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You may have heard or read that some water from your domestic supply is not as clean and as risk free as you thought. More and more people are looking to get a quick, easy and low-cost way of getting cleaner water for their entire house – which is where a whole house water filter comes in. Compared to water jugs with filters built-in, from manufacturers such as Britta, a whole house filter system will deliver the filtered water direct to your tap, which is much more convenient.
One of the issues you will come across if you decide to buy one of these, is that there are many different models on the market to choose from. This article will describe the pros and cons of using a whole house system so that you can make an educated decision before you buy.
I suspect that your first question will be if this type of system is right for you and your family. Also, will it fit in your house? Some home may be more difficult to retro-fit than others. If you are renting a property, you will most likely not be able to fit a whole house water filter, but check with your landlord to see if they will allow you to. After all, they will benefit in the long run. Let’s look at a few of the benefits and drawbacks of using water filters or, in particular, whole house systems.
The obvious main benefit is that they can provide clean water to your whole house, via one single filtering unit. Other systems may require that you have devices attached to each faucet, but with this type, the entire house benefits from cleaner water. This will be ideal for large houses with lots of bathrooms, showers or sinks.
You might be thinking that having filtered water in your shower or bath may not be something you need – however, studies have found that chemicals commonly present in domestic water supplies, such as chlorine, will be able to enter your body quicker when it is in the steam from your shower, than if you sat in a bath. Information like that may change your mind about where you need a water filter in your home.
Another obvious benefit as I stated earlier is that you have only need for one main filter system, rather than separate ones around your home. There are cost benefits from having a filter in a central location and is the obvious choice for providing water for the whole house.
It is much easier to install and maintain than having single filters in each room. Although you will have to change the cleaning filter in a whole house system, changing a filter in each room suddenly becomes much more expensive. Therefore, the cost of a central system immediately outweighs separately installed ones.
With the benefits, there are also some drawbacks that you will need to be aware of too. The main one is the cost of installation, which will have to be performed by a professional tradesman. Although it is just a one-off cost, it will certainly stretch to over several hundred dollars. You could try to fit it yourself if you have the skills, but you must be able to plumb, solder and fit the device securely to ensure that there are no leaks. Buying the filter and a fitting service is the best advice and will keep your stress and the cost to a minimum.
Cost is in important factor and you may initially be put off by the higher price of a whole house water filter system. However, it is good to remember the benefits you will be getting. One single filter system, compared to several disparate units that all require their own maintenance will be more effective over time.
If you project the costs over time, the whole house filter will work out more cost effective, due to the lower maintenance fees. Normally, the whole house water filters will require that you change the chemical filter once every ten years or more (dependent on the model). Compare that to the type of under counter filter that is installed in each room, that needs to have the filters changed every three months and the cost (and hassle) benefits are obvious.
Filters in each room could stretch to over $400 per year if they are changed at the recommended time. Many people (myself included) forget to change the filters and therefore do not get the benefits of cleaner water. Unchanged water filters can build up bacteria over time, causing more harm than good. If you have also installed filters in your bathroom, you will need to change those too which could lead to more cost.
Something that may shock you is that the number of whole house filters in use in the nation is actually quite low. They are only used by a small consumer base. The main reason for this is that the filters are installed and used on a basis of need rather than something that people want to aspire to.
Presented with the cost of installation, people who do not need the filter system installed may decide not to have it installed, perhaps opting for a counter top filter jug or point of use system instead. This may also be because they have some confusion of the types of filter there are on the market or that they are unsure if they need one at all. This may also lead people to not have any water filters at all. This is one of the main reasons why we believe that it is important to become educated about water filters and the various options before you buy.
Make sure you understand what you are buying and the pros and cons of the systems available to you. Make sure you ask questions and learn about this filter system you are thinking of buying. Your installation partner can provide you with the information you need. A good question to ask is around the size, or capacity of the filter itself. Smaller filters tend to be more problematic than larger ones, sometimes clogging if there is too much dirt or particles in the water.
Other points to understand is the lifetime maintenance costs, which chemicals could be removed and any other features such as back washing or water channeling. Become informed about the products you are buying to make sure the filter is going to be right for you. It may be worth getting your water tested to ensure that any trace elements present are counteracted by the system and filters you choose. Knowing what is in you water and what you are trying to get rid of may be one of the more important decisions. You need to ensure that your filter can remove them properly.