Do I Really Need a Water Softener or Is an Inline Filter Sufficient?

You need clean water for daily tasks like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many the U.S. homeowners consider the question of which is better—a water filter or a water softener? Explore the primary differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the advantages 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 house. 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 ask yourself why you might need an inline water filter. After all, the water has already been cleaned at a water treatment plant. However, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may pick up impurities between the treatment plant and your residence. Here’s how setting up a water filter can benefit you:

  • Healthier water: Water filters remove unsafe microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other debris for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
  • Reduced sediment: Water filters reduce sediment buildup in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, defending them from harm.
  • No plastic waste: Inline water filters reduce the need for bottled water, adding to a greener environment.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra cash on bottled water and minimizes the 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 safe and healthy drinking water. Here are some signs 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.
  • Frequent plumbing issues: A whole-house water filter helps reduce plugged pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
  • Skin irritation: If you have redness, rashes or other skin issues connected to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be helpful.
  • Past history: Does your local water supply have a history of contamination? Getting 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 the water entering your home. A process called ion exchange operates somewhat like a chemical magnet, replacing these “hard” minerals with sodium ions to “soften” the water.

Benefits of Water Softeners

If you have hard water, here’s what you’ll notice once you set up a water softener:

  • Longer plumbing life span: Soft water decreases scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, lengthening their life span and enhancing their appearance.
  • Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t create a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, keeping your pipes and faucets flowing effortlessly.
  • Better soap lathering: Soft water is a good way to make sure cleaning products lather more effectively, resulting in 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 work properly for lower power charges.

How to Know if You Need a Water Softener

Most water reserves in North America are categorized as moderately hard, hard or very hard. Learn more by reading your local municipality’s water quality report. In the meantime, here are some signs that you could use 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 significantly obstructed by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is a sign of hard water.
  • Dry skin and hair: Hard water stops soap from rinsing correctly, causing irritated skin and brittle hair.
  • Frequent appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater stops working regularly due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile investment.

Do You Need 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 functions. An inline water filter removes contaminants and elevates overall water quality, while a water softener specifically addresses the problem of hard minerals. In some circumstances, utilizing 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 the U.S.

Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is a respected provider of water treatment solutions in the U.S., including water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our experienced professionals can help you evaluate if one or both solutions are necessary to help you achieve the best water quality in your the U.S. home.

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
Offer

$50 OFF ANY REPAIR

  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!
print
Offer

FREE PLUMBING INSPECTION

  • Prevent costly damage from water leaks, drain clogs and tank damage
  • Written 100% Expert Service Guarantee
print

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional