You’re tired of dirty and tasteless water at home, so you’ve decided to buy a whole-house water filter.

But there’s a problem… YOU DON’T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT TO LOOK FOR!

We know that feeling. Being clueless about whole-house water filters is way more common than you think. Thousands of people buy filters every week but have little to no idea what they’re getting.

The result? A whole-house water filter that:

· Doesn’t fit in the house

· Reduces water pressure exponentially

· Doesn’t clean the water well enough

· Requires a lot of maintenance

· Wears out too fast

· Costs a lot to operate

And these are just the most common problems. You may end up with even worse ones (like a filter that breaks within a few months).

Luckily for you – there’s no need to waste any time or money with a whole-house water filter that doesn’t match your requirements.

As long as you know WHAT TO CONSIDER and WHY you’ll have an easier time finding out what to go for whole-home water filters.

We will teach you what to look for following a few essential questions you need to ask yourself when buying. Here’s what we mean:

1. What Type of Water Filter Do You Need?

There are five types of water filters to consider.

Each one comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Knowing what they offer and how you can get the most out of it can get you closer to the perfect water filter.

Let’s explain them all:

· Absorption

Ever heard of carbon filters? They’re absorption ones. The purpose is to literally absorb the contaminants thanks to the ability of carbon to absorb stuff.

Other types of absorption filters include coconut shells, wood fibers, and sand.

What sets absorption filters apart is their ability to reduce odors and tastes.

· Sequestration

These are rare filters to reduce specific chemicals like iron and manganese from the water.

Sequestration filters do this by isolating the substances using food-grade polyphosphate and other chemicals. The chemicals and minerals stay within the polyphosphate as the water passes through, leaving the contaminants behind.

BUT, consider that a sequestration filter is never ideal on its own. It can be a great way to reduce chemicals in contaminated waters as an add-on to other filters.

· Mechanical

The most popular type of filter is mechanical. You’ve probably seen it as a ceramic filter: a material with tons of pores that captures pathogens and dirt.

Mechanical filters are different at filtrating depending on how small of a contaminant they can handle. The size of the pollutants is measured in micron.


5-micron filters will remove particles like dirt and sand.

1-micron filters will remove chemicals and bacteria.

0.5-micron will remove cysts, asbestos, and viruses that are harder to get to.

· Ion-Exchange

For extra filtration capacity, you can go for an ion-exchange system. The filtration capacity is so effective that they’re also called water softeners.

These are used to remove calcium, magnesium, and other minerals by replacing them with hydrogen or sodium. The water is then helpful for commercial applications where cleanliness is essential to prevent dirtying up machines.

An ion-exchange filter typically uses a resin where the water passes through. This resin absorbs the minerals and chemicals as expected. Depending on the resin type, the water may eventually be used for drinking or food preparation (sodium, for example, doesn’t work for that).

· Reverse Osmosis

Also known as RO (Reverse Osmosis), these filters eliminate dissolved inorganics like calcium, magnesium, sodium, and other contaminants from the water.

A reverse osmosis filter uses a semipermeable membrane. It puts the water under tremendous pressure and pushes it through this membrane. The contaminants eventually stay behind.

Most reverse osmosis systems require other filters beforehand to keep the water cleaner. Otherwise, the membrane will run out fast. But it’s still a great way to filter water (the best for chemicals and metals).

What should you get, then?

Well, it depends. As a general rule, get as many stages as you can. That means getting AT LEAST two of the previous filters in the same piece.

That will obviously increase the effectiveness.

But there’s something else you need to consider beforehand…

2. How’s the Water Quality at Home?

The type of filter you pick should be DIRECTLY related to the kind of water you get at home.

For that, it’s recommended to do a water study to check what chemicals, metals, bacteria, and viruses are in the water before you buy a filter.

Believe it or not, most homes get water with tons of contaminants that could cause damage over time or right away. If you use this water for drinking and preparing food, it could be a severe problem later.

Having said that, here are a few tips to consider:

Go for 5-Stage Filters

Regardless of what type of water reaches your home, a 5-stage filter will suffice. It comes with EVERY TYPE of filter (sequestration, absorption, reverse osmosis, mechanical, and ion exchange).

The result is the cleanest water you could get.

BEWARE: 5-stage filters are more expensive, so you may want to determine whether you truly need such a filter first.

In case you don’t…

Go for Specific Filters

Does water reach your home filled with sediments? Go for an absorption filter.

Is your tap water too chlorinated? A mechanical filter is better for you.

And in case you have bacteria and sediment, for example, a 2-stage or 3-stage filter may also suffice. Make sure it comes with absorption, mechanical, and either reverse osmosis or ion-exchange filters.

ALSO CONSIDER: The number of filters will affect how fast water travels through your plumbing. This could affect…

3. How Much Flow Rate and Pressure You Want?

Any filter you pick will restrict water flow at home. But some do so more than others.

To understand how this works, learn what GPM (gallons per minute) means. Quite literally, it refers to how many gallons of water go through the filter every minute.

A standard measurement for filters would be 2.5 GPM. And that should be the MINIMUM amount you consider regardless of what filter you’re choosing.

How’s that?

Well, let’s say you have a 2-bathroom home. You need water to flow freely and unrestricted, so heaters work well and the tap doesn’t bore you out with trickling water. In that case, 2.5 to 3 GPM may suffice.

But that’s for a small house. If your home has 3 bathrooms and 2 kitchens, for example, you will need AT LEAST 15 GPM of total flow rate. This should be enough to keep every bathroom with flowing water.

And if you’re talking about a BIG HOUSE with a bathroom in every bedroom plus several other places that need water, you need to use either TWO FILTERS or pick something with no less than 25 GPM.

Want to ensure water isn’t restricted even in peak hours? Then go for at least twice the amount of GPM you need.

A small home with 10 GPM will never reduce pressure, for example.

4. Check Its Maintenance Needs and Lifespan

Don’t RUSH…

You’re now sort of prepared to get a filter depending on your needs. Now let’s consider WHAT that filter will need…

The obvious thing would be to go for a filter that needs only one maintenance session per year. But this will depend on how much water you use and how dirty your tap water is.

More importantly, it will depend on how many gallons of water the filter can handle before being replaced.

Generally, whole-house filters can handle up to 10,000 gallons per water before being replaced (depending on what type of filter it is).

How does that work?

Well, imagine you live in a big house with 3 bathrooms and 5 people. Water will probably flow throughout the entire day, consuming over 1,000 gallons per month. In that case, the filter may need maintenance and replacement at least every 6-10 months.

But if you live in a small place by yourself or a single roommate, you may be looking at about 200-300 gallons per month. That should give you up to 3 years without a single filter replacement or even maintenance.

5. Certifications and Reliability

Many people don’t consider how reliable their filter is – but this is actually pretty important.

Unreliable filters are everywhere. Some of them may even leave contaminants behind when they say the opposite.

The result?

You end up with dirtier water than you should and this also affects your home appliances like a washing machine or dishwashers.

What can you about this?

Easy, check that it has an NSF/ANSI certification seal. This one says that’s it’s approved after being tested by authorities. It should explain what contaminants it filters.

With a certified filter you’re less likely to encounter problems.


So, are you ready to pick the ideal whole-house water filter for your home?

Consider our tips above and you’ll have an easier time choosing – that’s for sure.

Either way, don’t let those contaminants get to your organism – get the best whole-house water filter NOW!

Dominic Wong

Dominic Wong, holding a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, has 20 years of experience in the home appliance sector. He joined our website as a freelancer in 20119, sharing his deep understanding of appliance functionality, energy efficiency, and consumer trends. Previously, Dominic worked in appliance design and testing. His background also includes roles in product development and consumer research. An advocate for sustainable technology, he enjoys mountain biking and experimenting with smart home gadgets in his spare time.

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