There are many types of water filtration systems to choose from and one of the most popular and effective is a whole house filtration system.
A safe, clean and reliable source of water is possibly the most important thing a household needs and this article will explain what a whole house water filter is, why they are important and the best whole house ones on the market right now.
- Our Top Picks
- Best Whole House Water Filter of 2021:
- Whole House Water Filter that are worth mentioning:
- 1. SpringWell Water Whole House Water Filter System
- 2. Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter FS1000
- 3. AquaOx Whole House Water Filtration System
- 4. Aquasana 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Water Filter
- 5. Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water Filter
- 6. iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
- 7. Pentair Pelican Whole House Water Filter System
- 8. iSpring WGB21B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filter
- 9. Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
- 10. Home Master HMF2SMGCC Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter
- Product Overview
- Why are they important?
- Key Considerations
- Whole House Vs Reverse Osmosis
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should I buy a whole house system and not a single under sink or countertop system?
- How difficult are they to install?
- What are the running costs of these filters?
- Why do they have more than one filter?
- Is the water safe to drink and use for cooking?
- What are the best water filtration systems to go for?
Our Top Picks
Best Whole House Water Filter of 2021:
Whole House Water Filter that are worth mentioning:
We’ve put together our top 10 whole house water filters that are on the market right now, along with some key information and the pros and cons of buying them. Understanding what these systems do and how they meet your requirements is key to making the right long term investment.
1. SpringWell Water Whole House Water Filter System
At the top of our list is this whole house filtration system from one of the leading manufacturers, SpringWell.
This highly-rated system, at a very reasonable price, will provide your household with 1,000,000 gallons of water per filter, without any reduction in water pressure at all.
It utilises a four-stage filtration process and removes many of the harmful contaminants found in the water supply, including chlorine, lead, heavy metals, pesticides and bacteria. They have used some of the latest technology to filter out more harmful contaminants than most systems on the market and along with a lifetime warranty, they have made this a fantastic long-term investment for every household.
The only issue we have discovered is that installing this system isn’t easy for those without DIY experience and so you may need to get some assistance.
2. Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter FS1000
Another system which offers performance and a long-lasting filtration system is this model from Filtersmart.
Its filters will deliver up to 1,000,000 gallons of clean and safe water for the entire household and has an interesting filtering system that pre-filters out sediment.
As standard, the tanks that this whole house filter comes with will cover 1-3 bathrooms, but you do have the choice of increasing this to a 4-6 bathroom option for those larger households.
In terms of what this system will filter, it will remove all chlorine, as well as pesticides, herbicides and more. Your household will be able to enjoy clean-tasting drinking water and softer skin and hair, thanks to this filter system.
3. AquaOx Whole House Water Filtration System
One of the most expensive whole house water filtration systems on our list but we think it may just be worth the price.
To start with, its innovative filtration system doesn’t require replacement filters thanks to a backwashing mechanism that refreshes the filters. This means that you won’t need to regularly maintain or replace any cartridges.
This system from AquaOx uses a 7-stage filtration system that removes harmful contaminants including heavy metals and sediment, as well as making your water softer and nicer tasting. It comes in two sizes, with the largest being powerful enough to supply larger properties with over four bathrooms.
One downside to this model is that it doesn’t remove fluoride from your water supply and this may be something you wanted to have filtered out of the water supply.
4. Aquasana 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Water Filter
The next one of our whole house water filter systems comes from Aquasana.
They have delivered an impressive system that not only filters out up to 1,000,000 gallons per filter but delivers on quality too.
You will be able to purchase this with the pro-grade installation kit which includes pre and post filters, brass fittings and everything you will need to install it. We believe you shouldn’t have any issues with faulty parts or leaking valves with this quality piece of kit.
The manufacturers claim that the 1,000,000 capacity water softener and filter should last a standard household up to 10 years, which is a great return on investment. It will be looking after your family’s health for a very long time to come.
5. Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water Filter
Home Master is another leading manufacturer of filtration systems and this is one of their most popular models thanks to its performance and price.
This whole house water filter system has a filtering capacity of 100, 000 gallons of water before needing to be replaced and has a flow rate of up to 15 gallons per minute of water (GPM), depending on the usage and water pressure at your property.
The performance and subsequent water quality of this filter are also impressive, removing all particles larger than 1 micron in the water and producing clean, safe water that has passed through an activated carbon filter.
This will mean up to 95% of harmful contaminants in the whole home water supply will have been removed before it reaches the faucet. An effective and efficient water treatment.
6. iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
iSpring brings us another top pick whole house water filtration system that made it on our list and this one doesn’t fail to impress.
With its filters removing up to 95% of the harmful contaminants found in the water, including chlorine, sediment, pesticides and other chemicals, then you can rest assured you will have clean, safe water at every faucet.
It uses a clever whole house filter set up that ensures the water flow rate isn’t compromised by filtering water and you can expect to have up to 15 gallons of water per minute. This should mean in the majority of households, you won’t see any drop in pressure when using one of these whole house water filtration systems.
In terms of maintenance, the filters will last around 100,000 gallons of water, which is the average water consumption for a household in a year or two, depending on water usage.
7. Pentair Pelican Whole House Water Filter System
You can purchase the Pentair Pelican whole house water filter system in two sizes, with the smaller model at 600,000 gallons or the larger whole home water filter which has an impressive capacity of 1,000,000 gallons of filtered water.
If you choose the larger size, then you will have the option of a filter system providing up to 6 bathrooms with clean, safe water.
This system will remove up to 97% of chlorine in the water, making the water you drink and wash with far safer, softer and better for your health. It doesn’t stop there and will effectively remove harmful contaminants including pesticides and sediment, thanks to its sediment filter.
Installation isn’t the easiest to understand but they do provide everything you need in the box, along with a lifetime warranty.
8. iSpring WGB21B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filter
Next up is a well made, long-lasting whole house water filter system from iSpring, thanks in part to its solid metal brackets and durable housing.
You will find this one of the easier whole home water filter systems to install and shouldn’t have any trouble installing it yourself without professional assistance. Everything arrives in the box and it comes pre-assembled as much as possible.
In terms of water filtration, whilst it doesn’t soften the water, it has a sediment filter and will remove chlorine, making water cleaner and nicer to drink, as well as softer on your skin.
Each filter will last for around 50, 000 gallons, which is often enough for a household for one year, but we recommend you replace them every six months anyway.
9. Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
Another top pick, this whole house water filter system offers an impressive three-stage filtration system, with each stage removing harmful contaminants from the water supply before it reaches any faucets in your house.
Its sediment filter will remove any sediment including sand and dirt, whilst its kinetic degradation and activated carbon filters will remove certain chemical elements and other harmful contaminants found in the water.
The manufacturer has estimated that it can feed clean, safe water to an entire household in 30 minutes.
Based on an average household with a family of four, we would expect this filter system to last for a year before needing to replace the filters.
10. Home Master HMF2SMGCC Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter
The final system on our list is from Home Master and it is one of the most effective 2-stage whole house water filtration systems.
Its filters will remove particles that are larger than 1 micron and each filter should last for up to 95, 000 gallons. We were particularly impressed with the performance of the water filter, as it prevents many of the harmful contaminants found in water supplies, from reaching the faucets in your house. These include chlorine, heavy metals and chloramines.
One of the easier systems to install on our best whole house water filter list, thanks to its clear and supporting instructions manual, which also provides you with instructions on how to change filters when it is required.
Unfortunately, the main downside of this system is the flow rate, which is up to 10 GPM, lower than some households will want.
We hope you’ve found this article useful and it has helped you get a better understanding of what a whole house water filter is and the important role it can play in providing your household with clean and safe drinking water.
Put simply – it is a water filtration system that filters all of the water that flows into your household. The way they work is by being installed at the Point of Entry (POE), normally before the water reaches any heating systems, faucets or machines. This is so that all water, whether hot or cold, gets filtered first.
This is different from the many other types of water filters that operate at the Point of Use (POU), such as connecting to a specific faucet or water pipe. Each has its own benefits and you can find reviews on the other types of filters on our website.
Why are they important?
There are a number of reasons why whole house water filters are a great choice for you and your family and these include:
Chlorine is one of the main ways that water companies treat water because it is very effective against bacteria and other harmful contaminants that can be found in a water supply.
However, just because it is good at removing harmful contaminants, doesn’t mean it’s good for you and studies have shown that it can affect your health, as well as your skin and hair. There is evidence that ingesting large amounts of chlorine can be dangerous for people’s health. It can also cause skin and hair to dry and look dull.
Choosing a whole house water filter will impact the environment less than other single point filters, and far less than buying water in plastic bottles.
However, this is because a whole house water filter doesn’t produce wastewater, unlike other water filter systems and so all water that you filter and subsequently enters the house gets used. Many of us purchase bottled water from the store and whilst these are often recyclable, they are still contributing to a growing carbon footprint and impact of the environment as they are being manufactured, bottled and transported.
As mentioned above, this type of whole home water filter doesn’t produce wastewater and as a result, will save money compared to other systems. This is because you will not be paying the utility companies for water that you don’t use!
Furthermore, you will no longer need to buy bottled water from the store, as the drinking water in your home will have been filtered and as a result, be safe and healthy to drink.
How a whole house water filter works
You may be reading this whilst already having an understanding of what a water filter does and how it works in your household. Whilst there are some differences with a whole house water filter, in essence, it performs in the same way and aims to provide clean, safe filtered water.
The first thing to know is that a whole house water filter will connect to the main water line as it enters the property. This is so that all water is filtered prior to it being sent around the home or into a heater/boiler. It should be easy for you to find the main water line in your property but if unsure, you may need to ask for assistance.
For the vast majority of these systems, they operate in stages, with multiple filters or different types removing or reducing important harmful contaminants and unwanted minerals.
The first stage is normally a sediment pre-filter, whose main function is to remove larger particles from the water supply, such as sand, debris and sediment. This initial stage helps protect the subsequent filters, extending their lifespan and improving performance.
After this stage, whole house water filter systems go through an activated carbon filter which can be made from various materials, including coconut shell carbon, but they each have important characteristics. An activated carbon filter helps remove the vast majority of contaminants thanks to having a porous surface that the contaminants and harmful minerals attract to via adsorption.
These activated carbon filters (such as coconut shell carbon) will help remove chlorine, far smaller molecules of sediment and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This is the point at which the taste and smell of your water will improve. Always check what carbon filter is used.
The next step is a special filter that helps further remove harmful contaminants including heavy metals, as well as bacteria. These filters are often called copper-zinc and mineral filters.
Now we get into the optional steps that some of the higher-end or more efficient whole house filtration systems will have. These include an ion-exchange phase which helps replace magnesium and calcium with sodium, making your water supply softer, particularly good for hard water areas. This process does add salt to the water but you can get salt-free water systems to counteract this.
Another optional stage but a very popular one is a water softener. Despite the filtration up until now, hard water can still be a problem and so a water softener is great at breaking down the small particles left. Likewise, an option UV filter can be included on the latest models to remove any remaining harmful bacteria, viruses or microorganisms. This will make your water supply truly clean and safe for your family to use as drinking water, washing with or cooking with.
One of the most important steps in every purchase is learning about the key considerations and factors to be aware of. This is no different for the best whole house water filters on the market right now and we’ve put together some of the most important for you to think about.
First on our list of key considerations is perhaps the most obvious – budget! There are two ways to look at this and firstly, you need to think about what you can afford to spend and how much you wish to spend on replacement filters.
Once you have this in mind, you can see whether your budget is realistic for a whole house water system. If it is, you will have instantly narrowed down your potential options and speed up the buying process. After all, there is no point finding a filter that is twice your budget and unrealistic. If your budget doesn’t allow you to get what you need, then you need to think about whether a whole house system is what you need (perhaps it is just a single point filter) or look at whether you can increase your budget.
This is a big consideration and an area you don’t want to underestimate. Fundamentally, all water going into your property will pass through this filter, so its flow rate which is calculated in gallons of water per minute will determine how your faucets, showers, appliances etc will perform.
To give you an example, most smaller households or apartments will cope with 10 gallons per minute (GPM) filter, but bigger households will find this frustrating and not suitable. There is plenty of research out there about the kind of flow rates required for each household size, the best for well water flow rates etc, so do your research first.
Types of filter used
As mentioned in the section above, whole house systems offer a range of filter setups, whether its multiple filters (such as a sediment pre-filter, activated carbon filter etc), added UV filter, water softener or a salt-free option. Each system will perform the basic filtration you’d expect, but then have a speciality or focus, unless you go for the higher end ones that deliver all-round performance.
As a result, we would advise you to understand what the water supply running to your house is like, whether it has a lot of harmful contaminants, high in heavy metals, bacteria or chlorine. That way you can then look at the most effective for your water. Perhaps you use well water and need a whole house filtration system that is best for well water.
Maintenance and filter longevity
A whole house water filtration system works hard because it filters everything that enters your house, unlike single-point systems that you can turn on and off or use sparingly. As a result, you need to research how long each filter or set of filters last. The vast majority will range anywhere from 100, 000 gallons up to 1,000, 000 gallons and within each system, filters will last different times depending on what they are.
Added to this subject is the consideration of maintenance. Fortunately, most of the latest systems require minimal maintenance but you don’t want to get caught out by buying a system that is complicated, time-consuming and costly to maintain.
Do you know the water consumption in your household? It is unlikely you do unless you have specifically tested or checked. With the lower-priced systems you will burn through filters or suffer from slow flow rates and this is no good if your household usage is high. Likewise, you don’t necessarily need to buy the high-end models if you live in a household with lower consumption.
A final consideration is the difficulty and requirements for installation. The majority of the systems that made it onto our best whole house water filters are relatively easy to install and don’t require expert knowledge or a professional to help you. However, some of them may be more complicated than others, so it is a good idea to check reviews and manufacturers advice before buying. If you do need professional help, such as a plumber then this will add to the upfront cost of the unit and impact your budget.
Whole House Vs Reverse Osmosis
One of the common questions asked is whether to go for a reverse osmosis (RO) water system and why don’t whole house filters use one. To start with, reverse osmosis systems are one of the most effective systems for purifying water and will truly deliver clean safe pure water, but they are not efficient for most households.
A reverse osmosis (RO) system is slow at processing water and to perform at the required level for the average household, would simply not be possible, at least not without spending a fortune).
Secondly, you should remember that a lot of the water used in your household is for cleaning, washing, showering, laundry and more. That means you don’t need the cleanest, safest most pure water, unlike when using it for drinking water or cooking with.
Thirdly, the standard whole-house water systems don’t process wastewater, unlike reverse osmosis (RO) water systems, saving both money and protecting the environment.
It is our opinion that those people wanting to go for the safest, cleanest water should invest in an under sink reverse osmosis (RO) system so that only water at specific faucets go through this filtration system. It will be the most efficient and cost-effective way of doing things as you don’t really need pure whole house water supplies.
How to install whole house water filters
Each water filter has its own specific installation requirements and guidance, but there are some fundamental steps that all of them require, so to help you understand what will be required of you we have put them below:
Make sure you turn off the water system and drain it completely
Choose the correct location to place the water filter and mark it to ensure you measure it correctly. It is at this point that you should consider how easy it will be to access the location and replace filters when they are required.
Cut the pipe using the specific tools
It is here that you need to install the compression nut and fittings (brass/plastic) based on the specific instructions by the manufacturer of the system. Wherever you need to use tape, please make sure it is Teflon tape.
Install the whole house water filtration system with the in and out sections facing the correct way. Very important you don’t get this wrong at this stage!
Before you turn the water supply on, make sure you turn the water filters inlet valve off. Then turn on the water supply and check for leaks. If there aren’t any, then you’re good to turn the water filter inlet valve on. Repeat the process of checking for leaks.
Now that the installation process is complete (with the odd extra phase depending on the specific requirements of the manufacturer), you shouldn’t need to come back to the whole house filter except for changing over the filters inside. Every time you need to do this, make sure that you turn the inlet valve off and use the tools provided in the box. This is usually a specific wrench to fit the valves and nuts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I buy a whole house system and not a single under sink or countertop system?
- The answer to this question very much depends on your individual requirements. If you live in a small apartment in the city, then it is likely you only use one or two faucets, in which case a whole house system may not be required or cost-effective and you don’t need a whole house filter. Furthermore, you may find the water treatment in a city is better than in more rural areas.
However, if you have a household that uses plenty of water, with a kitchen and more than one bathroom, then they are a fantastic way to ensure all water entering the property is filtered water to make it safe and clean to use. Whether you’re using it for drinking water, cooking, cleaning or washing with, it will protect your family, their skin and clothes.
How difficult are they to install?
- Thanks to improvements in technology and competition, manufacturers have developed most of the systems on our best whole house water filter list to be easy to install. It is likely that you could do it yourself with minimal experience or without the need of getting a professional plumber to do it for you.
It is important to note this isn’t the case for every system out there and it depends on your plumbing experience and confidence. You may want to get additional assistance anyway or simply rely on the added support manufacturers provide in the form of video tutorials or customer service helplines.
What are the running costs of these filters?
- Fortunately, the running costs and maintenance for these whole house water filters are minimal, particularly if you go for a whole house water filtration system that has filters which last for 1,000, 000 gallons of water before needing to be replaced.
The majority of whole house filters now let you just twist and remove a filter before adding a new one in. The more complex systems will need a little more but should still be possible for even the novice DIY people out there. A whole-home water filter is no longer scary or complicated
Why do they have more than one filter?
- Unfortunately, there isn’t a single type of filter that deals with all harmful contaminants. This is because bacteria have a different makeup to heavy metals and chlorine, so the filters are designed to remove and reduce the wide array of harmful contaminants. These filters include a pre-filter for larger pieces of sediment.
As a result, you will see that all whole house water filters will have at least 2 filters with the best whole house water filter having optional extras including UV filters and water softeners for hard water. With this range of options to choose from, it is important to consider what you need the system to do and narrow down your choices based on that.
Is the water safe to drink and use for cooking?
- In general, yes water that runs through these whole-house systems will be safe to use as drinking water or cooking water. However, it is important to understand the quality of your water supply before it enters the house and the way to do this is to get it tested. You can do these with laboratory style tests or even home testing kits. It may simply be that you suffer from hard water and don’t need anything more than a pre-filter (sediment filter) and activated carbon filter, as well as a water softener for example.
This will then help you choose the filters that offer the greatest protection to your water components, such as heavy metals, bacteria or chlorine. No matter the choice, they will fundamentally filter out most harmful contaminants and if you get your water from the city water supply, you will be fine (it may still have gone through the water treatment process even if it is from a different source. If you use a well water supply then its important to take care making sure you choose the right option.
What are the best water filtration systems to go for?
- The ultimate question and one that cannot be answered in a quick sentence or two. The aim of this webpage is to provide all of the information you need to make an informed, educated decision. Once you have thought about your individual requirements, such as household usage, water quality and budget, you can then find the best filtration system for you.
Clearly, the higher-priced water treatment and filtration systems will deliver greater results and performance, but they may well be over the top for smaller households, so don’t always go for the most popular model or highest price without doing the research first. We believe in listening to customers and the independent whole house water filter reviews combined with our own assessments are always a good place to find feedback on your preferred water system.