Whole house water filters are designed to take the place of individual systems that you could install on the faucets and shower heads around your house. There are several different types to consider; some are better than others.
Reverse osmosis is one of the most expensive systems on the market. While the designs for homeowners have improved over the years, there are still some disadvantages. Namely:
- Waste water created
- Minerals removed
- Requires electricity for operation
- Requires installation of additional drains and dedicated electrical outlets
- High maintenance
Waste water and electricity usage are environmental issues. Most of us are trying to reduce energy consumption and to protect the environment from hazardous wastes. Attempts to reclaim the waste water have been unsuccessful.
Minerals taste good and may provide health benefits. Additional drains and dedicated outlets add to the initial cost of purchase.
Maintenance issues add to the cost of use. If not properly maintained, the units become ineffective.
Noise may not be a concern if the unit can be installed at a good distance away from the house. If not, you will have to put up with the noise every time someone flushes the toilet or takes a shower.
A whole house water filter can remove chlorine, particulates and many other contaminants through the inclusion of activated granular carbon. The units are installed at the point where the pipelines come into the house.
Installation does require the help of a plumber, but usually there are no additional costs. It does depend on the brand you choose, however. Some units are cumbersome and require additional pipelines.
The maintenance required for activated carbon whole house water filters is replacement of the cartridges as advised by the manufacturer. Some cartridges may need to be replaced annually. Others last for as long as three years.
Granular activated carbon does not remove healthy and good tasting minerals. The better systems require no electricity. They operate using the pressure already in your home. They create no wastewater, and they operate silently.
Combination Reverse Osmosis and Granular Carbon
The combination units are some of the latest offerings. The addition of granular carbon was necessary to address the issue of chlorine and cancer-causing chlorination byproducts. Reverse osmosis alone cannot remove those chemicals.
The question is whether or not anyone needs the combination whole house water filter. In most cases, the answer is “no”. Anyone serviced by a public treatment facility needs only activated granular carbon.
The combination units cost even more than their predecessors. The activated carbon units can be purchased for around $700. Affordability is a big deal, because everyone deserves to have clean, good tasting water everywhere in their house.
The combination units only become necessary in areas where salt intrusion is a problem. Because our freshwater resources are dwindling, salt intrusion into private wells has become a major issue.
Generally speaking, whole house water filters are a good investment. They cost less in the long run than individual systems for faucets and shower heads. All you need to do is make sure to choose the right type and the right brand. One brand that is an award winner is Aquasana.