skin issues.

This is primarily because of the change in water quality. Overly dirty water will eventually lead to breakouts and aggravate skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.

Also, regardless of the topical treatments you use, you may be exposing yourself to the same problem-causing bacteria every time you use unsafe water on your skin.

Moreover, unfiltered tap or well water can hurt your skin due to unfavorable pH levels. As long as the pH is near to your skin pH (between 5 and 5.5), you should be fine.

Similarly, if your water is hard, i.e., has an excess of minerals, it can cause breakouts, dryness and irritation.

Better Taste

Nothing is worse than picking up a glass of water and having to spit it out because it tastes revolting. Besides, some foods also take up the flavor of the water when boiled in it and begin to taste weird.

Water filtration removes chlorine, chemicals, and iron from your water, neutralizing tastes and making it more palatable.

Young woman in the kitchen drinking water

Better Smell

A variety of odor-causing contaminants could be present in your water supply. For example, the presence of blue-green algae is one of the most common causes of odor in untreated water.

In treated water sources, the reaction of chlorine with organic substances can produce unpleasant odor. Similarly, a rotten egg-like smell is due to the presence of hydrogen sulfide.

By removing unwanted contaminants from your water, whole house water filters make your water smell better.

Cost Savings

Whether small or big, all appliances provide you with convenience and peace of mind at a monetary cost. But a whole house water filter pays back all of it in the long run. Here’s how:

  • You no longer have to buy bottled water: save money monthly on the grocery budget.
  • Plumbing is safe from corrosion or buildup: save money on repairs and replacements.
  • Appliances are safe from scale and clogging: save money on repairs.
  • Better health, skin and hair: save money on products and doctor’s visits.

Extended Life of Plumbing

The clogging of pipes and fixtures can lead to a bevy of problems for your household. Unfortunately, the leading cause of clogs is dirt, iron or high mineral concentration.

When water is filtered before it enters your pipelines, they are saved from rusting and scale buildup. Moreover, your dishwasher, washing machine, water heater and fridge will all see a drastic improvement in their lifespan since they don’t have to deal with clogging due to sediment.

Reduced Repair Costs of Plumbing and Appliances

Not only will the plumbing and water-based appliances last you longer, but you will also notice a sharp decline in repair costs.

Dirt-free and mineral-free water supplied to appliances improves their performance, and they tend to need repairs less often.

Easy Maintenance

Point-of-entry filters reign over point-of-use filters mainly because of their easy maintenance. Most tank-style whole house water filters last between 3 to 10 years, without needing any care at all.

Moreover, these systems eliminate the need for separate filtration units around the house, so you can easily concentrate on a single device.

Cleaner Laundry and Dishes

Can you imagine what contaminated water does to your clothes and dishes? Apart from the fact that they are never truly clean, unfiltered water makes clothes dingy and can leave unpleasant stains.

In fact, high iron content is the leading cause of reddish-brown stains on clothes. A whole house water filter supplies clean water to your washing machine and dishwasher, making sure everything is spotless and hygienic.

Reduced Plastic Waste

Single-use plastic bottles cause irreversible damage to our environment and communities. By ditching bottled water, you help save the planet from the perils of plastic pollution.

Whole House Water Filter Disadvantages

Whole house water filters may not be the best option for every household. Here are a few disadvantages of these systems that you should take into account before making an investment.

Cost

Sadly, whole house water filters do not fall within everyone’s budget. A standard whole house system can cost anywhere over a thousand dollars, something not every family can pay upfront.

Space

Moreover, the filters need adequate space to be set up. They also require permanent changes to the plumbing, which is impossible in rentals and small homes.

Decreased Water Pressure

Water flow is restricted as whole house filter systems work their magic on your water. This may be noticeable or not. Unfortunately, when it comes to filtration, slow is better. The more time your water stays in contact with the filters, the more thorough the process is.

You will experience a drop in water pressure especially if the system gets clogged or if it’s not correctly sized.

Types of Whole House Water Filters

There are around ten types of whole house water filters available in the market. Since no system can remove all contaminants, you need to determine your water condition and choose a filtration technology accordingly.

You can achieve remarkable purification by selecting the appropriate system and sizing it according to your daily water requirement.

collection of whole house water filters

Sediment Filters

Mainly used as pre-treatments in a whole house water filter system, sediment filters remove dust, rust, debris, and other undissolved substances.

The mechanical filters protect subsequent filter stages from clogging and improve their performance.

Carbon Filters

Carbon-based filters are the most commonly used whole house water filtration systems in the US. They effectively adsorb chlorine, chemicals, and dissolved substances from your water supply.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis technology is unparalleled in water filtration. An RO membrane will reject up to 99% chlorine, organic substances, salts, chemicals, VOCs, and heavy metals.

Unfortunately, they remove the good stuff too, along with the bad guys.

UV Filters

UV light filters are highly popular with people who are using water from a private well. These filters use a ultraviolet light bulb to eliminate bacteria, viruses, and cysts – a significant problem with underground water.

Keep in mind, UV filters do not remove any sediment, heavy metals, or chemicals. Due to their limitations, they are usually used as post-filters in whole house water systems.

Water Softeners

Water softeners purify your water by removing excess minerals from your water supply. They feature a unique ion-based technology that exchanges hardness-causing ions (calcium and magnesium) with sodium ions.

Since most of the US has hard water, water softeners are popular ‘purifiers’.

Conclusion

Whole house water filters purify every last drop of water in your home.

Their main benefits are healthy, better-tasting and odor-free water for your family and protection of the plumbing system and water-using appliances due to the elimination of sediment and other dirt that may cause scaling.

Disadvantages? High upfront costs, space requirements and a potential drop in water pressure.

Types of whole house water filters most commonly used include sediment, carbon-based, reverse osmosis and UV systems.

Further Reading

Resources

Meet Lisa Keller

Lisa Keller Lisa has joined the Water Masterz team as a contributing writer. She combines two decades of digital marketing experience with a passion for healthy living.

Lisa’s favorite leisure activities are meeting new people, learning new stuff, and yoga.

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