WHOLE HOUSE FILTERS

Whole House Water
Filter Reviews

There are many types of water filters available, but a whole house filter ensures that every tap in the house delivers filtered water, every day. These systems are investments that can deliver huge payoffs by saving money, preventing waste from plastic bottles, and providing peace of mind. If you’re interested in buying one of these systems for your home, learn everything you need to know in order to choose the best whole house water filter.

What is a Whole House Water Filter?

A whole house water filter system is installed onto the main water supply pipe, which means that rather than just one faucet, every single tap in your home delivers filtered water. While it comes at a higher cost than under-sink or faucet filters it also yields a larger benefit because, after the initial installation, all you have to do is change the filter on the recommended schedule and enjoy the peace of mind that all the water in your home is filtered.

How Does a Whole House Water Filter Work?

Whole house water filters work by filtering water through a sediment or carbon filter (or sometimes both) to remove contaminants. It is attached to the main water supply pipe at the point where water enters your home.

Once it’s installed, as water enters your home plumbing system, it will pass through a series of filters. These systems can use up to four systems of filtration, and the higher the number of filters, the cleaner your water will be. The different types of filters can include a sediment filter to trap sand, silt, and other debris; an activated carbon filter to remove organic contaminants; a copper-zinc alloy to remove heavy metals; and finally, a post-filter to catch any remaining sediment or particles.

After the water has passed through the various filters, it re-enters your home plumbing system and comes out of the tap. Typically, once the system is installed the only maintenance required is changing the filters. The frequency at which your filters need to be changed depends on the system you choose.

Buyer’s Guide for Whole House Water Filters

Reviews are helpful when comparing systems, but no two households are identical. There are many details to consider when selecting the best whole house water filter for your specific home, such as which contaminants might be present in your area, how much water your household uses, and what additional features you might need. Read on to learn everything more about selecting the best whole house water filter for your specific lifestyle.

First of all, a whole house water filter is beneficial for those who want filtered water coming out of every tap in their home. If you are only concerned with clean water from your kitchen faucet, for example, then the investment may not seem worth it, and you may find that an under sink or countertop system is preferable.

Another important factor to consider is the material of the pipes in your home. If you live in an older home, you may have lead pipes for your plumbing system, which means the pipes themselves could contaminate the water even after it goes through the central filtration system. In this case, a point-of-use system is recommended either in addition to or instead of a whole home system, because it filters the water after it has traveled through those pesky pipes.

Another situation in which a whole house water filter isn’t the best fit would be if you are renting your home. Installing a whole house water filter is expensive and requires plumbing alterations so if you don’t plan to live in your home long-term (or don’t have permission from the landlord), you might prefer to opt for a more affordable system that’s easier to install.

Whole House Filters

product

Aquasana - Rhino® 600,000 Gallons - EQ-600

Get clean, filtered drinking water from every tap in your home by removing 97% of chlorine. Activated carbon filtration media is also effective at reducing organic chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, and more..... Learn More about the Aquasana - EQ-600

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

System

$749.00

Replacement

6 years

Performance

Tested Chlorine Reduction (%)

97%

Certified

NSF/ANSI 42

Capacity

600,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

14

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

Performance

Replacement

6 years

Certified

NSF/ANSI 42

Capacity

600,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

14

*Data complied from Amazon on 09/01/2022.

Other Benefits:
  • Easy replacement
  • Does not require electricity
  • Eco-friendly
  • 90-day satisfaction guarantee
  • 6-year warranty
product

A.O. Smith - Whole House Water Filter - AO-WH-FILTER

The AO-WH-FILTER is NSF tested and certified to reduce 97% of Chlorine taste & odor for clean water from every tap in your home. This system works effectively on water for use in drinking, cooking, showering & bathing. Perfect for households of 4 or more people. .... Learn More about the A.O. Smith - AO-WH-FILTER

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

System

$309.00

Replacement

6 years

Performance

Tested Chlorine Reduction (%)

97%

Certified

NSF/ANSI 42

Capacity

600,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

7

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

Performance

Replacement

6 years

Certified

NSF/ANSI 42

Capacity

600,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

7

*Data complied from Amazon on 09/01/2022.

Other Benefits:
  • Easy replacement
  • Does not require electricity
  • 6-year warranty
product

Pentair - Pentair PC600 - PC600-P

For homes with 1-3 bathrooms, the Pentair Whole House Water Filter System is a low-maintenance water treatment system that reduces chemicals like chlorine from your home water..... Learn More about the Pentair - PC600-P

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

System

Unavailable

Replacement

5 years

Performance

Tested Chlorine Reduction (%)

96%

Certified

NSF/ANSI 42, 61

Capacity

600,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

8

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

Performance

Replacement

5 years

Certified

NSF/ANSI 42, 61

Capacity

600,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

8

*Data complied from Amazon on 09/01/2022.

Other Benefits:
  • Easy replacement
  • Does not require electricity
  • 60-day satisfaction guarantee
  • 5-year warranty
product

Whirlpool - Whirlpool WHELJ1 - WHELJ1

The Central Water Filtration System filters sediment, chlorine and other undesirable elements from your water supply. This system comes with a bypass valve that will maintain optimal water pressure throughout your home and is easy to install. Installation guide included. .... Learn More about the Whirlpool - WHELJ1

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

System

$520.00

Replacement

10 years

Performance

Tested Chlorine Reduction (%)

83%

Certified

NSF/ANSI 42

Capacity

1,140,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

6

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

Performance

Replacement

10 years

Certified

NSF/ANSI 42

Capacity

1,140,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

6

*Data complied from Amazon on 09/01/2022.

Other Benefits:
  • Easy replacement
  • 10-year warranty
product

iSpring - iSpring Whole House Water Filter System - WGB32B-KS-3

The WGB32B whole house filtration system removes up to 99% of chlorine from water as well as up to 95% of sediment, rust, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, VOCs, and various other contaminants..... Learn More about the iSpring - WGB32B-KS-3

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

System

$506.00

Replacement

1 year

Performance

Tested Chlorine Reduction (%)

99%

Certified

Independently tested NSF/ANSI 42

Capacity

100,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

15

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

Performance

Replacement

1 year

Certified

Independently tested NSF/ANSI 42

Capacity

100,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

15

*Data complied from Amazon on 09/01/2022.

Other Benefits:
  • Easy replacement
  • Does not require electricity
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee
  • 1-year warranty

How to Choose the Best System for Your Home

Once you’ve determined that a whole house water filter is right for your home’s needs, there are a few more factors to consider as you compare models. Below are additional variables to review in your comparison:

Filter capacity

The size of your home affects the filter capacity you will need. If you live in a large home and your filter capacity is too low, it will affect the efficiency of your system, potentially even lowering your water pressure. A higher-capacity filter can come with a higher price tag, as it will usually last much longer before needing to be changed. Filter capacity can range anywhere from 95,000 gallons to 2,000,000.

Contaminants

As you will learn further down, there are different types of filters, and the more stages a whole house water filter has, the more contaminants it can filter out. You can find out what contaminants are present in your city’s water by requesting a local water quality report (available thanks to the 1998 Safe Drinking Water Act).

There are many types of contaminants that can be found on a water report, ranging from organic matter like bacteria and parasites to heavy metals like lead and mercury, to chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals. If your city’s water only contains contaminants such as chlorine, chloramines, or sediment, then a 1- or 2-stage whole house filter may be sufficient. However, f your water contains contaminants such as lead, PFAS, or bacteria, then a specialized whole house system – or even an under sink system – may be more appropriate for you.

Filter types

Depending on which contaminants you are trying to remove, you should consider the different types of filters available in whole house water filter systems, and whether you need just one or many stages of filtration. This should be determined after you’ve identified the contaminants present in your city by obtaining the local water quality report.

A sediment filter cartridge is the most basic line of defense. As the name implies, it filters out sediments present in water such as sand, dirt, and rust. Most whole house water filters on the market will include a sediment filter. Aside from not wanting to ingest these particles, they can also disrupt the function of your appliances.

Activated carbon filters are also common in whole house water filter systems, as they reduce chemical contaminants like chlorine and chloramines. Activated carbon filtration media is also effective at reducing organic chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, and more. These chemicals can have dangerous long-term effects, so reducing them from your water is essential. Aside from the health benefits, these filters also improve the taste and smell of your water.

Certifications

Once you’ve identified the present contaminants and have compared filter types, it’s important to check that the system you’re considering has been certified or independently tested to remove those specific contaminants. Look for certification from agencies such as the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), or the Water Quality Association (WQA). These entities have strict standards and if they approve of a product, you can have peace of mind that it truly will filter those pesky contaminants. For example, if you are aware that your area has a higher concentration of VOCs, look specifically for certification or independent testing proof specifically mentioning that reduction. If a certification or other proof of independent testing is not present, there’s no guarantee that the filter will do what it claims.

Water flow rate

Flow rate is the volume of water passing through your system, measured as gallons per minute (GPM). Flow rates are affected by the size of your plumbing pipes, the amount of water used regularly in your home (which is affected by the size of your family and the efficiency of your appliances), and the physical size of your home.

An adequate flow rate is important when selecting a whole house water filter because if the flow rate is too low, it will restrict the functionality of your appliances. It’s recommended to select a system with a flow rate at least the same as your home’s usage, but the higher the flow rate, the better. The good news is that most homes don’t require a very fast flow rate (for example, the average flow rate of a washing machine is only 3 to 5 GPM and the average shower GPM is 1.5 to 3). So a whole house system that can handle at least 5 GPM will be adequate for most homes. There are many resources to help you calculate your home’s flow rate, but know that you will need to know the diameter of your plumbing pipes.

A typical 3,000-square-foot, three-bathroom house is well served with about 5 gallons per minute (GPM) (showers flow at 2.5 GPM). Bigger houses require bigger systems, but most houses with fewer than 5,000 square feet will only require a 7 GPM system. Custom installs are available to cover larger homes.

Softening/conditioning capability

Another benefit of whole house water filters is that aside from removing contaminants, some models include a water softener. These components reduce the concentration of any remaining heavy metals in your water.

While hard water isn’t necessarily harmful to health, it can be a real pain. By softening your water, you’ll notice benefits like cleaner dishes, softer clothes from the laundry, and a more pleasant taste and smell. Hard water can cause “scaling,” or a spotty, chalky appearance.

It’s important to note that water softeners add brines, chlorides, and sodium to your wastewater. In some areas, wastewater is recycled, in which case you may find it more beneficial to use a salt-free water conditioner or descaler. Rather than adding salt into the water, these systems use a material called template-assisted crystallization. As water passes over the TAC, the minerals turn into crystals and continue to flow through the water. Water conditioners improve the taste and smell of the water and prevent the scaling you see on your surfaces and dishes, but they do not remove the heavy metals altogether and are not as effective for homes with significantly hard water.

Filter replacement frequency

The frequency in which your system needs to be changed depends on what type of system you opt for. A system that includes multiple stages typically needs more replacements than one which uses just one stage, and some systems have multiple filters which may require different replacement frequencies. You should ask yourself what frequency is realistic for your household so that you can find the right balance of cost and maintenance.

Cost

Of course, above all else, select a whole house water filter system that fits your budget. Aside from the initial cost of the system, also consider the cost of replacement filters and the frequency at which you’ll be buying them.

Whole house systems can range from $400 to $5,000, and the cost depends on the number of stages, the lifetime of the system, and whether it has add-ons like water softeners and UV lamps. While higher-priced systems boast many benefits, remember to consider the needs of your own home before assuming it’s the best whole house water filter for you.

Final Considerations

By now, you should know whether a whole house water filter is right for you, and from there, consider factors such as which contaminants are present in your area, the filter capacity and flow rate your household requires, and which models will fit in your budget. After determining your home’s needs, reading reviews, and comparing models, you should now feel empowered to select the best whole house water filter for you. After all that hard work, pour yourself a glass of filtered water — and cheers to your health!

Frequently Asked Questions

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*Product performance claims and prices were taken from publicly available information on Amazon, are accurate as of the date listed, and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Cost per gallon is calculated as replacement filter price/capacity. Not all contaminants will be listed in charts. If you find information that is inaccurate, please send the correct info with supporting documentation to info@waterfiltercomparisons.com, and we will address any errors. As an Amazon Associate, Water Filter Comparisons receives a commission on purchases made through our Amazon links.