If you have hard water, then there is a good chance that you have or want to own a water softener. By limiting the amount of scale that is in your water, you can have fresher clothes, better showers, and drinking water which tastes better.
A water softener can be effective in many households, but it is a single-priority product. It works best when mineral scale is your primary issue.
Municipal and groundwater supplies can often have more than just high mineral content that you need to worry about. Be sure to review what could be lurking in your water right now to see the full scale of contamination threats some households may face.
When it comes to chemicals and certain organics, a whole house water filter is a better option than a water softener. Here’s why.
#1. Hard water is not a health hazard.
The only issues associated with hard water are related to the salts and calcium that is dissolved in the water. According to the World Health Organization, there are no known adverse effects to consuming it. For some households, hard water may even be a good supplementary option for magnesium and calcium intake.
In comparison, consuming high levels of uranium, copper, or lead can be potentially life-threatening, even with short-term acute consumption.
#2. Water softeners do not address contaminants.
If you want your water to be purified of organic or chemical contaminants, then you need to have a water filter. A water softener will only remove the dissolved salts that are present in your current water source. Water filters offer methods that will alter the water itself, such as reverse osmosis.
#3. Water filters can deal with scale.
It is very common to be dealing with high mineral water and high contamination levels at the same time. That is why owning a water filter is often the best option. Many filters follow an activated process which can remove the minerals and the organics or chemicals that may be present in the water.
You can keep the scale buildup on your faucets at bay while also removing metals, pharmaceutical byproducts, and sediment.
If you’re concerned that a water filter may not be addressing your mineral content as much as you’d like, there are several systems which either work with or include a water softener as part of the filtration process.
#4. Water filters are more affordable.
Water softeners are often priced in the $500-$1,000 range. Many whole house water filtration systems can be found for less than $500. Even entry-level reverse osmosis systems with 100-300 gallons of storage capacity can be found in the same price range as the average water softener.
Which One Is Right for Me?
Each solution focuses on a different water-related issue. Deciding if a water filter or water softener is the best product means looking at what’s in your water. You may benefit from only having a water softener for specific types of hard water, but for general-use purposes, a whole house water filter is the better… and cheaper… option.