How to select the right whole house filter for your home
Your water carries with it a story; where it came from, what it was treated with, and where it’s going all act as a three-part narrative to the tale of what’s in your water. Sometimes the story has a happy ending, and sometimes it’s told like an epic, with twists and turns along its journey to your home.
For example, municipalities treat your water with chlorine or chloramines in order to disinfect and kill germs that may be present before it ends up at your tap. But it’s often the case that even after being disinfected, contaminants can enter your water on its way from the city water treatment plant to your home. And that issue isn’t limited to your municipality. Even private or shared well water can carry unknown contaminants from the groundwater to your glass. This can include contaminants like fluoride, cysts, lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, industrial solvents and more. These contaminants can have nasty side effects, ranging from an undesirable color taste and odor to serious health issues.
Most people only consider the risks of drinking unfiltered water — but what about the water that’s already been filtered? Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and consider the water we shower in, wash our pets in, clean our clothes with, and what goes into our family’s food and drinks.
At Aquasana, we’re passionate about contaminant reduction and providing healthy water throughout the entire home.
Whole Home Water Filtration Benefits
A Whole House Filtration System benefits the entire home in a number of surprising ways:
- Reduces your body’s exposure to harsh chlorine and contaminants that can cause damage and excessive drying, giving you noticeably healthier, more moisturized skin and hair.
- Delivers clean, great-tasting water from every tap in your home by reducing 97% of chlorine and/or chloramines from your water.
- Makes filtered water your culinary secret – no added flavor to your cooking – leaving you with foods that taste the way nature intended.
- Protects the colors of your favorite clothing and helps you save on extra detergent.
- Helps you to breathe deep, with confidence. Did you know chlorine and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) can evaporate in shower steam, contaminating the air around you? Fearlessly take a deep breath and improve your overall air quality throughout the home with cleaner, healthier air.
Different Types of Water Treatments
Before choosing a whole house water filtration system, you need to find out how your water is treated. We offer four different whole home systems specifically tailored to the type of water in your home, whether it’s municipal water treated with chlorine/chloramines, or untreated well water.
Chlorine Treated Water
If your water supplier treats your water with chlorine, you should be able to both smell and taste it. Chlorine can be harsh on skin and hair, causing everything from dry skin to split ends. Bright colors could also be a casualty when your favorite clothes meet chlorine-treated water in the washing machine.
Chloramine Treated Water
Chloramines put their own signature on your belongings. Though it’s not as harsh or as noticeable as chlorine, it is still an aggressive disinfectant that sticks around a lot longer. While this prolongs the amount of time your water remains disinfected, it also makes filtering more difficult. Another concern about chloramines is their potential effect on lead or copper pipes. The CDC states, “Chloramine can change the chemical properties of the water, which can affect lead and copper pipes.” While the CDC insists that this is not an issue because lead and copper are strictly regulated, we know that the EPA has struggled to contend with lead in recent years.
Private well water should always be filtered, as it is not treated municipally. Well water is at risk of contamination from bacteria, viruses and other organic compounds. Naturally-occurring chemicals such as arsenic or radon can make their way into private water supplies, as well as pesticides used on local land. The CDC reminds well owners that they are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe from contaminants. Contaminated well water can cause everything from stomach issues to reproductive problems and neurological disorders. With our most vulnerable population— children, the elderly and the ill— there is an even greater risk of exposure.
To find out how your water is treated, review a copy of your Consumer Confidence Report online.
Consumer Confidence Report
The EPA requires water suppliers to distribute a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) or an annual Drinking Water Quality Report. You should receive this report by July 1st each year. Some cities even publish their water quality report in their semi-annual magazines. Within the report, you’ll see just how your water is treated. You’ll also be notified if there are any specific concerns regarding your area.
You can access your water quality report year-round by visiting your city’s official website. For example, residents of Austin, Texas would visit austintexas.gov/department/water-quality-reports.
If you’re still unsure of how to access your CCR, check out this interactive map on the EPA’s website. While not all water suppliers have provided a direct link, you can type in your zip code and find out exactly who your water supplier is and how to contact them.
Which System Is Right For You?
Let’s break down the basic whole home filtration system and potential additions. The basic system is comprised of carefully sequenced stages, each with its own unique formula. Once you know what your water is treated with (i.e. if it’s untreated well water, municipal water, etc.), there is an appropriate system for each:
The Rhino Well Water with UV uses specially formulated media (KDF 85 and catalytic carbon) to filter iron, hydrogen sulfide, bacteria, algae, scale, VOCs, and sulfur for improved purification as well as taste and odor. The UV bulb kills 99.99% of all viruses and bacteria that can live in untreated well water. This well water filter lasts 500,000 gallons. Start Here>>
The Rhino 1,000,000 Gallons uses KDF 55 and granular carbon. Granular active carbon (GAC) filtration is the most effective at removing chlorine, chloramines, VOCs, heavy metals. radon, as well as chemicals and other impurities. This filter reduces 97% of chlorine for your whole home. This chlorine/chloramines filter lasts either 600,000 gallons or 1,000,000 gallons, depending on the model you choose. Start Here>>
Some cities use chlorine in their water treatment systems, while others use chloramines. Not sure which you need to remove from your water? Contact an Aquasana water expert and they can help you. Start Here>>
The OptimH2O Whole House Filter System uses a 0.5 micron-rated, ultra-dense carbon block. Both catalytic carbon and activated carbon are combined in this first-of-its-kind filter certified to reduce more than 99% of lead and cysts, 98% of PFOA/PFOS, and additionally, tackles chlorine, and chloramines. This revolutionary system reduces more lead and PFOA/PFOS than any other whole house system available. The OptimH2O water filter is IAPMO certified to NSF standards to reduce contaminants no matter how your city water is treated. This whole home filter lasts 100,000 gallons. Start Here>>
Whole Home Water Filtration Upgrade Options
Additional options provide extra support for a complete home filtration system:
- The Sediment Pre-Filter catches rust, sediment, and silt for long lasting system performance.
- The Salt-Free Water Conditioner acts as a descaler, preventing minerals from binding and building up in your appliances, pipes, and plumbing.
- The Sub-Micron Post-Filter reduces any remaining sediment and organic particles down to .35 microns— smaller than the eye can see.
- The UV Filter acts as a safeguard against bacteria and viruses that could be present in your water. Even with city water, this will eliminate any worry you might have from a boil-warning.