You need clean water for day-to-day activities like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Charlotte homeowners consider the question of which is better—a water filter or a water softener? Explore the key differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the advantages they provide and how to determine which one is best for your needs.
What Is an Inline Water Filter?
An inline water filter is a point-of-entry filtration system that filters water as it comes into your house. It’s installed right on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other contaminants from the municipal water supply before flowing to your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Benefits of Water Filters
If your water comes from a municipal provider, you may ask yourself why you could use an inline water filter. After all, the water has already been cleaned at a water treatment plant. The problem is, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may pick up harmful particles between the treatment plant and your home. Here’s how using a water filter can benefit you:
- Healthier water: Water filters remove unhealthy microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other potentially harmful particles for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters minimize sediment collection in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, defending them from wear and tear.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters diminish the need for bottled water, helping create a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra money on bottled water and reducesthe strain on your plumbing system.
How to Tell if You Need a Whole-House Water Filter
About one-third of American households depend on home treatment systems for top-quality drinking water. Here are some telltale indicators that you might need to get a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, unusual taste or undesirable smell: If your tap water is anything but totally clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Give consideration to adding a filter for your health and well-being.
- Constant plumbing problems: A whole-house water filter helps reduce blocked pipes, low water pressure and other issues.
- Skin discomfort: If you have redness, rashes or other skin issues linked to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be useful.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a record of possible contamination? Getting a whole-house water filter offers peace of mind against potential problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener removes calcium and magnesium from water. A process called ion exchange works similar to a chemical magnet, replacing these “hard” minerals with sodium ions to “soften” the water.
Benefits of Water Softeners
If you have hard water, this is what you’ll discover once you put in a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water decreases scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, prolonging their life span and enhancing their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t cause a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, keeping your pipes and faucets flowing efficiently.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water helps cleaning products lather more effectively, producing cleaner dishes, brighter laundry, and softer skin and hair, even if you use a smaller amount of soap and detergent.
- Energy savings: A water softener helps your plumbing appliances operate properly for lower power expenses.
How to Know if You Need a Water Softener
Most water reserves in North America are considered moderately hard, hard or very hard. You can learn about the quality of your local water by reading your local municipality's water quality report. In the meantime, here are some indicators that you could see a real difference in the quality of water in your home by installing a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky substance on your fixtures and appliances is an indication of hard water, as are the white spots on your dishes, glass shower door and coffee maker. A water softener can help you get rid of this unsightly issue.
- Low water pressure: Showerheads and faucet aerators commonly become badly obstructed by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is another indication of hard water.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water prevents soap from rinsing correctly, causing irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Frequent appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater breaks down often due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile investment.
Should You Use Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners are two tools that offer valuable benefits, but they perform different operations. An inline water filter takes away contaminants and elevates overall water quality, while a water softener specifically targets hard minerals. In some cases, having a water filter and a water softener is required in order to make sure you have high-quality water. Evaluate your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Charlotte
Komfort Air Service Experts is a trustworthy provider of water treatment solutions in Charlotte, carrying high-quality water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our team can help you decide if one or both solutions are necessary to help you get the best water quality in your Charlotte home.