Your water isn’t bad, but it could be better. Or maybe your water quality levels are extremely poor and you’re not sure what to do. Either way, having one of the best whole house water filters installed in your home can immediately improve the quality of your water. In return, you’ll potentially reduce your risks of a water-related health concerns, want to drink more water, and you won’t have to spend a ton of cash to make this happen.
Every Great Whole House Water Filter in One Chart
With so many different sizes and styles of water filters, it can be difficult to determine which option is the best one for your home. You can drink fresh and healthy water from the tap thanks to great top-rated water filters like these.
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Sediment Removal||Micron Removal||Max Flow Rate (GPM)||Price|
|iSpring 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System|| 4.2 ||95%||5||15|| $$$ |
|Big Blue 3-State 20" Whole House Water Filter|| 4.0 ||90%+||5||16|| $$$$ |
|Crystal Quest Whole House Triple Water Filter System|| 4.5 ||90%+||1||8|| $$$$ |
|iSpring 3-Stage Iron/Manganese Removal Water System|| 4.2 ||95%||5||15|| $$$ |
|Filox 10 Iron, Sulfur, Manganese Water Filter System|| 4.5 ||NL||3||10|| $$$ |
|Home Master Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter w/ Gradient|| 4.6 ||95%||1||10|| $$$ |
|3M Aqua Pure Whole House Water Filtration System|| 4.0 ||90%+||5||20|| $$ |
|Kleen Water Whole House Filtration System 4520|| 4.6 ||95%+||5||40|| $$ |
|Pura Triple Housing UV Whole House System w/ Sedimnet Filtration|| 4.6 ||99%||0.5||NL|| $$$$ |
|Home Master HMF2SDGC Whole House Water Filter|| 4.4 ||95%||1||15|| $$ |
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Sediment Removal||Micron Removal||Max Flow Rate (GPM)||Price|
Do I Really Need to Have a Water Filter?
The United States has protected water quality levels in homes since 1974 thanks to the Safe Drinking Water Act. Even with this legislation in place, however, there have been numerous instances of water quality issues reported throughout the country. The rest of North America, Europe, and the developed world struggle with similar issues.
Since 2004, more than 62 million people in the United States have been drinking water with chemicals in it. Although these chemicals were at low concentration levels, it is still an important point to note because many of the chemicals are not regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Then there are the communities that have high lead levels in their water. The issues with water quality in Flint, Michigan are widely known, but Reuters discovered in 2016 that there are high lead levels that are even worse than Flint’s in nearly 3,000 areas of the United States.
This includes people in those communities dealing with health issues directly related to lead exposure through their water more often and with more severity than the population of Flint. FluksAqua reports that an examination of the ECHO database, compiled by the EPA, showed over 7,500 health-based violations in US drinking water systems in just 2015.
Many people focus on protecting the source of the water so that quality issues can be improved. That’s a wonderful perspective for a community, but that doesn’t help individual households. That is why owning a whole house water filter is an essential part of modern life. Even if there isn’t something dangerous in your water, the best filters can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve protected your health and the health of your family.
We all want to protect our families. We want to protect ourselves. One of the fastest, easiest, and simplest ways to do so is to invest into one of the best water filters for your home.
How Do I Know What Is Currently in My Water?
For a water filter system to be effective, it is necessary to know what contaminants may be lurking in your water. One way to possibly find this information right now is to use a tool called “What’s in Your Water” by the Environmental Working Group. Through this database, you can find information on 300+ chemicals that have been discovered in modern tap water throughout the United States. This can help you to find what is in your local water by inputting your zip code into the appropriate search box.
Once you’ve inputted your zip code, you will be given a list of potential water suppliers to your home. Choose the one that matches the provider on your local utility bills as closely as possible.
When you click on the provider, you will be given immediate and free access to whatever reports are available for your area. These reports may not always be current.
For example: on a recent search for water quality in Oak Harbor, WA (Zip Code 98277), testing data is only available from 2004-2006. Within that data, it shows that during that time period, the community had chloroform, bromodichloromethane, and TTHM levels consistently above health guidelines, but not over the legal limit.
If you’re in the United States, what contaminants are listed that exceed health guidelines for your report? Then take that information and compare it to what the best water filters can do to remove these contaminants. By matching up filter processing to potential contaminants, you will be able to find the best whole house water filter to meet your needs.
What Are the Best Whole House Water Filters to Use?
There are numerous common types of water filters that you will find on the market today. It should be noted that no filter will remove every possible contaminant. This is because the list of potential contaminants continues to grow every year as our knowledge about water contamination grows.
What you can do is make sure that the filter you choose is able to remove the common contaminants that are in your area. There are 4 general types of filters that are used by the manufacturers in our industry today.
- Carbon Filters. This type of filter is found in portable, semi-portable, and permanent water filters. They are often used as a point-of-entry system because this filter type can absorb impurities that are in the water as it passes through the filter media. Carbon filters can remove lead, some parasites, radon, pesticides, herbicides, chlorine byproducts, some organic compounds, some pharmaceuticals, and certain chemicals and solvents.
- UV Light Filter. This type of filter is used to disinfect a water supply. Bacteria that are exposed to UV light cannot survive. It will not remove any other impurity beyond bacteria that may be in the water, so for best results, homeowners will want to combine a UV light filter with a carbon filter.
- Distilling Filter. This type of filter is best suited for homes that are not trying to conserve energy or stay off the grid. It purifies the water by boiling it and then condensing it. This type of filtration generates a lot of heat and can require a lot of electricity to use, but can also remove virtually any impurities that may be in the water, including heavy metals, dissolved solids, fluoride, and lead.
- Reverse Osmosis. This filtration system uses a membrane that is semi-permeable to act as a filter for the home’s water supply. Many systems will then send the water through a secondary filtration system, such as an activated carbon filter, to further refine the water supply. Although this type of system is very effective at removing industrial chemicals, heavy metals, chlorides, sulfates, and pharmaceuticals, they can also produce high levels of wastewater. A whole home reverse osmosis system may produce up to 9 gallons of wastewater for every 1 gallon of fresh water produced.
How Whole House Water Filters Help the Environment
Most communities work hard to ensure their water is as clean and safe as possible. This is done through a series of regulations, laws, and accountability standards. To make sure the water supply for a community is safe, it is regularly tested to make sure contaminants are not present. Many municipalities test their water about once per month.
Despite this fact, many households rely on bottled water products instead of their local water supply when feeling thirsty. Even with high-quality reusable water bottles available today, bottled water is often preferred over tap water. This has led to billions of plastic bottles being dumped into landfills. Each plastic bottle requires fossil fuels to be created, then transported, for use.
By investing into a whole house water filter, you can eliminate the plastic waste and fossil fuel use that comes with bottled water consumption. You might not be able to change the world by converting to a water filter and a reusable water bottle, but you will be doing your part to help the environment.
It should be noted that many water filters are built with plastic casings that can often be recycled, but are not. Take the extra step to recycle your filter when it has lived its life and you’ll protect your health and the environment on another level.
Why Is Filtered Water Better Than Bottled Water?
In 2005, the United States consumed 29.8 billion bottles of water. It is often done from a perspective of convenience, but it is a costly convenience. The Container Recycling Institute estimates that some consumers are paying 10,000 times more for the privilege of bottled water compared to the cost of tap water.
Even at the low end of CRI’s estimate, consumers pay 240 times more for bottled water than for tap water.
Let’s put these numbers into perspective.
At the low estimate, a person who spends $1 on tap water will spend $240 on bottled water throughout the course of a year.
On the high estimate, a person who spends $1 on tap water will spend $10,000 on bottled water annually.
As you can see, from a pure cost perspective, purchasing a whole house water filter and a reusable water bottle can save you an enormous amount of money. If you are relying on bottled water right now, the purchase of a water filter today could pay for itself several times over in just one year.
There are additional benefits to consider when comparing a whole house water filter to bottled water.
- Bottled water isn’t always safer. The NRDC conducted research in 1999 which showed that 1 in every 3 bottles of water offered for sale contained contaminants which were in excess of mandated levels set by the Food and Drug Administration.
- It isn’t always pristine water. Up to 25% of bottled water products is just tap water that is being marketed under a brand name. It may not even have any extra filtration. Bottled water can be called Spring Water even if it is chemically treated. It is also necessary to know the location of a spring that is being harvested for bottled water. A mountain stream is a very different source compared to one next to a hazardous waste site in an industrial complex.
- It can be extremely harmful. Fiji water is imported to the United States and goes through a 6,000-mile journey to be purchased. Not only is there the plastic production costs to the environment to consider, but there is also the transportation cost to consider.
- It promotes privatization of public water. More than 1 billion people experience water insecurity on a regular basis. Bottled water encourages the privatization of public water sources, which makes this essential item more difficult to access in the developing world.
Bottled water can be helpful in an emergency, but it is costly. There’s a good chance that a whole house water filtration system could be cheaper, give you better water, and help you to live a happier and healthier life.
That’s why filter water is better than bottled water.
Best Prices for a Whole House Water Filter
The price of a water filter depends on the size and scope of what it can do. Basic systems can be extremely affordable, sometimes priced below $100, but may only filter out a handful of common contaminants. This option is best for homes that are on highly regulated municipal systems and their primary quality issue involves disinfectant levels.
Whole house water filters for general sediment and contaminant reduction are usually priced between $200-$600. These systems may have multiple tanks, multiple filters, and will reduce or eliminate most of the common contaminants that are found in municipal or well water.
Premium whole house filtration systems may be priced at $1,000 or above. These systems are intended for large families or light commercial use.
Reverse osmosis systems involve additional filtration technologies, which drives up their price. Entry-level systems for one fixture or faucet can be up to $200. A whole house system can easily exceed $2,000. For many homeowners, that’s why a whole house water filter is a better purchase right now.
Reviews of Whole House Water Filters
This specific 2-stage filter system is designed more for systems that are connected to a municipal water supply that uses chlorine as a disinfectant. This Home Master system is not rated for chloramine removal. For those with well water, a pre-filter may also be necessary to take full advantage of what this system can provide. The rated capacity of the carbon filter on this model is 95,000 gallons. As for the other filter, the lifetime level is based on the amount of contamination that is in the water supply.
If you are on a municipal water supply, the features of this whole house system by Pura might be a little overkill. It will give you the option to remove any lingering chlorine odor from the water and can protect you from the occasional cyst that might slip through, but most municipal systems will eliminate organic threats and most contaminants with their processing procedures. This is a system designed more for homeowners on a well. It is rated to provide a maximum flow rate of 8 gallons per minute.
KleenWater states that the price of this system is kept down because of proprietary injection molding techniques, saving the manufacturing process up to 60% of the energy that similar systems are required to use. What we do know is that it seems to work just as well as any other system that we were given the privilege to look at. Installation of this system is relatively simple. We did find that the housing does like to leak at the input and output, so make sure the threads are given a decent dose of paste and tape to create a solid connection. The flow gauges also tend to gather condensation around them and this causes the occasional drip.
We found that this filtration system does an excellent job for disinfectant odors that may come through the tap from municipal water sources. If you’re on a well or use surface groundwater, there is a noticeable reduction, but not elimination, of particulate contaminants. Rust and scale tend to be the two areas where this filter struggles just a bit to keep up with a heavy contamination level. It has been given a 304 stainless steel assembly, including the NPT head, for added durability and resistance to corrosion in high moisture environments. An integral mounting bracket is included.
We felt that this is a good general-purpose filtration system. Not only can it handle the municipal contaminants that are used for disinfection, but it can also handle well water sediments and off-grid contaminants. The filter media uses coconut for its carbon, like many other models in this pricing category, allowing for its overall longer life. Changing out a filter is quite easy, requiring a strap wrench. This allows homeowners to have a better quality of water for drinking, showering, and other household activities.
Although this filtration system can remove some of the elements of hard water from a home’s supply, it does not act as a water softener. For homes that have hard water and these contaminants, we’d recommend purchasing a water softener that operates after the filtration process for best results. Filter replacement is reduced with this model because of its backwashing technique. The filter media do need to be replaced eventually, but this design does help to minimize homeowner costs over the life of the unit. It can go up to 5 years without filter media replacement.
Flow-rate reductions once installed are minimal with this unit. We measured a 5-10 PSI reduction in pressure when the system was active. The filters on this model do have a higher PSI range than systems made by other manufacturers today. You can set the range between 40-90 PSI, instead of the max 60 PSI that you’ll find on other models. You’ll still need a regulator for systems higher than 90 PSI, but the added flexibility can reduce costs for many homeowners during the installation of this product.
This Crystal Quest system has a lifespan of 160,000 gallons before requiring a filter change. Instead of 3 filters, you’ll have a dual system to manage that can save you space. In return, you’ll still be able to remove or reduce dozens of potential contaminants that are in your water. One of the best additions to the filtration process with this system is the inclusion of ceramic balls within the filter medium. This allows the system to remove bacteria and sediment from the water supply with regular efficiency.
We appreciated the three-stage design of the filtration process for this system. You receive a first stage 25/5-micron polypropylene sediment filter for an initial water cleansing. The second stage is a GAC/KDF-85 filter, removing or reducing heavy metals, iron, and sulfur to a level of up to 1 micron. Then the third-stage filter is a radial flow carbon filter that processes the water at 25 microns. Filter life for this model looks to be on the short side of the 6- to 12-month estimate. Homes that use a minimal amount of water may be able to get up to 1 year of life out of this system.
With an ability to handle up to 15 gallons per minute, this solution can support large families with one simple installation. This specific model focuses on sediment removal only. It can remove some rust from the water supply, but still leave the water a slightly red tinge. The carbon filtration action removes sediment contaminants that are as small as 5 microns, so most homes will likely see water move toward transparency. We also liked the fact that the filtration on this water system is NSF-certified with its filters.
The best whole house water filter reviews can help you to find the right system to help everyone in your household experience better water every day. Choose the system that best meets your needs and today will be the day that you stop settling for poor water from the tap ever again.