Do I Need a Water Filter If I Have a Water Softener?
If you have very hard water, you’ll need a salt-based water softener or alternative solution. If your water isn’t super hard, a Salt-Free Water Conditioner is a great option that requires less maintenance and won’t strip away healthy minerals from your water.
However, many people carry the misconception that their water is safe and clean simply because they are using a water softener to filter their water. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding. Although a water softener may help to make your water less hard, it does not make it a cleaner or safer drink. Water softeners do not filter water, they only remove calcium and magnesium minerals to address hard water. In order to remove contaminants so water is safer for drinking, cooking, and showering — you’ll need to use a water filter even if you already have a water softener installed.
Why a Water Filter is Better than a Water Softener
If your goal is only to reduce the presence of harmful contaminants, a water filter is a better solution than a water softener. When your home’s water is run through a quality whole house water filter, you are reducing harmful contaminants like chlorine, chloramines, harmful VOCs, and more.
A whole house water filter will enable you to provide filtered water throughout your entire house, but you can also get clean water through under sink or countertop filters that let you decide where you want to receive filtered water from. Even non-whole house systems have the same contaminant-removing benefits over water softeners, and some options like a reverse osmosis water filtration system reduce contaminants and total dissolved solids that contribute to hard water.
Salt-Free Water Conditioners: The Alternative to Water Softeners
If you’re not concerned about contaminants in your tap water but still need a way to remove scale buildup from your home that’s environmentally friendly and safe, consider a Salt-Free Water Conditioner.
Unlike salt-based softeners, the Aquasana Whole House Salt-Free Water Conditioner won’t demineralize your water by chemically removing minerals nor will it put excess salt waste or chemicals into our environment. It uses Scale Control Media technology to safely and naturally reduce harsh scale build-up on internal pipes without the use of salt or chemicals. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that water conditioners typically can’t tackle extremely hard water, in which case you will need a salt-based softener.
To recap, if you have hard water then you need a way to address it. You could use a salt-based water softener, but if your water is only moderately hard, we’d recommend a salt-free water conditioner because it requires less maintenance, is environmentally friendly, and won’t remove healthy minerals from your water.
However, just because you use a water softener or conditioner doesn’t mean your water is safe. Water softeners do not filter contaminants from your water, so if your goal is to provide clean water then you’ll need to purchase a water filter. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our guide on How to Choose a Water Filter.