As mamas, we spend a surprising amount of time thinking about water: the quantity of water we drink, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, when babies can drink water, and how to make sure we’re drinking the healthiest water possible.
Many of us probably have filters in our fridges, but have you ever considered a whole house filter? I have, and I’m here to share everything my family loves about it.
In this blog, I’ll cover everything you need to know about whole house filters, including:
- What whole house water filters are
- Benefits of a whole house filter
- How to choose a whole house filter
- How much a whole house filter system will cost
- How to get your city’s water report
What Is a Whole House Water Filtration System?
Maybe you have a pitcher with a filter sitting in your fridge right now. Maybe you use the water that comes from a filtered water dispenser in your fridge. Or, maybe you have a portable gravity-fed system that you bring camping. Regardless, you’re probably used to the idea of drinking filtered water.
I know what you’re thinking: I already use filtered water, so why do I need a whole house filter?!
A whole house water filter does so much more than what a 1-gallon pitcher filter can do! A whole house filtration system treats water as it enters the main water line into your home. Also known as a point of entry (POE) filter, this means that the water that flows from every faucet or through any appliance is clean and filtered. Whole house water filters are point of entry (POE) filters, so whether you’re brushing your teeth in the bathroom or filling up the wash tub to give Fido a bath, rest assured that every single drop of water in your house is pure and filtered.
How to Choose a Whole House Filter System
When it comes to choosing a whole house filter, you’ll need to gather a few key facts before determining which filter is right for you.
You’ll need to know:
- How many bathrooms are in your house (helps determine the right size filter)
- How many people in your home (helps determine drinking water usage)
- Information about your current water (helps determine your goals of a water filter)
The Best Whole House Water Filter System
While there are many different whole house filter systems available, we chose Radiant Life for our home. Radiant Life is a family-run, woman-owned online health and wellness company specializing in food-based supplements, nutrient dense foods, eco-friendly housewares and water filtration and purification.
We chose Radiant Life for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is that their customer service is top-notch.
As a company, Radiant Life is extremely accessible, and you can speak with a water expert who will recommend the perfect water filter for your home. This is especially important if you’re new to the idea of house filtration systems and aren’t sure what exactly you need. We even emailed Radiant Life our local water report, and their water expert incorporated our specific water needs into their recommendation. We weren’t just sold a filter. We were matched with the right filter for our family’s specific water and our specific needs.
Pure water you can rely on
Not only does Radiant Life have stellar customer service, the filter itself is what initially drew us into the company. We chose the Radiant Life Series 4 whole house filter, as it was designed to remove chlorine, chloramines, and even fluoride from municipal water.
Key features of this whole house water filtration system include:
- Removal of chlorine, chloramines, fluoride, heavy metals and VOCs in one tank
- Removal of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like paint thinner, pharmaceuticals, and gasoline that leached into groundwater
- No need to replace a monthly filter — this baby lasts for one million gallons!
Options for municipal and well water
The Radiant Life filtration series include the Series 2, Series 4, and Series 6. Series 2 and 4 are designed for those with municipal water, but what if you don’t? Even if you have well water, you’re not out of luck. The Series 6 water filter is designed to accommodate those with municipal or well water. This whole house filtration system removes everything that the Series 4 does, plus iron, hydrogen sulfide, bacteria, algae, and fungi.
The Series 6 does all of this while retaining essential minerals that are naturally present in your water supply.
Oh, and did we mention the Series 6 filter lasts for 1.25 million gallons! Talk about maintenance-free!
Benefits of a Whole House Water Filter System
Water is essential for life. 60% of our bodies are made up of water! We drink it, we cook with it, we clean our bodies with it, and we bathe our little ones in it.
But even if our water tastes and smells good, there can still be hidden contaminants. Lead, fluoride, and even pharmaceutical residue can hide in water. Not to mention, hard water can take a toll on your appliances.
Enter: the whole house water filtration system. A whole house filter isn’t just about making water potable (it probably already is). A whole house filter is about so much more.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of a whole house filter:
1. Safer drinking water
Whether you have municipal water or private well water, it’s probably already potable, meaning it’s safe to drink. So, if your water is already potable, why get a filter? A whole house filter makes it safer. Most water in the United States contains some level of contamination due to pollution, and the only way to know for sure what’s in your water is by having it testing professionally.
You can also learn more about your water by reading your town’s water report. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all water suppliers to provide a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) (a water report) to consumers each year by July 1. You might receive yours in the mail with your water bill, but you can also find it online through the EPA’s database. The water report provides a ton of valuable information about your water quality, including any detected contaminants.
Once you know your starting point, it’s easier to see how a whole house water filtration system can benefit you. For example, if your report shows fluoride in your water, then you can feel good about investing in a house filter that removes fluoride.
Installing a water filtration system ensures that you and your family drinking pure, healthy, and delicious-tasting water.
2. Healthier showers
Whole house filters can do many things. We often think of filters as making water healthier to drink, but water doesn’t just enter your body through your mouth. Remember, your skin is your largest organ, so it’s important the water you shower or bath in is just as healthy. You wouldn’t want to soak in a vat of toxins! Yuck!
Chemicals like chlorine can cause skin irritation and/or dry skin — even at “safe” levels. A whole house filtration system treats all of the water in your home, including the water you shower or bathe in.
3. Less wear-and-tear on your appliances
Filtered water is good for you… but it’s also good for your appliances! Who knew!? Hard water, which contains hard minerals, can shorten the life of your appliances if those minerals build up. This includes everything from the water dispenser in your fridge to your dishwasher to your hot water heater to coffee pot.
4. Better for the environment
While bottled water can deliver safe, filtered water on-the-go, it can wreak havoc on the environment. An estimated 40 billion water bottles are used each month … and if you do the math, that’s about 1 million bottles each minute. Ahh! You might be one person (or one family) but you can do your part by not contributing to that number — and a whole house filter can help you do your part in protecting the environment.
Whole house water FAQs
Investing in a whole house filter isn’t a decision to make lightly. After all, water is the fuel that goes into your body so you want to make sure you’re choosing the right one. Here are a few common questions regarding whole house filters.
Does a whole house water filter need a drain?
Yes! Whole house filtrations systems are typically installed wherever the main water supply enters your home. For many, this is the basement, but if you don’t have a basement, it could be your garage or even a water closet. For climates where freezing temperatures are highly unlikely, your system could even be installed outside. Regardless of where it’s installed, you’ll need access to an electrical outlet and a drain.
How long should you run water after changing a whole house filter?
Typically, you should run your water for about five minutes after changing the filter. However, keep in mind that this number can vary depending on which brand of filtration system you choose. You can also re-test your water to ensure the filter is working correctly.
What about trace minerals?
Filtering water removes a lot of elements from your water: heavy metals, fluoride, VOCs, etc. But what about essential minerals? Yes, the whole house filter removes those too. If you’re interested in remineralizing your water, you can add a special filter to the Point-of-Use (POU) AKA your faucets. The 14-Stage Biocompatible Water Purification System complements the whole house filter so that you can enjoy delicious mineral water that is also safe bathing water.
If you’re not concerned about trace minerals (or if you consume your minerals via supplement), you do not need a POU filter in your house.
Do whole house water filters affect water pressure?
When installed correctly, a whole house water filtration system shouldn’t affect your water pressure. Some whole house filters (like Radiant Life) come with installation instructions, but keep in mind, if you’re uncomfortable installing one, you can always call a licensed and bonded plumber to install it for you.
Does a water filter reduce hardness?
A water softener and a water filter both improve your water, but they do different things. If you want to remove hardness from your water and soften it, you’d want a water softener. A water softener doesn’t filter out hard minerals like calcium or magnesium. Rather, the water softener exchanges calcium and magnesium for sodium ions. Softened water is great for your hair, skin, and your pipes, but it’s not a replacement for a water filter.
If you already have a water softener, it is removing the hard minerals from your water, but it won’t:
- Improve the taste of your water
- Improve the purity of your water
- Remove fluoride or chlorine
- Remove VOCs
- Remove heavy metal
- Remove waterborne pathogens
How much should a whole house water filtration system cost?
This answer varies depending on the brand and size of your filter. Key factors that influence price include:
- How many bathrooms are in your house
- Estimated water usage (and how many people in your home)
- What type of water you have and what (if any) added features you select
- Installation costs (DIY or professional)
With all of these customizations in place, a whole house filter can run anywhere from $600 to $5,000. However, many systems include lifetime warranties and essentially zero maintenance.
Why is water sterilized?
The goal of disinfection of public water is to eliminate the pathogens that are responsible for waterborne diseases. This is a serious health risk as the World Health Organization warns that ” “every year more than 3.4 million people die as a result of water-related diseases, making it the leading cause of disease and death around the world.”
Most municipal water sources clean water with chlorine. This does an amazing job at making water safe to drink — and cutting back on waterborne diseases. While cleaning water is 100% necessary, using a whole house filter goes the next step to then remove the chlorine.
Does a water filter remove bacteria?
Not all water filters remove bacteria, so it’s important to double check and compare all of the filters you are considering. Even among one brand, there are many different types of filters. If you have well water, you should definitely consider a filter that does remove bacteria, fungus, and algae.
Take the Next Step to Clean, Healthy Water in Your Home
Are you considering a whole house filter? Be sure to check out Radiant Life’s various water filtration systems. Do you already have a whole house system? I’d love to hear your experiences below!