The best whole house water filter for your home is the one that meets all of your needs. There are many different types of whole house water filters, and they all have their pros and cons.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the different types of whole house water filters and the pros and cons associated with them. Previously, we have discussed best under cabinet water filter available in the market and also effective water filtration systems DIYs.
We’ll also talk about how to choose one that will work for you – let’s get started.
Our Top Whole House Water Filter Picks
- 1. Best Overall - Reverse osmosis water filtration system [also known as “RO”]
- 2. Best For High Contamination - Granular activated carbon (GAC) filter
- 3. Best Splurge - Reverse osmosis water filtration system
- 4. Best Versatility - Whole House Carbon
- 5. Best Reliability - Ion Exchange
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Different types of house water filtration system
The main difference between whole house water filters is whether or not they remove fluoride from your water. Let’s have a look at some of these are the different types of filters to explore which one is best for you:
1. Whole house carbon block filter
This type of filter is installed on the cold water line entering your hot water tank and goes into effect as soon as you turn on a faucet in your home.
This type of filter removes chlorine, sediment, particles that can clog up pipes, and odor – it’s also known to reduce rust stains from toilets.
- Very effective at treating both hard (high mineral content) and soft (low mineral content) water.
- Does not remove fluoride from water
- will not work on heavily contaminated water
2. Granular activated carbon (GAC) filter
This is another type of whole house water filter that you can choose from. It works by removing chlorine and most odor and taste problems, though this one does not remove fluoride, either.
The biggest benefit of a GAC system over other types of whole house water filters is that it doesn’t require back-flushing like others do to restore capacity – instead, all you need to do is pump out the sediment occasionally. On average this type of filter lasts for two years before needing replacement.
- Easy to install and doesn't require back-flushing after installation.
- This type of filter can work for both hard and soft water.
- GAC effectively removes 99% of chlorine, heavy metals, hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg), and iron from your water.
- Does not remove fluoride from water
- These filters are more expensive than other whole house water filters
- they can let through bacteria sometimes because they are exposed to air
3. Reverse osmosis water filtration system [also known as “RO”]
This type of whole house water filter utilizes a special membrane to remove most impurities from your tap water – it effectively removes everything except fluoride (which means you will still need an ion exchange or reverse osmosis filter if you want to remove fluoride from your drinking water).
These filters can let through bacteria because they are exposed to air while going through the filtration process, so you need to install a powerful pre-filter (basically a screen) before installing this whole house water filter if you want to avoid bacterial infections in your household.
- Effective at removing nearly all impurities.
- This type of filter is very easy to install.
- You get great-tasting water from this system right away
- This whole house water filtration method lasts for several years before you need to replace it
- Water treated with this filtration method can taste overly sweet.
- Both the installation cost and the cost of replacement membranes are high.
- This filtration method is the most expensive type you can choose
4. Ion exchange water filtration system
Ion exchange uses resin beads to replace mineral ions and other dissolved solids that are found in hard water. This kind of whole house water filter effectively removes 99% of chlorine and heavy metals from the tap water and works for both soft and hard water with proper bead replacement.
These whole house water filters are very effective at removing bacteria from the water, too, and only need to be replaced every 5-7 years. If your water is moderately hard or slightly contaminated, but not extremely hard or heavily polluted, this should work well for you. However, if your water is on the harder side or contaminated with heavy metals like lead or copper, a granular activated carbon (GAC) filter may be a better choice.
- Effective at removing both chlorine and many other harmful contaminants
- Have no moving parts so they are reliable and will pump out great-tasting water for the length of their lifespan
- The cost to install one of these is fairly high
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Kevin is a household and appliance enthusiast and loves to follow the latest trends in kitchen and house decoration. He also loves to walk the isles of Home Depot and Lowes to review products and materials in person. Before joining Kitchen Infinity, Kevin owned a handyman company.