We all need clean water for day-to-day activities like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Champaign homeowners wonder 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 advantages they provide and how to figure out 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 filters water as it comes into your residence. It’s installed right on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other contaminants from the municipal water supply before it gets to your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Benefits of Water Filters
If your water comes from a municipal supplier, you may ask yourself why you could use an inline water filter. After all, the water has already been treated at a water treatment plant. However, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may be contaminated with pollutants between the treatment plant and your faucets. Here’s how installing a water filter can improve the water in your home:
- Healthier water: Water filters take away unhealthy microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other impurities for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters reduce sediment accumulation in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, safeguarding them from damage.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters diminish the need for bottled water, contributing to a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra cash on bottled water and decreasesthe pressure 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 safe and healthy drinking water. Here are some telltale indicators that you should use a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, unusual taste or undesirable smell: If your tap water is anything but absolutely clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Think about installing a filter for your safety.
- Constant plumbing problems: A whole-house water filter helps decrease plugged pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
- Skin discomfort: If you notice anyone in your household suffering from redness, rashes or other skin issues linked to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be beneficial.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a history of possible contamination? Getting a whole-house water filter offers peace of mind against long-term problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener eliminates calcium and magnesium from your water supply. A process called ion exchange acts 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 find once you set up a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water reduces scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, prolonging their life span and improving their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t create a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, keeping your pipes and faucets flowing smoothly.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water helps cleaning products lather more effectively, producing cleaner dishes, brighter laundry, and softer skin and hair, even when using less soap and detergent.
- Energy savings: A water softener helps your plumbing appliances run properly for lower energy bills.
How to Know if You Need a Water Softener
Most water reserves in North America are characterized 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 see a real difference in the quality of water in your home by installing a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky film on your fixtures and appliances is evidence of hard water, as are the white spots on your dishes, glass shower door and coffee maker. A water softener can help you get rid of this unsightly issue.
- Low water pressure: Showerheads and faucet aerators often become badly obstructed by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is a result of hard water.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water stops soap from rinsing thoroughly, contributing to irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Repeated appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater stops functioning often due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile acquisition.
Do You Need 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 functions. An inline water filter eliminates contaminants and boosts overall water quality, while a water softener specifically targets hard minerals. Sometimes, using a water filter and a water softener is required in order to make sure you have high-quality water. Consider your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Champaign
Chief/Bauer Service Experts is a trustworthy provider of water treatment products and solutions in Champaign, including water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our team can help you evaluate if one or both solutions are necessary to help you enjoy the best water quality in your Champaign home.