The 10 Best Whole House Water Filters: Reviews & Ultimate Guide

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This is our review of the best Whole House Water Filters of 2021.

We reviewed several whole house water filters and found out that the Aquasana EQ-1000 Whole House Water Filter is the best one overall.

There are several factors to look for when buying a whole house water filter, and to make your life easier we spent long hours reading & researching to find out the best overall whole house water filter, so that you don’t have to waste your precious time. And because there isn’t a one size fits all because each household and family has their unique situation, we also identified the best option for different situations.

You will find out the best whole house water filters available today, their pros and cons, an explanation of why they are better for specific situations and a complete buying guide with all the relevant information that you need to know to choose the best whole house water filtration system for you.

Let’s get started!

Our Top Picks for Best Whole House Water Filters

10 Best Whole House Water Filters Reviewed

After investing our time researching and reviewing several whole house water filters, we identified the 10 best options for different purposes.

We’ve invested the time so you don’t have to:

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  • Best for: Overall
  • Dimension: 9 x 46 x 44 inches
  • Weight: ‎54.5 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 1.000.000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 7 GPM
  • Warranty: 10 years

In our opinion, the Aquasana EQ-1000 Whole House Water Filter is overall the best whole house water filter available. It delivers a great combination of NSF certified filtration technology capable of removing the most common contaminants of your water, with amazing longevity of 10 years, a 10-year warranty, a decent flow rate of 7 GPM, and a possibility of add-ons to deal with other types of contaminants that might exist in your water source.

The Aquasana EQ-1000 Whole House Water Filter is an NSF certified filter capable of remove 97% of chlorine, but also reducing other harmful contaminants like VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, etc, to produce clean water for your home, and you will notice not only tastier water but also a better feeling on your skin and hair while showering and/or bathing.

It has a unique upflow dual tank design that increases the time that the water is in contact with the media filter which increases the number of contaminants removed, and has bacteriostatic media to prevent bacteria and algae from growing inside the filtration system.

This special design also makes tank replacement much easier than other systems. But you won’t need to change the filters often, because the 1.000.000 gallons capacity is enough to deliver clean and fresh water for 10 years.

The Aquasana EQ-1000 Whole House Water Filter comes with a 10-year warranty, and a 90-days money back guarantee, which gives you the peace of mind to try it first and decide if it is a good solution for you.

In our opinion, one of the key differentiator factors of this whole house water system is the ability to add additional filters or have a different variation of it to suit your needs. If you have hard water, you can buy a whole house water filter and natural salt-free softener combo, having the best of both worlds with clean and soft water. And if instead of hard water, you have a problem with bacteria and/or viruses in your water source, you can add a UV filter to deal with those harmful contaminants.

The only point that we didn’t like much is the water flow of 7 GPM. While it is a decent water flow, it might not be enough if you have a large home with multiple people using water at the same time.

Pros:

  • NSF certification
  • Removes 97% of chlorine
  • Reduces scale buildup
  • Long filter longevity
  • 90-day money back guarantee
  • 10 year warranty
  • Different add-ons available (UV and salt-free softener)

Cons:

  • Low water flow
  • You may need a plumber to install it
  • Best for: Runner-up
  • Dimension: 18 x 49.5 x 18 inches
  • Weight: 21 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 600.000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 10 GPM
  • Warranty: 5 years

The Pelican PC600 Whole House Water Filter System is our runner-up choice for the best whole house water filter. It is an NSF-certified water filter capable of removing the most common water contaminants, has long filter longevity, a good water flow rate, and a generous 5-year warranty coupled with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

The Pelican PC600 Whole House Water Filter System has NSF 42 and 61 certifications to ensure the removal of aesthetic contaminants (like chlorine taste and bad odors), and that no lead or heavy metals are added to water.

This system filtration process has 4 stages, where in the 1st stage the 5-micron sediment pre-filter reduces the sediment, sand, and particulates up to 5-micron in size, then on the 2nd and 3rd stage, a high-quality blend of catalytic coconut shell based activated carbon media are responsible for removing contaminants like chlorine, chloramines, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, industrial solvents, and others, and finally, on the last stage a copper and zinc oxidation media has the purpose of reducing chlorine.

It has a good water flow of 10 GPM (while other options in this list have better flows) which should be enough to ensure that you won’t feel water drop at your home unless you have a large home with multiple usages at the same time.

The main filter has a capacity of 600.000 gallons which is capable of delivering clean water for around 5 to 6 years before needing replacement. The pre-sediment filter needs to be every 6 to 9 months.

The Pelican PC600 Whole House Water Filter System comes with a generous 5-year warranty and a 60-day satisfaction guarantee, which shows us that the manufacturer trusts the quality of its product.

Pros:

  • NSF certification
  • Great filter longevity
  • Good water flow
  • 60-day satisfaction guarantee
  • 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • Don’t remove fluoride
  • Some customers complained about the difficulty of installation
  • Best for: Value
  • Dimension: 9 x 52 inches
  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 1.000.000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 9 to 17 GPM
  • Warranty: Lifetime

The SpringWell CF1 Whole House Water Filter System is one of the best value whole house water filtration systems as it is a high-quality filter capable of removing the most harmful water contaminants, presents a good flow rate, has a great capacity of 1.000.000 gallons, and a lifetime warranty.

This 4-stage filtration system has a unique design to increase the contact time between the water and the media filter to ensure extra capacity to remove contaminants, and it’s able to remove several harmful water contaminants such as chlorine (up to 99.6%), chloramine, pesticides, herbicides, sediments, PFAS, bad taste and odor, etc.

You shouldn’t notice water pressure drop after installing this system because you have 3 different versions available (9, 12, and 17 GPM) for you to choose from, each one suitable for a different number of bathrooms in your home, to ensure that you won’t overspend in a system with more capacity than you need, but at the same time delivers the capacity that suits you.

The longevity of the SpringWell CF1 Whole House Water Filter System is great because its capacity to filter 1.000.000 gallons of water should deliver around 10 years of clean water. But you still have to replace them every 6 to 9 months the pre-sediment filter, so it’s not a zero-maintenance system.

One factor that distinguishes this system from others is the confidence that the manufacturer has in its product, as they offer a lifetime warranty and 6-month money-back guarantee, so you can experiment with this filter and return it if you are not happy with it.

The SpringWell CF1 Whole House Water Filter System comes with some additional add-ons available, so you can add a UV filter if your water is contaminated with bacteria and viruses like E.coli or Cryptosporidium. And if you have a hard water problem, they have a salt-free water softener combo available with the whole house water filtration system.

Pros:

  • Powerful filtration system
  • Filter longevity
  • Good water flow
  • 6-months money-back guarantee
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Optional UV add-on

Cons:

  • No NSF certification
  • You may need a plumber to install it
  • Best for: City Water
  • Dimension: 9 x 18 x 25 inches
  • Weight: 36.35 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 95.000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 10 GPM
  • Warranty: 2 years

If you have access to city water in your home, the Home Master Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter System is a good option if you are looking for an affordable whole house water filtration system. City water is generally treated with chlorine or chloramines, and this filter is really effective at removing those contaminants, while it is also able to remove other common contaminants.

This 2-stage water filtration system has a multi-gradient sediment filter with different layers in the first stage of the process, and in the second stage of the process has an activated catalytic carbon filter with KDF85, ensuring that it is suited to remove different contaminants such as chlorine, chloramine, sediments, chemicals, heavy metals, bad taste and odors while keeping the healthy minerals.

The Home Master 2-Stage Whole House Water Filter is easy to install, coming with filters fully assembled and a steel mounting bracket with bolts, housing wrench, and instructions to make the process simple and easy to do by yourself, without the need of hiring a professional plumber and adding an additional cost.

It has large filter housings to increase the water flow, delivering up to 10 GPM, which is not bad but might not be enough if you have a large family that simultaneously needs to use water in different home locations.

The Home Master Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter System has a decent capacity of 95.000 gallons which should be enough to deliver clean water during a year for an average-sized family. But you should consider the recurring cost of replacing filters at least once a year.

Pros:

  • Price
  • Good for city water
  • Decent flow rate
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Not suitable for well water
  • No NSF certifications
  • Best for: Well Water
  • Dimension: 24.25 x 7.75 x 27.75 inches
  • Weight: 3.06 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 100.000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 15 GPM
  • Warranty: 1 year

The iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Water Filter System is one of the best choices for well water filtration because on the last stage of the 3-stage filtration process it reduces common well water contaminants like iron, manganese, and other heavy metals, and in the previous stages, it removes other contaminants like chlorine, VOCs, rust, dirt, sand, sediments, etc.

It has a capacity to filter 100.000 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced, ensuring clean water in your home for one year, but there are other whole house water filters with better capacity.

A good point of the iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Water Filter System is the 15 GPM flow rate that ensures that you won’t notice water pressure drops in your home.

Pros:

  • NSF certification
  • 3-stage filtration process
  • Good water flow
  • Easy to change filters

Cons:

  • Just 1-year warranty
  • Requires Teflon tape to avoid leaks
  • Some customers complained about not working so well after some time
  • Best for: Heavy Metals
  • Dimension: 23.5 x 8.5 x 29.25 inches
  • Weight: 65 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 100.000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 15 GPM
  • Warranty: 1 year

If your water source is contaminated with heavy metals, the Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter is the right solution for you, as this 3-stage filtration system is designed to deal with heavy metals like iron, lead, mercury, and aluminum.

But while it removes heavy metals, this NSF-certified whole house water filter also removes other water contaminants like dirt, rust, sand, chloramine chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, pesticides, etc. to provide you clean and fresh water.

It comes with a clear housing on the sediment filter to easily monitor its status, and decide when it needs to be replaced. But apart from that, it also comes with three pressure gauges that will help you monitor the system’s performance and have a better idea about when and which filter needs to be replaced.

The filter changing process is really simple because the system is designed so that you only have to twist on and off the filter housings to remove them and put them back together.

Another positive feature of the Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter is that it has a flow rate of 15 GPM, ensuring that you won’t notice any pressure drop at your home, even if you need to use water in multiple places at the same time.

It comes with filter longevity of 100.000 gallons, or around 1 year, which is not bad but is not as good as some of the alternatives with cover here.

Pros:

  • NSF tested
  • 3-stage filtering that removes heavy metals
  • Clear housing to allow filter monitoring
  • Good water flow
  • Simple twist off for easy filter replacement

Cons:

  • Just 1-year warranty
  • Requires Teflon tape to avoid leaks
  • Some customers complained about not working for as long as mentioned
  • Best for: Longevity
  • Dimension: 62 x 10 x 15.25 inches
  • Weight: 115 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 20 years, on average
  • Flow Rate: 15 GPM
  • Warranty: 10 years

The AquaOx Whole House Water Filter is an amazing option, as it combines different filtration media to remove several contaminants of the water, and it is a maintenance-free system as you don’t have to change filters because it has a lifespan of 20 years, and it also comes with self-cleaning capabilities.

The AquaOx Whole House Water Filter has a premium media filter with a large surface area with 5 different media types (KDF 85, Garnet, Catalytic Adsorptive Carbon, Activated Coconut Shell Carbon, and Filter-AG) to ensure the removal of several different harmful contaminants from your water, such as chlorine, VOCs, hydrogen sulfide, heavy metals, Trihalomethanes (Tthm), etc., ensuring that you will have clean and healthy water in your entire home.

A great feature of this whole house water filtration system is its lifespan of 20 years on average, which beats all the competition, and provides a competitive advantage regarding the total cost of ownership, as you don’t have to worry about spending more money every year replacing filters.

And joining to the fact that you won’t have to change filters, its self-cleaning ability by backwashing every 4 days, there is zero maintenance required for the AquaOx system, which is great to provide you peace of mind. 

With the AquaOx Whole House Water Filtration System, you won’t notice any pressure drop, as it can deliver a high flow rate of 15 GPM.

And the manufacturer provides a 10-year warranty, which is a big plus compared with other whole house water filters that we covered in our top10.

Pros:

  • Powerful contaminants’ filtration
  • 20-year lifespan
  • No maintenance required
  • Good flow rate
  • 10-year warranty
  • Customer support

Cons:

  • High initial investment
  • Best for: Budget
  • Dimension: 7.48 x 8.26 x 16.33 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 10.000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 3 GPM
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty

If you are looking for an affordable and basic whole house water filter, the Culligan WH-HD200-C Whole House Water Filter is the right choice for you. It removes dirt, sand, and silt from your home water at a fraction of the other whole house water filtration systems.

While this whole house water filter is not as powerful as the other options in our top, if your water is not heavily contaminated, this NSF certified filter will reduce some of the more common contaminants like sediment, rust, scale, dirt, coarse sand, sand, fine sand, silt, bad taste, odor, aesthetic chlorine taste and odor, which will make your home water cleaner and safer, and will prolong the life of your plumbing and home appliances.

Another interesting feature of the Culligan WH-HD200-C Whole House Water Filter is the clear housing that allows you to easily check the sediment buildup on the filter, and understand when it is time to change it. This filter also has a filter change timer, so you will know when is the recommended time to change the filter.

There are 2 features that we don’t like that much about his filter:

  • The first one is the low capacity and longevity of 10.000 gallons (around 6 months), which is lower than the competition
  • The second one is the low flow rate of 3 GPM, which can be a showstopper if you have a large family and need to use water from different places at the same time.

Pros:

  • Price
  • NSF certification
  • Transparent filter housing, that allows checking the filter status
  • Easy installation

Cons:

  • Small filter lifespan
  • Lof flow rate
  • Shut off valve hard to use
  • Some customers complained about leaking
  • Best for: Good Choice
  • Filter Longevity: 600.000 to 1.000.000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 5 to 16 GPM (depending on size)
  • Warranty: Lifetime

The SoftPro Carbon Whole House Water Filter is a good choice for a whole house water filter, as it comes with a reasonable price and is able to reduce most of the common contaminants using a chemical-free process, has great filter longevity, and a lifetime warranty.

This whole house water filtration system removes chlorine, chloramine, taste and odors, VOCs, and other chemicals ensuring that you will have clean water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

Another feature that we like about the SoftPro Carbon Whole House Filter is its lifespan because its capacity of 600.000 to 1.000.000 gallons makes it last for 8 to 10 years without having to replace the filters, saving you a lot of money in the long run.

Something that you should consider is the water flow rate because it will depend on the size you choose. If you have a large family that requires simultaneous water usage at the same time, you should consider a larger system to ensure a decent water flow.

This whole house filtration system comes with a lifetime warranty which is great to give you confidence when buying the product and shows that the team trusts the quality of their product.

Pros:

  • Chemical-free process
  • Good lifespan
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Difficult to get detailed information about the product, like potential NSF certification
  • Some customers complained about the installation process
  • Best for: Scale
  • Dimension: 25.2 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 10.35 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 100.000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 20 GPM
  • Warranty: 25-year limited warranty on the stainless steel filter head, and 1-year limited warranty on the disposable filter cartridge

If you are looking for a good, affordable, and easy to maintain whole house water filtration system that can also soften your water by reducing the limescale, the 3M Aqua-Pure AP904 is a great option. It’s a high-quality NSF-certified filtration system that removes sediments, chlorine, bad taste and odors, and softens your water.

This is a good filter but with limited filtration capabilities, so if your water is highly contaminated and you need to remove heavy metals and/or other harmful chemicals, this may not be the ideal whole house filter for your situation.

This whole house water filter has NSF 42 certification that proves the reduction of contaminants such as chlorine, chloramine, iron, manganese, and bad taste and odors. Because it reduces sediment buildup and limescale buildup, it will increase the lifespan of your home appliances.

Another great feature of the 3M Aqua-Pure AP904 Whole House Water Filter is the Sanitary Quick Change (SQC) design which allows a quick and easy filter replacement, just having to twist on and off without having to use tools or touch the filter media, avoiding leaks and potential contamination.

It also maintains a great water flow of up to 20 GPM which is better than most of the competition, making sure that you will continue to have good water pressure at your home all the time.

The 3M Aqua-Pure AP904 Whole House Filter has filter longevity of around 1 year or 100.000 gallons capacity, which is not bad but it isn’t as good as other filters we present in our top 10.

Pros:

  • Price
  • NSF certification
  • Easy to install and change filters
  • Good flow rate
  • Reduces limescale

Cons:

  • Doesn’t remove heavy metals and chemicals
  • Some customers complained about having to replace the filter cartridge sooner than expected

Buying Guide for Whole House Water Filter

Buying a Whole House Water Filter is not easy, as different households have different needs and you should buy the one that suits your family, to ensure they have access to clean and healthy water.

That is why we present a curated selection of the best whole house water filters for different situations, and we also created a comprehensive buying guide for whole house water filters so that you can understand the most important factors and be able to make the best purchase decision.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Whole House Water Filter

When researching for a Whole House water filter to buy, these are the key features that you should consider:

Contaminants to Remove

It is important to start by knowing which contaminants you need to deal with at your home. You can do this, by checking the CCR of your water provider or by checking the water of your home by yourself, using a  water test kit.

This is relevant information to decide the type of whole house water filter that best suits your situation, as you probably won’t need the more expensive one in the market.

Cost

Purchasing a whole house water filter is not cheap, and you should consider the cost associated with it before you buy it, to ensure you make the right choice.

There are different whole house water filters in the market, and the price can vary from a few hundred dollars to more than one thousand dollars, depending on the brand, certifications, type, contaminants it removes, capacity, etc.

And you may also need a plumber to install the whole house water filter, so consider a few hundred dollars more to your budget.

Apart from these initial costs, you will need to change your cartridge filter with some frequency, so it is important to understand this recurring cost also.

Capacity

You should ask yourself how much water does your family consumes per day, to have an idea of the capacity of the water filter that you are going to need.

If you have a big family or if your family consumes lots of water, you might need a whole house water filter with a high capacity, to avoid having to replace filters too often.

Water Flow

Water flow, or flow rate, is measured by the amount of water in gallons per minute, or GPM. Because a whole water filter is going to filter water for your entire household, it is important to understand how much water you are going to need, to avoid water interruptions or low water flow.

If you need large amounts of water at the same time, is better to go with a water filter with a higher water flow, if your household is small you should be ok with a water filter with a lower water flow.

Filter Longevity

You will need to replace the filter cartridge of your whole water filter from time to time, and that activity will be determined by the longevity of the filter.

You should go for a combination of good longevity and decent price, to not have to change the filter quite often and minimize the recurring cost of changing the filter.

Certifications

Both NSF or WQA are independent third-party accredited institutions that certify water filters, which gives the consumer the trust that those products can remove certain harmful contaminants. 

Some brands will claim they are tested according to NSF standards, but we can only be sure the products were tested by a third-party accredited institution for the ones with certification.

Some of the most common NSF certifications for water filters are:

  • NSF 42: for aesthetic effects, this certifies systems designed to reduce non-health-related contaminants, such as chlorine, chloramine, taste and odor, iron, manganese, particulate, and total dissolved solids (TDS).
  • NSF 44: for cation exchange water softeners, certifies this type of system to reduce hardness caused by calcium and magnesium ions, replacing them with sodium or potassium ions.
  • NSF 53: for health effects, certifies systems designed to reduce specific health-related contaminants, such as lead, Cryptosporidium, VOCs, and chromium.
  • NSF 55: for UV systems, certifies this type of system to inactivate or kill bacteria, viruses, and cysts (Class A) or to reduce the amount of non-health-related bacteria (Class B).
  • NSF 58: for Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems, this certifies RO systems designed to reduce TDS and additional contaminants, and ensures the safety of the materials in contact with drinking water, structural integrity, and efficiency rating.
  • NSF 401: for emerging compounds/incidental contaminants, this certifies systems designed to remove up to 15 individual contaminants which have been identified in published studies as occurring in drinking water, such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbicides, pesticides, and chemical compounds.

System Physical Size & Space Available

Whole house water filters are not small, so you need to make sure you have enough space to install your new system in a place where you can connect it to your main water line.

And take into consideration that you need to be able to access it in the future to change filters and/or perform some maintenance activities.

What is a Whole House Water Filter?

A Whole House Water Filter is a point-of-entry (POE) system, which means that it is connected to the main water line to filter all the water at the point of entry, before it enters the household.

This way, all the water in the house is filtered and clean, both cold and hot water. You will only have filtered water in your house, so in your faucets, showers, appliances, toilets, etc., reducing the contaminants around and improving the quality of your life.

How Does a Whole House Water Filter Work?

Typically a Whole House Water Filter will have at least 3 filtering stages, but there other optional filtering stages that some filters will have:

  • Pre-sediment filter: This filtering stage removes large particles like dirt, dust, impurities, and sand, which will not only remove contaminants from the water, but will also help prevent these particles from going through the filters on the other stages and reduce their expected life.
  • Activated carbon filter: In this stage the water passes through an activated carbon block, removing several contaminants that become trapped in its pores, such as chlorine, chloramine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bad taste and odor, pesticides, etc
  • Copper-zinc filter: This combined filter removes most of the remaining contaminants at this stage, like lead, mercury, chemicals, bacteria, microorganisms, and other metals.
  • Post-filter (common, but optional): Not all whole house filters will have this final stage, in which the filtered water goes through a final polish before it enters the house’s main water line. If there are still some small contaminants in the water (the larger ones were removed in previous stages) this stage will filter them out, using filters with holes around 1 micron, and some whole house filters can have post-filters with holes as small as 0.35 microns.
  • Water softener (optional): Some whole house filters have a water softener stage in which the water goes through an ion-exchange filter that replaces magnesium and calcium ions with sodium ions, making the water softer, but also a bit saltier. This stage can be particularly important if you have a hard water problem in your household.
  • UV filter (optional): Like the water softener stage, some whole house filters have a UV filter stage that is used to kill remaining contaminants like microorganisms, viruses, or bacteria. This stage can be particularly important if your water has a high level of bacterial contamination.
  • Remineralization filter (optional): Another additional stage that some whole house filters offer is remineralization, in which some healthy minerals, like calcium and magnesium, that might have been removed in the early filtering stages are added back to the filtered water at the end of the process.

The Different Types of Whole House Water Filters

There are different types of whole house water filters, and some of them we already covered in the latest section, as part of the optional stages of a whole house water filter.

But let’s go through the different types of whole house water filters:

Reverse Osmosis:

Reverse Osmosis systems are quite powerful at removing contaminants from the water, as they can remove up to 99.9% total dissolved solids (TDS) from the water, effectively dealing with highly contaminated waters, like well water.

These systems can remove most of the contaminants from the water, like impurities, chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria, etc.

Because these systems remove so many particles from the water, they also remove healthy minerals (if in adequate quantities) like calcium and magnesium, so some systems included at the end of the process a remineralization stage to add back some of these minerals to the filtered water.

Typically these types of systems are more expensive than other types of whole house water filter systems, and they also generate waste water during the filtration process, which will increase your water bill.

Carbon Filter:

One of the most common types of whole house filtration systems, and works well for most households that don’t have highly contaminated water. 

On average it is not as expensive as other options, and because it has fewer filtering stages, it is also easier to maintain.

This system is good for dealing with chlorine, VOCs, dust, rust, impurities, and bad taste and odors.

Water Softener / Ion Exchange: 

This type of filter’s main objective is to deal with the minerals in hard water, so it is good to replace contaminants like calcium and magnesium that can exist in excessive quantities in water but can also deal with sulfates and fluoride.

But by itself, it is not good at removing other contaminants that can impact the quality of your water, like microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria.

Ultraviolet Filter:

This type of water filter is great to deal with viruses, bacteria, and microorganisms, because it uses UV light frequencies to kill and remove those contaminants from the water.

Usually, this filter type has other filtration stages earlier in the process, to be able to remove most of the existing contaminants in the water.

Whole-House vs Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Systems

If you are wondering if you should buy a common whole house water filter or a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system, you can check the table below to understand how they compare against each other for different features:

Feature Whole House Water Filter Reverse Osmosis
FiltrationGood filtration systems with multi-stage filtration, capable of removing the most common water contaminantsReverse osmosis systems offer a higher level of filtration, removing up to 99.9% of water contaminants
LocationThe system is installed at the point of entry of the water in your houseTypically RO systems are installed to generate filter water for drinking and cooking purposes, in a kitchen as an under sink or countertop water filter.
SizeLarge systems as need to have the capacity to filter all the house waterMedium-sized systems that can be installed under the sink
CapacityThese systems are designed to filter all the water of your home so they will have a large capacity. The filtered water is produced on-demand without impact on the water flow, to be used for all the purposes, from heather, sinks, toilets, appliances, etc.but they’re slow and can only produce a limited number of gallons per day.
InstallationA more complex installation process, but that you can do by yourselfSimple to medium complexity installation, depending on if it’s an under sink or countertop RO system
CostExpensive, but will depend on the type and capacityAverage price, typically cheaper than a whole house water filter
POE or POUPoint-of-EntryPoint-of-Use

There are also whole house RO water filters, but this is not what we are comparing on this table.

A Reverse Osmosis Whole House filter is not as common, because they are not that efficient. An RO system generates waste water, so to generate clean water for an entire household, even for uses that you don’t really need filtered water (like washing clothes or for toilets), it means wasting lots of water.

Also, most RO systems depend on a tank to store the filtered water, which is typically just for drinking purposes. If that is required for an entire household, a large system and RO tank are necessary, because they will cover the entire household water needs.

For these reasons, most RO systems are installed at POU (point of use) in a kitchen instead of at POE (point of entry), and can be combined with a normal whole house filtration system for the entire household.

Whole House Water Filter Benefits

Removes Contaminants & Impurities from Your Water

One of the main benefits of having a whole house water filtration system is to have access to clean and filtered water, in this case not only to drink and cook, like other types of water filters, but for all purposes in which you use water in your household.

A whole house water filter can remove different types of contaminants from the water, such as impurities, sediments, heavy metals, chlorine, arsenic, bacteria, viruses, nitrates, etc., ensuring access to clean water for your entire family.

Improve Water Taste & Odor

Another important benefit of a whole house water filter system is that it improves the taste and odor of your water because some contaminants are responsible for this.

For example, a common motive for the rotten egg taste of unfiltered water is the presence of hydrogen sulfide [1], which can be removed by certain whole house water filter systems.

Point-of-Entry Filter

Another benefit of a whole house water filter is the ability to filter all the water that enters your household, as it is installed at the point of entry, making sure that all the water is filtered before you use it.

So, if you need access to clean water in multiple places at your home, you will have it with a whole house water filter, while if you were using a POU (point-of-use) water filter you would have to install one in each place.

Environment-friendly

If you are a consumer of bottled water, you will heavily reduce the amount of plastic waste you create by starting using a whole house water filter, which is an environmentally friendly decision.

Apart from that, you will also save some money, as bottled water ends up much more expensive than filtered water, in the long run.

Fast Filtration

Contrary to other types of water filters, whole house water filtration systems are prepared to filter huge amounts of water without reducing its flow, so you will continue to have a normal water flow and water pressure at your home with this water filter type.

Whole House Water Filter Disadvantages

Size

Whole House water filters are not small and need to be installed to the main water line before it enters your home, so you need to choose a good location for it, and make sure you have enough space to fit the water filter.

Cost

While you can find other types of water filters at affordable prices, whole house water filters aren’t typically cheap, as they need to have great capacity and filtration power to filter huge amounts of water.

Also, because you will filter all the water and not only the water that you will drink, the recurring costs associated with replacing filters will be higher than other water filter types.

Is a Whole House Water Filter Right For Me?

If you are looking for a whole house water filter, is because you are worried about the quality of the water of your home. That being said, you probably should have a water filter, but is a whole house water filtration system a good solution for you, or should you go with a more affordable solution, like an under sink or countertop water filter?

As mentioned before, it is important to first test your water to have an idea of the water contaminants of your water. Not all tap water and well water are safe, as they can be contaminated by different local sources, from industrial compounds to agricultural components. This will help you to understand if you need a whole house water filter, and which contaminants the filter needs to remove.

If your water has a bad taste and/or smell, a whole house water filter can be a good solution as this is usually caused by water contamination. 

Another good reason to choose a whole house filter is if you and your family are currently buying bottled water. Moving to drink filtered water instead of bottled water, will save you money and will also have a positive environmental impact, as you will no longer generate lots of plastic waste.

If in general the quality of your water is acceptable, and you only want filtered water to drink and cook, you can probably choose another type of water filter. But if your water is heavily contaminated and you need to deal with the contaminants for the divisions of your house, a whole house water filter is the best choice.

Whole House Water Filter Installation

The complexity of the installation may depend on the brand, type, and size, but typically these are the 6 steps required to install a Whole House water filter system:

Step #1 – Turn off the water:

The initial step of a whole house water filter installation is to turn off the main water source and drain the water from the system.

Step #2 – Choose the water filter location:

Then, you need to choose where you want to install the whole house water filter. Make sure you select a place with enough room to install the filter and that it is before the water enters the household.

Another factor to consider is to select a location that will be easy to access to change the filter cartridges in the near future.

Step #3 – Cut the water pipe:

After selecting the place to connect the water filter, cut the pipe using a pipe cutter. You can use a bucket to get any water that might leak from the pipes.

Step #4 – Connect fittings:

Depending on the water filter, you may need to use plastic or brass fittings. You should use Teflon tape on the fittings to seal them.

In this step, it is better to check the manufacturer’s guide to make sure you are following the correct method and using the right materials.

Step #5 – Install the water filter:

Now install the whole house water filter, connecting its “In” and “Out” ports to the correct pipes. The “In” port should be connected to the side where the water pipe is coming from the exterior and the “Out” to the inside of your home.

Step #6 – Turn on the water:

In the last step, you want to check if everything is working properly. So, just turn on the water and check if there are no leaks.

If you have a shut-off valve, make sure it is diverted to the whole house water filter.

Whole House Water Filter Maintenance

To maintain a whole house water filtration system working properly, you will need to replace the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Typically, these are the necessary steps to replace a whole house water filter:

  • Turn off the inlet valve of the water filter
  • Unscrew the housing of the filter with a wrench
  • Remove the filter
  • Clean the inside of the housing
  • Insert the new filter
  • Screw the housing back, again using a wrench
  • Turn back on the inlet valve
  • Let the water run for a few minutes before using the filtered water

FAQ About Whole House Water Filters

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about whole house water filters.

What is the cost of a whole house water filter?

Let’s be clear, typically a whole house water filter is not cheap. But there are different options available, so the cost range can vary from a few hundred dollars to more than two thousand dollars.

Can I install a whole house water filter myself?

Installing a whole house water filter is not as simple as installing other types of water filters, like countertop water filters.

That being said, as you can check on the previous section about “Whole House Water Filter Installation”, you just need to complete 6 steps that are not that difficult if you have some basic DYI skills.

Make sure you follow the detailed instructions provided by the manufacturer of your whole house water filtration system, and you should be able to install it by yourself.

Do I really need a whole house water filtration system?

If you are currently using well water, or if you live in an area where the water has harmful contaminants, then a whole house water filter system is a suitable option for you, because you need to protect your family from contact with unhealthy impurities, like sediments, bacteria, chemicals, heavy metals, etc.

Another reason to buy a whole house water filter is that it will significantly improve the quality of your home water, which will make your family want to drink more water because it will taste better, and it will also improve the health of your skin and hair.

Our Verdict

Clean and healthy water is fundamental to our health, and a whole house water filter can ensure that all the water in your home is clean of harmful contaminants.

You are now aware of the important factors to look out for when buying a whole house water filter, and you should also know the best options available in the market, and how they suit different situations.

For us, the best overall choice is the Aquasana EQ-1000 Whole House Water Filter, but all the whole house water filters we have in our top are great options, so you can’t go wrong with any of them!