Everyone needs clean water for day-to-day tasks like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Kingwood homeowners consider the question of which is better—a water filter or a water softener? Examine the key differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the benefits they provide and how to determine which one is best for your needs.
What Is an Inline Water Filter?
An inline water filter is a point-of-entry filtration system that treats water as it enters your residence. It’s installed right on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other contaminants from the municipal water supply before flowing to your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Benefits of Water Filters
If your water comes from a municipal company, you may question why you should get an inline water filter. After all, the water is cleansed at a water treatment plant. The problem is, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may be contaminated with harmful particles between the treatment plant and your residence. Here’s how setting up a water filter can benefit you:
- Healthier water: Water filters get rid of harmful microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other impurities for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters decrease sediment accumulation in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, shielding them from damage.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters cut back on the need for bottled water, helping create a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra cash on bottled water and decreasesthe stress on your plumbing system.
How to Tell if You Need a Whole-House Water Filter
About one-third of American households use home treatment systems for safe and healthy drinking water. Here are some telltale indicators that you need a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, unusual taste or undesirable smell: If your tap water is anything but crystal-clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Give consideration to putting in a filter for your health and well-being.
- Constant plumbing concerns: A whole-house water filter helps alleviate blocked pipes, low water pressure and other troubles.
- Skin irritation: If you experience redness, rashes or other skin issues linked to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be useful.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a track record of contamination? Installing a whole-house water filter provides peace of mind against long-term problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener eliminates calcium and magnesium from the water entering your home. A process called ion exchange works similar to a chemical magnet, replacing these “hard” minerals with sodium ions to “soften” the water.
Benefits of Water Softeners
If you have hard water, here is what you’ll notice once you install a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water decreases scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, prolonging their life span and enhancing their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t leave a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, keeping your pipes and faucets flowing efficiently.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water is a good way to make sure cleaning products lather more effectively, producing cleaner dishes, brighter laundry, and softer skin and hair, even when using less soap and detergent.
- Energy savings: A water softener helps your plumbing appliances operate effectively for lower power bills.
How to Know if You Need a Water Softener
Most water supplies in North America are categorized as moderately hard, hard or very hard. Learn more by reading your city’s water quality report. In the meantime, here are some clues that you could benefit from a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky residue on your fixtures and appliances is a sign of hard water, as are the white spots on your dishes, glass shower door and coffee maker. A water softener can help.
- Low water pressure: Showerheads and faucet aerators often become severely clogged by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is another indication of hard water.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water hinders soap from rinsing correctly, causing irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Frequent appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater breaks down regularly due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile investment.
Should You Buy Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners both supply valuable benefits, but they perform different operations. An inline water filter takes away contaminants and boosts overall water quality, while a water softener specifically removes hard minerals. In some instances, having a water filter and a water softener is necessary. Consider your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Kingwood
Finch Air Conditioning & Heating is a trusted provider of water treatment products and solutions in Kingwood, such as water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our team can help you determine if one or both solutions are necessary to help you achieve the best water quality in your Kingwood home.