Do I Really Need a Water Softener or Is an Inline Filter Sufficient?
We all need clean water for daily activities like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Canada homeowners consider the question of which is better—a water filter or a water softener? Explore the key differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the perks they provide and how to determine 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 residence. It’s installed on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other impurities 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 company, you may wonder why you could use an inline water filter. After all, the water has already been cleaned at a water treatment plant. The problem is, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may be contaminated with harmful particles between the treatment plant and your home. Here’s how setting up a water filter can assist you:
- Healthier water: Water filters remove unhealthy microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other impurities for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters reduce sediment buildup in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, safeguarding them from wear and tear.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters cut back on the need for bottled water, helping create a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra your hard-earned cash on bottled water and decreasesthe strain on your plumbing system.
How to Tell if You Need a Whole-House Water Filter
About one-third of American households depend on home treatment systems for quality drinking water. Here are some signs that you should use a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, odd taste or unpleasant smell: If your tap water is anything but totally clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Consider adding a filter for your protection.
- Frequent plumbing concerns: A whole-house water filter helps reduce blocked pipes, low water pressure and other troubles.
- Skin irritability: If you experience redness, rashes or other skin issues connected to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be helpful.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a track record of contamination? Getting a whole-house water filter offers peace of mind against potential problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener takes away calcium and magnesium from water. 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, this is what you’ll find once you set up a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water minimizes scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, lengthening their life span and bettering their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t cause a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, keeping your pipes and faucets flowing efficiently.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water is a good way to make sure 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 effectively for lower electricity charges.
How to Determine if You Need a Water Softener
Most water resources 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 city’s water quality report. In the meantime, here are some signs 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 substance on your fixtures and appliances is an indication 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 significantly blocked by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is a sign of hard water.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water prevents soap from rinsing correctly, resulting in irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Repeated appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater malfunctions often due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile acquisition.
Should You Use Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners both supply valuable benefits, but they perform different jobs. An inline water filter takes away contaminants and boosts overall water quality, while a water softener specifically addresses the problem of hard minerals. In some instances, utilizing a water filter and a water softener is appropriate. Consider your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Canada
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is a trusted provider of water treatment products and solutions in Canada, carrying high-quality water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our experienced professionals can help you determine if one or both solutions are necessary to help you achieve the best water quality in your Canada home.