Whole House Water Filter Versus Water Softener

Whole House Water Filter Versus Water Softener

People often wonder whether they should get a whole house water filter or a water softener. The best way to answer this question is by learning the differences between the two systems. This way, you can decide which one will best suit the needs of your particular home.

What Is a Whole House Water Filter?

A whole house water filter is a system that filters the water before it enters your home. When you have one of these systems, the water you use in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry will be filtered.

The filter removes contaminants such as minerals, dirt, debris, and other materials that can make your water unsafe.

What Is a Water Softener?

A water softener softens water by removing certain minerals that make water hard. This will actually help to protect your pipes and appliances because hard deposits in water can build up and cause problems for you.

If you have a lot of iron, calcium, or magnesium in your water, a water softener will help to prevent these destructive minerals from wreaking havoc on your home.

How Does a Whole House Water Filter Work?

There are different kinds of whole house water filters, and each one works a little differently. All of them filter contaminants and prevent them from entering your home.

You can use a carbon filter system, where carbon is used to trap and remove the contaminants from the water. Another type of whole house water filter is a sediment filter, which removes dirt and silt from the water.

know what kind of contaminants you have

Regardless of which type of system you use, it has a filter that will remove contaminants from your water before it enters the house. Which one is right for your home will depend on your water.

Is your water coming from a well? You need to know what kind of contaminants you have so that you can determine which filter system will work best for you. You can have your water tested to find this out.

How Does a Water Softener Work?

A water softener uses salt or ion exchange resins to treat hard water. The purpose is to remove the mineral deposits, including calcium, magnesium, and iron from your water so that they do not enter the house and damage appliances and pipes with buildup.

There are salt-free water softeners as well, which are great if you don’t want to use salt to treat your water. In some respects, a water softener is similar to a water filter system because it is filtering out minerals that you don’t want, but if you need a water filter system, it will not suffice for the full job.

Whole House Water Filter vs. Water Softener: What Kind of System Do You Need?

If you are trying to decide between a whole house water filter vs. water softener, you need to determine what is causing the problems with your water. Take a look at the following signs, and this will help you decide which type of system (or a combination of both) is right for you.

Chlorine and Rotten Egg Odors

You will need a whole house filter system for these problems. They are caused by chlorine, chloramines, hydrogen sulfide, and pesticides, and they can cause you to have allergies and eczema, among other things.

Scale Buildup and Mineral Deposits

If you notice buildup and scale from your water, you will want to get a water softener. This means that calcium carbonate, magnesium, and iron are getting into your water.

If you have a problem with rust, and you find that everything is becoming a stained rust color, you may need an entirely different system that is for the removal of iron. However, a water softener can help with it.

Maintenance of Your System

You will need to maintain both a whole house water filter and a water softener. You can take care of much of it yourself, but you will need to clean the filters in your filter system. There is a prefilter, which should be cleaned every three to six months, and a post-filter, which needs to be cleaned every nine to twelve months.

When you have a water softener, if it is a salt-based system, you will need to add salt. How frequently you need to add it will depend on how much water you use.

In addition, there is maintenance required. A salt-free water softener is actually easier to maintain, and there are fewer health concerns because it won’t send extra salt into your water.

Related: Three Ways to Cut Down the Cost of Maintaining Your Water Softener

The Verdict

You need to know what contaminants are in your water to determine which type of system is best for you. Often people with well water require both systems. The first step is to test your water so that you know what is in it.

Click here to get your water tested for FREE (US residents only).

Jon Agarwal

Jon Agarwal works as an environmental consultant focused on water resources, and he volunteers his time for non-profit organizations. He lives in the heart of Melbourne with his beautiful wife, two sons, and three Persian cats. He particularly enjoys working part-time as it leaves him the time to work on his own writing and share his knowledge. Visit our About page to learn about the contributors of Healthy Buddys.

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