5 Most Popular Whole House Water Filters (and which is BEST)Updated: January 25, 2018 Green Living
For those on municipal water, about 80% of Americans, the water is treated in most instances with a variety of chemicals such as disinfectants like chlorine, chloramines, as well as acid neutralizers and more. These chemical disinfectants also cause the creation of disinfection byproducts known as trihalomethanes (THM) and haloacetic acids (HAA). In addition, most of the country (210 million Americans), now have their municipal water fluoridated without the consent of the homeowner. Fluoride is a nasty chemical derived from the fertilizer industry as a waste product from its manufacturing process. All of these chemicals have been shown to have deleterious health effects including reduced IQ in children.
For those on private well water, like my family, the situation can be even more problematic. Wells are often the source of water contaminated with modern agricultural products including fertilizers, glyphosate based herbicides like Roundup and pesticides. It can also contain high levels of bacteria such as E-coli, can have excess calcium and magnesium contributing to hard water, rust that discolors laundry and bathrooms, and be very toxic with heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and more.
That’s the bad news.
The great news is that excellent water filtration technologies do exist today that empower you to take charge and start making your home a better place for you and your family to gain true peace of mind. Some water technologies and solutions are better than others, however!
The best water filter solutions are known as Whole House Water Systems or Point-of-Entry Systems. They are perfectly suited for those looking to address water problems before the water enters the home. Thus, all water is cleaned whether for cooking, drinking, laundry, bathing, or watering the vegetable garden. This means that every faucet in the home (and even outside faucets) delivers clean, safe, great tasting water!
5 Whole House Water Filter Options
Following is a discussion of the various whole house water filtration choices available to you today including the advantages and disadvantages of each. The best option is discussed at the end.
A budget friendly unit that most homes would benefit from as it physically removes particulates from the water before entering your home’s plumbing.
Advantages: Inexpensive and easy to install for those with lots of sand, silt or dirt in their water.
Disadvantages: Ineffective in removing chemicals, bad taste, odor or any other contaminants.
For those homes with hard water, a salt-based softener can mitigate the effects. However, these systems are limited in that they do not provide any removal or filtration of chemical contaminants. Many people find a water conditioner to be superior to a softener because a conditioner requires no salt, no backwashing, no electricity and no maintenance.
Advantages: Both softeners and conditioners are effective in addressing concerns with high levels of water hardness caused by excesses in calcium, magnesium or iron.
Disadvantages: Softeners are ineffective in removing chemicals, bad taste or odor. They can contribute to high levels of sodium or potassium to the water. They also require regular maintenance.
Granular Activated Carbon Filter
A basic, entry level whole house water system utilizing a single type of filtration media.
Advantages: Effective in removing chlorine and chlorine byproducts as well as eliminating bad taste and odor.
Disadvantages: Ineffective in removing many chemicals including chloramines and fluoride. Does not lessen the effects of heavy metals.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) System
RO Systems purify water through multiple stages usually including sediment filtration, ultraviolet light, deionization and the use of pre- and post-carbon filters in conjunction with the use of a reverse osmosis membrane.
Advantages: Effective in removing a wide spectrum of contaminants to produce very pure water.
Disadvantages: Very expensive. Requires lots of space. Wastes water. Takes out valuable minerals. Not optimal for fermentation or making kombucha or water kefir.
*Mixed Media Filtration System (BEST Whole House Water Filter)
A mixed media whole house system utilizes a blend of highly effective and well tested types of water filtration media typically formulated within a single cylindrical tank. It connects directly to the incoming plumbing to affect the entirety of your home’s water. This whole house system is most certainly my favorite! For those also looking for the optimal in kitchen water purification, you would pair the whole house water filter with this biocompatible purification system.
Advantages: Effective in removing chlorine, chlorine by-products, heavy metals, fluoride, and bad taste and odor, all within a single tank. Can be customized to address special issues with well water. Will last for many years (up to 1,000,000 gallons) and is maintenance-free.
Disadvantages: More of an investment but well worth it in the long run especially since it is maintenance free.
Do You Have a Whole House Water Filter Yet?
What are your water concerns based on the area you live? Have you installed a whole house water system yet? Is your water fluoridated? Are you concerned about pharma drugs and gut destroying glyphosate residues in your water like I am? What’s your story?
The Healthy Home Economist holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Mother to 3 healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and many others.