Mention tap water and most of us automatically think that it’s clean and potable. For the most part, it is, since it’s treated by municipal and city water systems so that water is up to hygienic standards. And yet the stuff that they use to disinfect the water can make it taste and smell awful.
Not only that, the harmless minerals that remain in tap water will build up over time and could damage the plumbing system or household appliances, like dishwashers, garbage disposal units, and washing machines.
One way to solve this problem is by getting a whole house water filter system.
This filter system takes the water that enters your home and treats it so that these minerals and chemicals are removed. Once the water is filtered, it is then routed into your pipes so that you can use the water drinking or domestic use in your household.
This system is usually installed near the municipal water meter or pressurized storage tank (if you’re using well water). Depending on the type of filter that it uses, it can remove almost anything dangerous, from microbes to chemical pollutants and even microplastic.
It’s a more practical and reasonable solution than getting a reverse osmosis (RO) system to filter your water supply. That’s because its filtration rate is faster than an RO system since you’re not relying on gravity to filter the water.
A whole water house filter doesn't produce waste water either. The same quantity that comes through the filter will still be the same when it comes out after filtration.
If you’re using well water, a whole house filter is an essential thing to have around. With groundwater being easily contaminated by environmental pollution, using a filter is critical for ensuring that your household water is safe and clean to drink.
It’s also cost-efficient and eco-friendly. You can save money on expensive bottled water while reducing the use of plastic bottles.
There many brands in the market which offer a variety of features. Some will add a water softener to the unit so that it will be able to treat hard water, which is the main culprit of limescale build up in water pipes and detergent wastage. The more high end ones will offer UV filters which can destroy viruses and other microorganisms.
But before you go around buying one, professionals recommend that you get your water tested first so that you’ll know what you need to filter out. For example, a standard whole house filter is sufficient enough for tap water because the water is already treated and you just need a standard filter to remove the excess chlorine and chloramine. But if you’re using a private well, you need to know the quality of the water so that you’ll know what type of filters you need in your whole house filter.
Table of Contents
- The Best Whole House Water Filters
- 1. iSpring 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 10” x 4.5” Big Blue Carbon Block and Lead Reducing Filter
- 2. Express Water Whole House Water Filter – Three Stage Home Water Filtration Systems
- 3. 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Sanitary Quick Change Water Filter System
- 4. Home Master Whole House Three Stage Water Filtration System with Fine Sediment, Iron and Carbon
- 5. Aquasana EQ-WELL-UV-PRO-AST Whole House Well Water Filter System w/ UV Purifier & Salt-Free Descaler
- Buyers Guide to Choosing the Best Whole House Water Filter For Your Home
The Best Whole House Water Filters
- iSpring 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 10” x 4.5” Big Blue Carbon Block and Lead Reducing Filter
- Express Water Whole House Water Filter – 3 Stage Home Water Filtration System
- 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Sanitary Quick Change Water Filter System
- Home Master Whole House Three Stage Water Filtration System with Fine Sediment, Iron and Carbon, Blue
- Aquasana Whole House Well Water Filter System w/ UV Purifier & Salt-Free Descaler
1. iSpring 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 10” x 4.5” Big Blue Carbon Block and Lead Reducing Filter
This is an easy to install whole house filter system that removes about 98% of chlorine, chloramines, sediment and other contaminants that foul the taste and smell of municipal/city water or treated well water. It uses a 1” NPT inlet/outlet so that it has a minimum impact on water flow. Its peak flow rate is 15 GPM.
It relies on two heavy duty filters: a large carbon block filter made from coconut shell carbon which has been 3rd-party tested to meet NSF/ANSI standards and an iron and lead removal filter that is specially designed for reducing lead contamination from as high as 100 ppb to 15 ppb. Both are able to filter about 50,000 gallons of water, which is enough clean drinking water for a household of four for half a year.
It doesn’t filter out the healthy minerals from your water so there’s no need to buy a remineralizing filter. There is an option though for the addition of an iron filter for water systems that use well water.
This product comes with lifetime tech support and a 30-day money-back guarantee, a 1-year manufacturer warranty which can be extended upon registration at their site.
- Specially designed filter for lead particles
- Easy to install and use
- Doesn't remove heavy metal pollutants
- Not for hot water systems
2. Express Water Whole House Water Filter – Three Stage Home Water Filtration Systems
This system uses a 3-stage filtration process that filters out 52 different contaminants including chlorine, rust, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds. It can deliver up to 0.25 gallons of water every second at 45-80 psi. It’s designed for use in a dry level area protected from freezing temperatures and direct sunlight and will work in water temperatures between 40-100℉.
It uses sediment, granular activated carbon, and activated carbon block filters which capture every type of dangerous contaminant while allowing natural and safe minerals to pass through. The filters are sourced from high quality food grade material and are independently tested and verified to pass NSF/ANSI standards. Each filter has a pressure gauge for easy monitoring.
The entire filter set is good for up to 100,000 gallons or 6-12 months, depending on the quality of your incoming water.
The whole system comes with a free standing stainless steel frame to protect the unit. Its housings are precision fitted for easy installation into the frame. There are 3 accessible pressure release buttons for easy filter removal.
This product comes with a 1-year warranty and on-demand technical support.
- Fast filtration flow at 0.25 gallons per second
- 3-stage filtration system
- Some issues with its plastic threading; some users say its prone to leaks
3. 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Sanitary Quick Change Water Filter System
This water filter system is equipped with a sanitary quick change design that makes it easier to replace its filter cartridges without touching the filter media or using a filter wrench. It’s as easy as replacing a light bulb. The system also uses 1” inlet and outlet connections so that it can meet the water pressure demands of most households. Its peak flow rate is 20 GPM.
It uses an activated carbon block filter that has a heavy duty particulate reduction level of 5 microns which can handle 100,000 gallons at flow rates of 10-20 GPM. It will reduce chlorine taste and smell by up to 85%.
It is also equipped with a scale inhibition feature. It uses polyphosphates in tiny amounts to bind calcium and magnesium minerals, so they don’t build up on metallic surfaces which can reduce flow rates throughout the home’s plumbing system. It also uses a corrosion resistant 304 stainless steel head that’s easily installed on existing copper pipes in the household.
This filtration system can be used for chlorinated (municipal) and non-chlorinated (well water) systems. It’s also NSF standard 42 certified. The manufacturer recommends that the filter cartridges be replaced every year or after 100,000 gallons of use, whichever comes first.
The product page doesn’t say anything about a product warranty; the stainless steel head, however, comes with a 25-year limited warranty.
- Sanitary quick change feature
- High-quality build; stainless steel filter housing
- Requires a pressurized system
- The bracket doesn't come with mounting screws
4. Home Master Whole House Three Stage Water Filtration System with Fine Sediment, Iron and Carbon
For those using well water, this is a good whole house water filter system to use. It’s a 3-stage system that uses oversized filters to remove about 95% of common contaminants in well water while improving flow rate. It can deliver up to 15 gallons per minute.
It combines multi-gradient sediment, radial flow iron, and radial flow carbon filters to remove iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide contamination. It also easily removes dirt, rust, sediment, and pesticides without lessening the water pressure. The manufacturer says the filters can remove particulates down to 1 micron.
This unit includes a steel mounting bracket with bolts and a housing wrench. It comes with a 2-year limited warranty on parts
- Great for non-chlorinated well water
- Responsive technical support
- Not for use with iron bacteria, acidic water <7ph, or chlorinated tap water
- Not for use with lake water
5. Aquasana EQ-WELL-UV-PRO-AST Whole House Well Water Filter System w/ UV Purifier & Salt-Free Descaler
This is an expensive model because it includes a UV purifier and a conditioner. There is a more affordable version that’s designed to be a 6-year filtration system but it isn’t available on Amazon right now. This one, however, still has a lot of nifty features to make up for its hefty price tag.
It has a unique upflow and dual tank design which prevents clogging while lengthening the exposure of water to the contaminant-capturing filter. It works really well for well water contamination and will remove 97% of chlorine, and 99.9% of viruses and bacteria while reducing typical groundwater contaminants like lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, etc.
It uses activated carbon and copper zinc mineral filters to filter out pollutants while letting the natural and healthy minerals pass through. Combined with the UV filtration and the SimplySoft salt-free water descaler, this system will be able to produce purified water for 500,000 gallons or 5 years. This allows you to save twice as much with only $0. 01 a gallon, according to the manufacturer.
It also has a fast flow rate at 7 gallons per minute. It’s also easy to maintain with no need for draining or backflushing.
This unit includes a filter tank, conditioner tank, 20″ pre-filter, post-filter, brass fittings for 1” or 3/4” pipes, bend supports, and shut-off valves. This comes with a 60-month warranty.
- Its dual tank design prevents clogging
- UV filter
- Not for use with lake water
Buyers Guide to Choosing the Best Whole House Water Filter For Your Home
Whole house filters use a variety of filter media that can filter out contaminants with sizes of up to 0.35 microns. The more filters it uses, the more expensive it can be. That’s why you need to get your water tested first so that you can chose the right kind of filter system.
For example, a standard filter system that uses a carbon filter is more than enough to get rid of the smell and odor of chlorine in tap water.
Other examples of fancy filters include a water softener, a UV light purifier, and a remineralization filter.
It’s not cost effective in the long run to use a filter that requires changing every couple of weeks. So look for one that can effectively filter water for at least 6 months. Some high end brands will say theirs are effective for years but that’s really dependent on the quality of the water and the amount that you use. So choose carefully.
Another thing to consider is the ease of installation. Some filters will require a professional plumber. The best ones are those that you can easily switch out.
Look for a whole house filter system that has a high flow rate so it does not disrupt your household’s water pressure. This is especially important for homes with many water outlets. A typical flow rate standard for an average household is around 10-15 gallons per minute (GPM). If you’ve got a large household, pick one that has 40 GPM or more.
Just for context: a kitchen faucet requires 2.2 GPM, while a bathroom faucet uses up to 1.5 GPM. Shower heads usually top at 2.5 GPM. Use these figures to help you choose the right flow rate.
There are two important certifications that you should look out for: the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the Water Quality Association (WQA).
These certifications mean that the filters have been rigorously tested under extreme conditions so that they are certified to be of high quality.
Having no certifications, however, does not mean that the filter is of poor quality. Since these two certifications are very expensive, some smaller brands will work with independent labs to test their filters. In doing so, they won’t pass the cost to the consumer so the product remains affordable.
Even then, it helps to check these labs if they’re trustworthy. It’s the only to be sure that the filter is a genuine product and performs as advertised.
Depending on the brand, some products may have a 1-year warranty or more. Some will even have a limited lifetime warranty.
Along with warranties, you should also be on the look for responsive and quick technical support since some of these products may not be easy to install. The best brands are those with reliable after-sales service.