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Whole Home Water Filtration Systems: What they are, how they work and how they can benefit you

Like guards standing watch at a castle, only granting access to select people, whole home systems prevent unwanted materials from entering a home's water system. The "good stuff" is allowed in while the rest is blocked, making every drop of water safe for use. From kitchen faucet to shower head, bathroom sink to washing machine, the water that flows through each has gone through a rigorous filtering process. The end result: clean, crisp, pure water that is safe for drinking, cooking, cleaning and everything else you use water for.

HOW IT WORKS

Whole house water filters are a point of entry system that provides purification right at the main water line entering your home. By filtering water as it enters, it removes rust, sediment, chlorine and other chemical contaminants so you and your family have clean, healthy and great tasting water at every sink, tub, and appliance.

Whole home systems are a series of stages or phases of individual filters connected with tubing. As water moves through the series of filters, each filter performs a specific task that contributes to the purification of your water.

Typically the first stage is sediment removal where it catches sand, silt, rust and other larger particles. After that, phases include chemical reduction (chlorine, fluoride and chloramines), as well as treating heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, cysts. The individual phases of the system are customized to treat your water, so if you have high levels of heavy metals, include a heavy metal treatment filter. Similarly, if iron isn't a concern but cysts are, skip the heavy metal stage and include a UV filter instead.

BENEFITS OF WHOLE HOME FILTERATION

Not only does a whole house water filter give you clean great tasting water from every faucet in the house, but it offers a number of other benefits that can save you time and money, while boosting your health and wellbeing.

Appliances

Pure, filtered water helps to extend the life of every household appliance that uses water-saving you money over time. Your dishwasher, water heater and washing machine will all operate better and need fewer repairs thanks to the removal of sediment, chlorine and other contaminants that would otherwise enter those appliances and slowly cause deterioration.

Clothes and linens

Hard water isn't just hard on your skin, it takes its toll on your clothes and household linens too. The magnesium and calcium slowly result in a dinginess and discoloration of fibers, making them look gray or yellow. In addition to leaving fabrics stiff or harsh feeling, the fibers weaken more quickly and then tear easily. Filtered water is much more gentle on your clothes, sheets and towels, offering them a longer life span that is also soft on skin. With fewer rips, tears and cases of discoloration, you'll save money.

Foods and beverages

The filter's removal of chlorine from your water will make coffee, tea and soups taste more robust. And every time you wash a fruit or vegetable, cook pasta or rice, or use water in a recipe, you'll be using pure, clean water that lets the food's natural flavor shine. Added bonus: No more disposable drinking water bottles. Just fill a glass or reusable bottle from the tap for water just as clean and crisp as the bottled kind.

Skin and hair

Bathing and hand washing with filtered water means no more itchy, flaky skin because the chlorine that causes skin dryness has been filtered out. Your skin will naturally have more moisture and softness, and your hair will be more manageable. Color-treated hair won't fade as quickly either.

Pets

Just as humans benefit from clean water, so do our pets. De-chlorinated water that is free of giardia and other cysts supports their health too - potentially saving you a trip or two to the veterinarian.

WHAT'S REMOVED

A whole home filtration system is the most comprehensive and thorough way to purify water in your home. All whole home filtrations systems remove rust, sediment, and most chemical contaminants from water entering your home, but the specific contaminants it removes depend on which system you install. Because they have multiple stages, whole home filters can easily be customized to fit your specific needs. If your home is in an area with heavy copper or iron levels, be sure to include a filter that best removes those heavy metals.

Whole home filtration systems can reduce a multitude of contaminants from your water, including:

  • Chlorine taste and odor
  • Sediment and sand
  • Scale
  • Lead
  • Turbidity
  • Cysts
  • Rust
  • Bacteria
  • Mercury
  • VOCs

DOLLARS AND CENTS

The investment in a whole home filtration system comes with savings on a variety of household expenses. By cleaning out sediment, the lifespan of appliances will increase. Soft water means clothing and other fabrics will rip and tear less, for less frequent shopping trips to the department store. You'll even save on skin lotions and hair conditioner because the drying effects of chlorine will end. The reduced spending on bottled water alone will save you hundreds over the course of a year; a whole home filtration system will support your finances as well as your health.

CHOOSING A WHOLE HOUSE SYSTEM

Due to the customizable nature of whole home filtration systems, the best way to choose the right system for your house is to begin by testing your water to learn what impurities are naturally present. You can test the water yourself using an at-home kit and then mailing it to a lab for analysis. Be sure to choose the most broad and comprehensive test available to get a clear picture of your what's in your water.

Once you have the analyzed lab results, build a whole home system that will treat the identified impurities. Other factors to consider include operating pressure, temperature and water capacity, and flow rate.

RECOMMENDED WHOLE HOUSE FILTERS

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FAQs ABOUT WHOLE HOUSE WATER FILTERS

  • Q: I have a whole house filter at the point of entry for our house. We are on a well. I have a 20 GPM filter. I'd like to replace it with a 3 GPM filter. Will I be compromising our flow rate into our house with the lower GPM filter? Stated another way, will the flow rate at the point of use be reduced to a trickle?
    A: Point of entry systems filter water for your shower, hot water heater, dishwasher, etc. The flow rate for your filter should meet the water demand of each of these appliances measured in gallons per minute. Some typical ratings are listed below.
    Shower: 2.5 - 5 GPM
    Dishwasher: 3 GPM
    Larger homes require higher flow rates and a filter with a flow rate less than 10 GPM may cause pressure loss during peak use.

GET ADVICE

For answers to filter-related questions, recommendations on whole home filters, or general water filtration questions, contact us.