As far as water filtration goes, a popular option is whole house water filter systems. Many homes throughout the US and other parts of the world use them. This system is really popular because it produces very high quality water and it’s incredibly effective.
Guess what? Producing high quality water is only one part of the equation. As far as the best whole house water filters are concerned, the top options are also environmentally friendly.
In this article, we will look closely at precisely how whole house water filters work. We will also take a look at the advantages that many provide and the disadvantages that some people experience. So, to find out more about the six whole house water filters on our best of list, keep reading to discover the truth.
Whole House Water Filter Reviews
Have you ever wondered the specific inner workings of a whole house water filter? For those interested, we’ve put together a buying guide that fully explains the ins and outs of these systems. We also share their biggest benefits, their disadvantages, and what you should particularly look for when buying a new model. Below you can find the best whole house water filter for well water on the market right now.
Home Master HMF2SMGCC Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter
The 2-Stage Home Master Water Filter is considered one of the top units because it effectively removes particles that are one micron or larger and eliminates them from the water source. As far as filtration goes when compared to other models, this particular option excels because of its four gradient density filter. The filtration, when compared to other models, is top-of-the-line when judged by clarity and taste. You will definitely notice a positive difference in your water drinking experience.
This model is also incredibly efficient. It will prevent a wide range of sediments and chemicals from reaching the water source. And it eliminates a wide range of contaminants including chloramines, chlorine, and heavy metals to name a few.
This system also contains a catalytic carbon filter with the capabilities of filtering 95,000 gallons of water. Specifically, the filter will last roughly for a year or even longer, depending on how much water you consume during this time.
A big advantage to this filtration system is the two-year warranty. The manufacturer obviously believes in their product, because they otherwise wouldn’t offer such a long warranty guaranteeing their product.
On the Positive Side: this water filter comes with an excellent instruction manual. So, you’ll quickly be able to install it using the guide and the instructions are very clear regarding how to change the filters, which is also important to know.
Less Flattering Items of Note: the water flow is less than stellar. Since the system operates at an output of 10 gallons per minute, many households will not experience enough water flow to meet their liking.
Aquasana 10-Year, 1 Million Gallon Whole House Water Filter
So many people love this water filter system because of its effectiveness and its ability to filter 1 million gallons of water. Plus, as a low maintenance unit, it will require very little maintenance on your part. The professional grade install kit comes with this model, and it includes the necessary amount of shutoff valves, supports, a pre-filter, a post filter, and brass fittings.
A big advantage of this unit is that the water softener cylinder is designed to last for a very long time. With filtering capabilities reaching 1 million gallons, the filter is specifically designed to last for a minimum of 10 years, and potentially longer depending on how much water you consume during its lifecycle.
It’s very easy to track your water consumption if interested. Look at your water meter and write down the current value. From time to time, periodically check the number to determine how much water you use per year on average.
The second big advantage is the professional installation kit. As mentioned, this kit is very convenient, to say the least. Plus all of the component parts are of the highest quality so you won’t have to worry about faulty parts, leaky water filters, or any other unexpected and unwanted surprises.
On the Positive Side: the filters for the system are very good. They are made of high quality material, and you will definitely recognize the difference in the smell and taste of the water you consume when using it.
Less Flattering Items of Note: unfortunately, to successfully install this water filter system you will need access to a pex crimper. Since most people do not own this tool, you’ll either have to buy one or hire a plumber to install it for you.
Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water Filter
This option is incredibly popular in the whole house water filtration system game. The price to value ratio makes it more than worth it. And unlike its 2-stage counterpart, this system has the ability to filter 15 gallons of water per minute, which is an additional 5 gallons compared to the other option.
One of the main reasons to use this filter is its quality. It can successfully filter sediments very efficiently. In fact, if a particle is larger than one micron, this filtration system will remove it from the water. And this will result in drinking very clean, very crisp, and very healthy water which passes through an activated carbon filter prior to coming out of your faucet.
As far as the activated carbon filter is concerned, it is designed to last for a long time which is certainly a good thing. It is capable of filtering 100,000 gallons of water, so depending on how much water you use each year, it’s capable of lasting for a year or two.
On the Positive Side: it’s an excellent and efficient filtration system. Water has many contaminants within it before it reaches your faucet. But this filter will remove 95% of them including chemicals, manganese, sediment, iron, and more.
Less Flattering Items of Note: the filter doesn’t remove all iron from the water. If your water is contaminated heavily by iron, it’s possible that it will be too much for the system to handle and it won’t be able to remove all of it. On a brighter note, even if the water is heavily contaminated, it will remove about 90% of it which might be perfectly acceptable to many of you.
iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
This filtration system is NSF certified and capable of removing 5-micron particles or larger quite effectively. On the whole, it can remove as much is 95% of the water contaminants including rust, herbicides, pesticides, sediment, chlorine, and other potentially harmful chemicals.
Positively speaking, this system uses an activated carbon filter to remove contaminants from 100,000 gallons of water. This filtering capacity is powerful and in line with many other similar units. And based on water consumption habits, the filter should last for a year at the minimum, but it could definitely last longer if you use less than 100,000 gallons of water each year.
The next advantage comes in the form of one-inch input and output ports. The ports make it possible to filter 15 gallons of water each minute. So the water pressure should remain in line with the current pressure in your home before installing the system.
On the Positive Side: the water pressure is excellent. The port system is large so a healthy amount of water volume can pass through the filters on a permanent basis. Ultimately, this means you’ll continue to have great water pressure even after this new filter system has been installed.
Less Flattering Items of Note: the system is known to leak without Teflon tape. Unfortunately, the system is known to become leaky at the connection ports. But Teflon tape can clear up the leaks without needing to undergo expensive repairs.
3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filtration System
This whole house water filter system is also considered one of the more popular options. People mainly like it because it has many great features – one being it’s very low and inexpensive price.
A vast advantage of this filter is the flow rate. In fact, the flow rate is huge at more than 15 gallons per minute. Yes, this water filter system is capable of filtering 20 gallons per minute, which is enormous in terms of water flow. Not only will you avoid low water pressure, you may even have stronger water pressure after the filter is installed.
Low maintenance is another big advantage to this model. The water filters in this system are capable of lasting for one year or longer. But when it does come time to change the filter, it’s quite easy to do. Just twist off the filter and twist on a new one. It really is that simple.
On the Positive Side: it really is an outstanding water filter in a few different ways. For starters, it’s excellent at doing its job which is filtering contaminants from your water. Second, it’s excellent because it’s so easy to change the water filters. In fact, the average person can change these filters in three minutes or less.
Less Flattering Items of Note: it has a difficult time filtering severely contaminated water sources and requires the assistance of a sediment pre filter.
Watts WH-LD Premier Whole House Water Filter System
Out of the filters we’ve shared today, this option ranks the highest. This model has reached the height of popularity because it’s effective, it’s inexpensive, and it’s easy to use.
The inserts are stainless steel which is a big advantage. They protect against leaks and they are easy to install. A second advantage is the NSF certification and testing. The NSF uses the strictest standards when testing water filtration devices and this one passed with flying colors.
On the Positive Side: the price to value ratio is off the charts. The water filter costs very little compared to its water filtration efficiency.
Less Flattering Items of Note: this model doesn’t have a fixing bracket. Some people prefer them during installation, so you might be disappointed in this regard.
Home Water Filtration Systems Explained
Defining a whole house water filter system is easy. It’s a water filtration system capable of filtering the water in your entire house. Also known as a Point of Entry (POE) system, it’s can effectively do its job because the filter is installed prior to reaching the water heater, which means it can successfully filter warm and cold water.
Every household is obviously different. Some houses will need a different system for their whole house water filtration than others. Each of these models certainly works in a similar way, but the absence or presence of certain filters is important. Certain chemicals or types of debris will contaminate some water supplies and a particular filter will be needed. On the flipside, some water filter systems might not be good because they do not filter for specific problem areas.
Things to Look for When Choosing Your Filter
- Water flow is definitely important. Some water filters will have a much stronger water flow per minute than others. So if you need strong water capacity, you may need to buy a more powerful filter to handle all of your toilets, appliances, showers, and faucets. As an example, a 10 gallon per minute water filter might be perfect for a smaller house. On the other hand, if you live in a much larger house with many people you might need to use a system that filters 15 gallons per minute or more. It all depends on your household, the volumes of water being used every day, and other considerations.
- It’s also necessary to consider different filters. Some filters will only block certain contaminants and they might not block others. So it’s best to perform water testing ahead of time to find out the type of unit that will effectively filter the right contaminants in your water supply. As an example, if you’re looking to filter heavy metals from the water, a typical unit with a copper zinc mineral filter should meet your needs. On the other hand, if the water is contaminated by high levels of bacteria, a UV filter is a much better option to get the job done.
Best Home Water Filter to Meet Your Needs
Taking into consideration how much water is consumed in your household and the results of your water tests, you have to keep the following things in mind before purchasing this type of water filter:
- Microns are the first thing to consider. This all comes down to your water test results. Based on those results, you need to choose the ideal filter based on your micron rating. The most expensive filters block particles that are one micron or larger. If your water source isn’t too contaminated, a filter for 0.35 microns is more than adequate.
- Water consumption is next on the list. If your household uses lots and lots of water, you’ll need to change your filter more often so you may want to avoid choosing a cheaper water filter at this juncture. Having to constantly change your filters every month or so can get very expensive. A better water filter means you’ll have to change the filter less, which could certainly save you money. On the flipside, if your home only uses a small amount of water, you’ll buy less filters and they could last much longer – five years isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. So consider your water consumption habits and use this information as a guide to choose the perfect water filter for you and your family.
- Water filter longevity is last on our list, but certainly not least. Since the wide majority of whole house water filters require little maintenance, one of the few things you’ll have to do is change out water filters from time to time. Some filters are going to decontaminate 100,000 gallons of water, while other filters can decontaminate 1 million gallons of water. Your best bet is to find a water filter with longevity that isn’t necessarily overly expensive.
Why You Need a Whole House Water System
For starters, most people consider putting in a whole house water filter because of poor water quality. Is your water cleansed with chlorine like most municipal water supplies? While it’s certainly a decent disinfectant, it doesn’t necessarily get the entire job done. Plus, ingesting large amounts of chlorine is potentially hazardous to your health.
Chlorine isn’t necessarily great for your skin either and your hair could suffer too. Washing with chlorinated water means dry skin and dull hair. A whole house water filter cuts down on unnecessary chlorine, which will lead to healthier hair and skin.
Third, whole house water filters do not produce wastewater. So, no matter how much water enters your water filter, the same quantity is going to leave the filter without any waste.
Finally, a whole house filter means you no longer need to buy bottled water. You’ll be able to reduce your carbon footprint by eliminating your need for plastic water bottles.
Is it Absolutely Necessary?
Whether you have a well in your backyard or you’re hooked up to the municipal water supply in your community, you could always have healthier and cleaner water. The best way to determine your need for a water filter is to test your water source. Pick up a home testing kit or closely examine your water and determine if it’s cloudy, filled with debris, has a chlorinated smell, or worse.
Pay close attention to the following:
- Do you have chlorinated water?
- Is your water contaminated with high levels of bacteria?
- Does your water have an odd smell?
- Does your water have a weird taste?
- Is your water cloudy?
- Can you see small floating particles within it?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ll seriously benefit from a whole house water filter system.
How Home Water Filters Work
These water filter systems can vary depending upon certain factors. Some will remove certain contaminants while others will remove different contaminants from the water. But the overall principle stays the same no matter which filter you happen to use.
First and foremost, the water filter will get attached to the main water line prior to connecting the line to the water heater. By connecting it this way, you are guaranteed to filter every ounce of water that comes into your home.
As the water passes through the system, it immediately encounters a sediment pre-filter. It’s designed to get rid of the largest contaminated particles including sediment, debris, sand, rust, and silt.
It has another role too. This pre-filter helps keep the other filters in solid working order for long stretches of time. You’d have to change your other filters more frequently if this pre-filter didn’t exist.
After leaving the sediment pre-filter, your water will reach the activated carbon filter next. This filter is crucial to your water filter system, because it removes a wide range of unwanted contaminants.
Activated Carbon has a porous surface. It has many nooks and crannies –the pores – that attract these unwanted contaminants naturally through adsorption. This filter is really effective and can get rid of any additional sediment, the bulk of the chlorine, funny smells and tastes, and volatile organic compounds also known as VOCs. For additional antibacterial capacity, the manufacturer can inject the activated carbon with silver to make it even more effective.
As the water passes through the activated carbon filter, it then reaches a mineral and carbon zinc filter. At this stage, the remaining contaminants will be cleaned from the water. Because this filter removes heavy metals, even more chlorine, and microorganisms like bacteria and other unwanted options. And it can even lower the amount of scale in your water.
Some water filters have an additional option of passing the water through a descaler or water softener, but not every unit will have this feature. Others use ion exchange filters that remove calcium and magnesium particles to make the water softer, although it will also make the water saltier unless you choose a salt-free option.
The next optional step is the post filter. At this stage, you’re looking to filter the smallest particles possible to clear the water of contaminants completely. Not every water filter will have a post filter, so keep this in mind if it’s important to you.
Lastly, some water filtration systems also come equipped with a UV filter. It’s known to kill microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria. This filter is good in case contaminants managed to slip through some of the earlier filters.
Installing & Maintenance
It may seem complicated at first, but you’ll find out quickly that this system isn’t too tough to install. But if you aren’t into self-sufficiency and DIY projects, then getting professional help might be best in your case. On the other hand, if you’re willing to try it here are a few steps to take:
- Shut off your water main and drain the system.
- Pick the location for your water filter. It should be a location you can get to comfortably since you’ll need to change the filters when needed.
- Use a pipe cutter to cut the pipe.
- Use the manufacturer’s instructions to install the plastic or brass fittings and the compression nut. The fittings should be taped on using Teflon tape.
- Install the filter and make sure the “in” and “out” ports face the correct direction.
- Turn off the inlet valve on the water filter and turn the water main back on. If your system isn’t leaking, you can turn the inlet valve on next. Check for additional leaks at this point.
- You’ve completed the installation successfully. When it comes time to change your filters, make sure the inlet valve is turned off and use the wrench given to you when you bought the filter to remove and replace the cartridge filter.
How to Change Your Filter
Changing your water filter might seem like a difficult task but nothing could be further from the truth. Each filtration system may have its own specific ways of changing filters, but mostly they will all be the same. So use the following steps:
- Turn off the inlet valve on your water filtration system once it’s time to change your filter.
- Remove the filter by unscrewing it with the wrench provided by the manufacturer. Water may drip out of filter housing area, so have a bucket handy to collect any water that drips so it doesn’t get all over the floor.
- Use a dry, clean cloth to completely clean out the inside of your filter housing area.
- Next, it’s time to insert the new filter and screw it in. Remember to use your filter wrench provided by the manufacturer to tighten it up nicely.
- It’s safe to turn the inlet valve back on at this point.
- Run your water for around 10 minutes. By doing so, your filter will have a chance to activate. Try not to taste your water prior to running it for 10 minutes because it isn’t going to be properly filtered yet.
Now that you’ve been educated about whole house water filters and have looked at our comprehensive buying guide, it’s time to choose the best system to perfectly meet your needs.
Remember, picking the right filtration system doesn’t necessarily mean buying the most expensive option. Every water filter is effective at removing contaminants in its own way. That’s why you have to test your water ahead of time before picking your new model.
Get a home water testing kit and discover which contaminants are present in your water. Once you are armed with this information, you can make an educated and effective choice.
Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read our buying guide and reviews.