A whole house water filter is a water filter which is used to treat all of the water entering a house. Classically, whole house water filters are installed at the point of entry, the location where water enters the house, ensuring that water is treated before it even hits the pipes. It is also possible to find point of use filtering systems, in which a filter is installed at each tap. These systems are sometimes useful for people who need to filter different things at different taps.
There are a number of different types of whole house water filters. Some focus on removing sediment, which can be a common problem with old wells or old water and sewer systems. Others can remove chemicals like the chlorine used to treat water, or some microorganisms. Whole house water filters can also remove discolorations like iron staining from the water, with a focus on aesthetic rather than health concerns.
People can choose to install a whole house water filter for a variety of reasons. The filter can act as a stopgap against contamination of city water, and it can also be used to treat water from wells. Filtered water tends to have a better taste, which is a concern for some people, and other people may struggle with problems like high mineral content and dissolved sediment in their water. Others believe that fluoridation and chlorination are harmful, and they use whole house water filters to remove these substances from their water before they drink.
Whole house water filter systems tend to be rather expensive, and there are a number of considerations to think about before purchasing one. For example, people who have problems with hard water might be better served with a water softener installed on the plumbing for the washing machine and shower, while individuals who are concerned about drinking water could install a single tap filter to ensure access to clean water without being forced to spend a great deal of money. Whole house filters also usually do not address the water used for garden irrigation.
There are some distinct advantages to using a whole house water filter. Taps and pipes are less likely to become occluded with mineral buildup, for example, since the minerals are removed from the water before it reaches the plumbing. In areas where water quality is poor, a whole house water filter can ensure that all of the water in the house is safe to drink and bathe in, and that minerals and other contaminants do not enter the wash water.