Are Whole House Filters Worth It? Costs & Benefits
Are whole house filters worth it? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine the costs and benefits of a whole house water filter system. We’ll also give you correct information about the capabilities and limitations of such equipment. Let’s begin.
Cost of Whole House Filters
Let’s start with the cost. Normally, filtration systems cost from $300 up to $10,000. That includes the whole equipment, parts and installation. There’s a huge difference among the costs because of the different capabilities of each system.
For instance, popular whole house filters can remove sediments and chlorine. This could be in the low to mid-range pricing. For complete filtration (such as reverse osmosis for all taps and showers), you might need thousands of dollars for the whole setup. Complete filtration systems can remove all micro-contaminants (heavy metals, bacteria and other chemical by-products). However, expect the equipment to cost higher for this added capability.
Here’s the good news, even with the basic whole house filters you can already get huge benefits. As mentioned earlier, they can already remove sediments and chlorine. Based on scientific research, chlorine can cause irritations and allergies when it contact with skin (especially to infants and with sensitive skin). Removal of this chlorine can minimise the risks.
In addition, sediments might contain dangerous contaminants. Some chemicals might attach to those sediments. The whole house filter can remove those and minimise your contact and exposure to them.
You can even select finer filter cartridges for better protection. For instance, Filtap allows you to choose from various sizes of cartridges (from 1 to 50 microns). The lower the micron number, the finer the cartridge is. This means the system will be able to remove even smaller particles and more possible contaminants.
Other Benefits of Whole House Filters
Aside from removal of sediments and chlorine, whole house filters can also help protect your tap washers, hot water systems and other appliances. That’s because there’s less sediment that can accumulate especially in your hot water systems.
Scaling and accumulation of sediments are a huge problem in water heaters and tap washers. These issues can make your appliances less efficient (while consuming more energy). In addition, the useful lifespan of some of your appliances will be shortened because of the buildup of particles. Some of the substances found in unfiltered water are known to cause corrosion. This process can eat away some of the parts which could lead to more repair and replacement expenses.
In other words, you will realise some cost savings from the use of a whole house filter. You prolong the useful lifespan of your tap washers and hot water systems. You also make them more energy efficient. More importantly, you and your family benefit from using chlorine-free water. There’s less risk for irritation and you protect yourself from possible long-term harm brought by chlorine and its chemical by-products.
What About Your Drinking Water?
As discussed earlier, the basic and popular whole house filters can remove sediments and chlorine. That’s because they only have basic parts and features (mostly filter cartridges) that can filter water in the point of entry (and also point of use depending on the setup).
If you need more features and complexity, that’s when the expenses add up. You’ll be paying for more parts and labour costs. Reconfiguration in your plumbing system might also be required to accommodate the complex parts of a complete water filtration system.
However, the additional costs might actually be unnecessary. You don’t need to have a complex whole house filter to make your drinking water safe and pure. What you need is a more specialised filtration system you can install under the sink.
Here’s how it works. You have one dedicated under the sink filter for your drinking water. Then, you have a whole house filter that removes chlorine before water comes out of the other taps and showers. This setup ensures you have pure drinking water while your showers and other taps are free from chlorine.
This is much more cost-effective than having a complex whole house filter. A thorough whole house filter can waste much water and money. The removal of chlorine and sediments is already enough for showering, washing and other purposes. There’s no need for a thorough process for these.
On the other hand, a dedicated under the sink filter can provide the pure drinking water you need. It will completely remove the microparticles including heavy metals and microorganisms. You ensure that you and your family are drinking safe and clean water. You prevent ingestion of harmful chemicals. You have a daily and long-term protection this way.
Why a Whole House Filter is Important?
You should prioritise the clarity and priority of your drinking water. But it’s still a good thing to have the chlorine removed from the water for showering and washing. That’s why having a whole house filter is important.
Chlorine is known to be a harsh chemical, which is why it’s the most popular choice in water disinfection. It can effectively kill bacteria and other microorganisms. One possible way chlorine does this is by attacking the bacteria’s cell wall. As a result, the whole cell’s functions get terminated, thereby resulting in the death of the bacteria.
In summary, the bacteria cells become vulnerable when attacked by chlorine. The cells become modified (chemically, physically or biochemically) because of the chlorine’s reaction. This mechanism could also have a similar effect to human cells.
Its effectiveness and “harshness” make chlorine a preferred choice for water treatment and disinfection. Through the decades, it has effectively prevented thousands (if not millions) of cases of typhoid fever, dysentery and other waterborne diseases.
However, as mentioned earlier, the reaction mechanism of chlorine can also affect human cells. According to research, people are exposed to higher risks of certain types of cancer when drinking water with chlorine. Skin irritations also result when in physical contact with chlorinated water (especially to baby adults and those with sensitive skin).
There could be both short and long-term effects. Remember, we’ll be using water each day for the rest of our lives. The effects can compound and accumulate. That’s why it’s recommended to use chlorine-free water for bathing and washing. One effective way is to install a whole house filter so every drop of water you use is free from chlorine.
Other Options for Removing Chlorine
There’s a more affordable and easier way to limit your exposure to chlorine when bathing. It’s by installing a shower filter. This can remove the chlorine before the water can reach your body. Each day you’ll be sure that only “gentle” water will touch your skin for months and years to come.
If you want full protection and ensure all taps and showers are free from chlorine, it’s good to install a whole house filter. But if there are only a few people in your home and there’s only one shower room, a shower filter will already suffice.
It’s given though that you have pure drinking water. You can choose a twin, triple or even a full 5-stage reverse osmosis system to be installed under your kitchen sink. These pieces of equipment are compact while still delivering clean drinking water for your family 24/7.
Complete Removal of Sediments
Sediments can greatly affect the aesthetics and perceived safety of the water. For example, while showering you might notice the feeling of grains or roughness because of the sediments present. This makes you question the safety of the water you use for bathing.
It’s also the case with storing water in a pail or other container. The sediments might not be noticeable at first. But after some time, the sediments will settle and become obvious. You might find things that resemble rust, sand or other type of debris. These dirt and sediments might have come from pipes, leaks or even from the local water treatment facility. It’s recommended to install your own additional layer of protection to remove these sediments.
Features and Specifications of Whole House Water Filters
The filter system should deliver enough chlorine-free water for your whole family. There are systems that can filter up to 20 litres of water each minute. This is more than enough to fulfill the water needs of the whole family (even during peak hours such as morning and night).
The filter cartridges should be carbon-based because these are known to adsorb and remove the most quantities of chlorine. In addition, the housings and other parts should at least last up to a year. This way, you’ll spend a minimum amount on possible repairs and replacements.
Aside from the equipment itself, the quality of installation is important as well. Improper installations and incompatible parts can make the equipment useless. That’s why it’s recommended to only work with experienced technicians. They can install the right parts and ensure everything’s in place. They’ll also perform a pressure test and flow check to ensure you get enough water anytime of the day (at a sufficiently fast rate).
Are Whole House Water Filters Worth it in Sydney?
If you need chlorine-free water 24/7 for your bathing and washing, a whole house water filter will be worth the investment. But if you just need your shower water to get filtered, a shower filter will also be good enough.
The recommended way is to have a complete filtration system for your drinking water (under the sink filters) and then have a whole house filter to remove chlorine from all taps and showers. This is good in getting the best protection while still saving on costs.
There’s no better substitute yet for chlorine for water disinfection. It’s still the most effective and cost-efficient in killing harmful bacteria and other pathogens. Water treatment facilities would still likely be using chlorine today and for the years to come.
That’s why it’s now up to you if you want full protection for you and your family. Thankfully, you can have access to chlorine-free water with just a minimal upfront investment. You will be sure that each drop of water you use for bathing will be free from harmful chlorine and sediments.
Here at Filtap, we install whole house filters for Sydney homeowners and families. Our experienced technicians provide quick and cost-effective services. They install the filters, cartridges, housings and other parts with a priority on professionalism.
Contact us today and our friendly staff will answer all your questions about water filtration systems. We service greater Sydney, Central Coast & Wollongong areas. Enquire online and we will respond within 5 minutes.