Whole House water filters come in a variety of sizes and styles. They all have the same purpose: to filter the water as it enters your home so you can have safe, filtered water at every faucet and appliance. Whole House Filters can vary pretty widely in price. A simple sediment and taste and odor filter can be found for well under $100 and you can spend several thousand for a sophisticated, high end whole house filter system.
One thing to remember is if you get a really good whole house filter, you may not need a separate Drinking Water filter and you definitely should not need Shower Filters. The same basic principles apply to Whole House filters as to Point of Use (Drinking Water) filters..
These include: micron rating, filter type, etc.
Choosing Whole House water Filters
There are just a few other things to consider when choosing a Whole House system. First, as mentioned, flow rate is more important when considering a Whole House system. You need to make sure the flow rate will be enough to handle all your household needs. The best way to figure this out is to add up the average flow rates for all your fixtures and appliances. The simplest method is to add all you shower heads and sink faucets up and multiply the total number by 2.5.
This will give you an approximate number of gallons per minute you would need if everything was running at one time. Since this is not very likely you can adjust the number down some based on what you think is your family’s normal usage. By the way, I don’t count toilets, dishwashers or clothes washers because they don’t depend on a certain flow rate to operate. Once you have your number, just make sure the system you buy gets close to that flow rate and you should be fine. (As a rule of thumb, a 2 ½ bath house is usually fine with a filter that is rated for about 7 gallons per minute).
Another thing to consider when choosing a Whole House filter system is what contaminants you are trying to remove. For chlorine and most other contaminants a combination of charcoal and other media are usually used. If bacteria or viruses are an issue, UV light is sometimes used to kill them. Generally, the cleaner you want the water the more you will need to spend. This may mean your best bet is to compare the cost of using a more expensive Whole House unit alone or combining a less costly Whole House Filter with an additional Drinking water Filter. Some people even opt for the cleanest water possible and install both a really good Whole House system and a very good Drinking Water filter.
It just depends on your budget and your level of concern. Since a Whole House water Filters can be a fairly large investment, many people opt to have their water analyzed before deciding on a system. There are a few ways to do this . One more thing to think about is whether you want a Whole House system that backwashes itself to flush the contaminants from the system. These types of filters usually use some sort of timer control to flush water backwards through the filters periodically to clean them. This may help them to go longer before they need service.
The downside to these types of “automatic” filters is they generally cost more than comparable “non-flushing” filters, they require electricity and they require a place to drain the waste water. One last thing to find out is the estimated lifespan and the replacement cost of the filters and/or media used in the system. This is an important factor in the overall cost of the system. So, the three main things to consider when selecting a Whole House Water Filter System are: flow rate, contaminant removal and ongoing cost.
By using these factors you should be able to make an informed decision and get the system you need without paying more than you should.