Is it worth it to get a home water filtration system? You may be wondering this if you’re buying or remodeling a home, or if you’re worried about your water’s safety or taste. How does a water filtration system actually benefit you, and what should you know before getting one? If you’re in the middle of making your decision, then allow us to answer some key questions you may have.
What Does a Whole-Home Water Filtration System Do?
A whole-home water filtration system filters all the water that comes into your house. So instead of only filtering certain taps that you use for drinking water, it catches any contaminants at the inlet to your home.
In essence, these filters strain out contaminants that are present in your water supply. This often includes chlorine, chloramine, and various chemicals and toxins. Some filters are designed to make soft water by adding sodium or potassium to break down hard minerals that make your water “hard” and can leave residue. These types of systems are not best and have negative effects on the environment. On the contrary, a filtration and conditioning system will remove the bad stuff, and leave the good stuff, helping make the water better tasting and less harmful to your skin, hair, and home surfaces.
Is My Water Safe?
In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets national standards for water safety. These standards regulate limits for the amounts of specific contaminants allowed in public water supplies. So as long as your water comes from an EPA-approved source, it should have only negligible amounts of contamination.
By law, your utility company is required to send you a Consumer Confidence Report each year. This should tell you any contaminants that are in your water and their concentration levels. Looking at this report is a great way to start checking your water’s condition. One way to check the contaminants in your water is to visit EWG’s Tap Water Database and enter your zip code.
However, while your water will be free of natural contaminants when regulated by the EPA, it can still retain amounts of the chemicals used to clean it, including chlorine. The levels shouldn’t be harmful, but they can affect the taste and other aspects of your water. The residual chlorine in water can be removed by a filtration system. You can call your utility company to learn about chlorine levels in your area.
You should also note that if you use a private well as a water source, then your water is not regulated by the EPA. In this case, it’s highly recommended that you use a water filter and also have your water tested every year.
What Types of Water Filtration Systems Are There?
These are three of the most common systems available for your home:
- Activated Carbon: This is the most common type of water filtration system in homes, and it uses small carbon granules to soak up chemical impurities in the water. The activated carbon particles trap contaminants and filter them out of your water supply. The only downside is that this type of system isn’t able to successfully filter out contaminants like limescale or other heavy metals.
- Reverse Osmosis: This method involves forcing the contaminated water through a very fine filter at high pressures. This lets the water pass through while impurities are left on the other side of the barrier. As a result, these systems are usually powered by electrical pumps that force water back through the filter. Again, it’s very effective at getting rid of common impurities, but the negative aspect of this process is that it produces a large amount of wastewater.
- Ion Exchange: An ion exchange filtration system exchanges magnesium and calcium ions for hydrogen or sodium ions by using a charged resin made up of small beads. This makes it effective at removing contaminants and minerals that create hard water. In fact, it’s considered to be the best method for softening your water.
What Are the Benefits of a Home Water Filtration System?
There are a range of benefits you can get from installing a whole-home filtration system. Some of the most common benefits include the following:
- Protection from contaminants, diseases, and chemicals
- Improved taste of water
- Peace of mind that your water is safe
- Cleaner dishes, less dingy clothes, and easier-to-clean home surfaces due to lack of hard water residue
- Smoother and less irritated skin and hair
- Cutting costs on buying water bottles and other filters
Overall, a home water filtration system can be a great investment. If the water in your area has been contaminated in the past, leaves irritating hard water residue, or has an unpleasant taste, an efficient filtration system might be the right solution.