Do I Really Need a Water Softener or Is an Inline Filter Sufficient?
You need clean water for day-to-day routines like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Longmont homeowners consider the question of which is best—a water filter or a water softener? Explore the key differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the perks they provide and how to figure out 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 enters your residence. It’s installed right on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other pollutants from the municipal water supply before flowing to your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Benefits of Water Filters
If your water comes from a municipal supplier, you may wonder why you might need an inline water filter. After all, the water is already cleaned at a water treatment plant. However, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may be contaminated with pollutants between the treatment plant and your faucets. Here’s how using a water filter can improve the water in your home:
- Healthier water: Water filters remove harmful microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other debris for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters decrease sediment collection in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, shielding them from damage.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters diminish the need for bottled water, adding to a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra money on bottled water and decreasesthe stress on your plumbing system.
How to Tell if You Need a Whole-House Water Filter
About one-third of American households rely on home treatment systems for top-quality drinking water. Here are some signals that you need a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, unusual taste or undesirable smell: If your tap water is anything but crystal-clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Give consideration to installing a filter for your safety.
- Constant plumbing problems: A whole-house water filter helps decrease plugged pipes, low water pressure and other issues.
- Skin irritation: If you notice anyone in your household suffering from redness, rashes or other skin issues connected to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be useful.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a background of possible contamination? Installing a whole-house water filter can give you peace of mind against future problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener removes calcium and magnesium from your water supply. A process called ion exchange works sort of like 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 find once you install a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water decreases scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, extending their life span and enhancing their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t leave a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, which keeps the water in your pipes and faucets flowing easily.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water helps cleaning products lather more effectively, resulting in cleaner dishes, brighter laundry, and softer skin and hair, even when using less soap and detergent.
- Energy savings: A water softener helps your plumbing appliances operate efficiently for lower power charges.
How to Tell if You Need a Water Softener
Most water resources in North America are characterized as moderately hard, hard or very hard. Learn more by reading your local government's water quality report. In the meantime, here are some indicators that you could benefit from a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky substance on your fixtures and appliances is a sign 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 often become significantly obstructed by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is a result of hard water.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water hinders soap from rinsing completely, resulting in irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Repeated appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater malfunctions often due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile purchase.
Should You Buy Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners both provide valuable benefits, but they perform different functions. An inline water filter takes away contaminants and elevates overall water quality, while a water softener specifically removes hard minerals. In some instances, utilizing a water filter and a water softener is necessary. Evaluate your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Longmont
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is a respected provider of water treatment remedies in Longmont, such as water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our team can help you determine if one or both solutions are necessary to help you get the best water quality in your Longmont home.