Everyone needs clean water for day-to-day tasks like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Jackson homeowners ask themselves which is right for them—a water filter or a water softener? Examine the important differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the benefits they provide and how to decide 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 treats water as it goes into your home. It’s installed right on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other contaminants from the municipal water supply before entering your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Benefits of Water Filters
If your water comes from a municipal company, you may question why you might need an inline water filter. After all, the water has already been treated at a water treatment plant. The problem is, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may acquire harmful particles between the treatment plant and your residence. Here’s how installing a water filter can benefit you:
- Healthier water: Water filters take away harmful microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other potentially harmful particles for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters decrease sediment buildup in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, shielding them from wear and tear.
- 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 money on bottled water and reducesthe 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, odd taste or unpleasant smell: If your tap water is anything but absolutely clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Consider installing a filter for your safety.
- Repeated plumbing concerns: A whole-house water filter helps reduce blocked pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
- Skin irritation: If you have redness, rashes or other skin issues attributed to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be useful.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a background of contamination? Using a whole-house water filter provides peace of mind against future problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener eliminates calcium and magnesium from water. A process called ion exchange operates similar to a chemical magnet, replacing these “hard” minerals with sodium ions to “soften” the water.
Benefits of Water Softeners
If you have hard water, here is what you’ll discover once you install a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water reduces scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, lengthening their life span and improving 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 ensures cleaning products lather more effectively, generating cleaner dishes, brighter laundry, and softer skin and hair, even with less soap and detergent.
- Energy savings: A water softener helps your plumbing appliances operate properly for lower electricity bills.
How to Determine if You Need a Water Softener
Most water supplies in North America are categorized as moderately hard, hard or very hard. A good way to find out about the quality of water in your home is by reading your local municipality's water quality report. In the meantime, here are some indicators that you could use a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky film 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 eliminate this problem.
- Low water pressure: Showerheads and faucet aerators frequently become badly obstructed by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is another indication of hard water.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water hinders soap from rinsing completely, causing irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Frequent appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater breaks down frequently due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile investment.
Should You Buy Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners are two tools that provide valuable benefits, but they perform different jobs. An inline water filter takes away contaminants and elevates overall water quality, while a water softener specifically targets hard minerals. In some cases, having a water filter and a water softener is appropriate. Assess your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Jackson
Comfortech Service Experts is a respected provider of water treatment remedies in Jackson, including water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our skilled specialists can help you decide if one or both solutions are necessary to help you enjoy the best water quality in your Jackson home.