Do I Really Need a Water Softener or Is an Inline Filter Sufficient?
You need clean water for day-to-day routines like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many West Palm Beach homeowners consider the question of which is right for them—a water filter or a water softener? Discover the important differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the benefits they provide and how to decide 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 cleans water as it comes into your house. It’s installed directly on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other impurities from the municipal water supply before flowing to your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Benefits of Water Filters
If your water comes from a municipal supplier, you may ask yourself why you should get an inline water filter. After all, the water is already treated at a water treatment plant. The problem is, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may pick up harmful particles between the treatment plant and your faucets. Here’s how using a water filter can improve the water in your home:
- Healthier water: Water filters remove unhealthy microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other debris for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters minimize sediment collection in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, protecting them from harm.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters cut back on the need for bottled water, contributing to a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra money 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 rely on home treatment systems for safe and healthy drinking water. Here are some signals that you need 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 putting in a filter for your protection.
- Frequent plumbing problems: A whole-house water filter helps alleviate blocked pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
- Skin irritability: If you experience redness, rashes or other skin issues attributed to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be beneficial.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a record of possible contamination? Getting a whole-house water filter provides peace of mind against future problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener eliminates calcium and magnesium from the water entering your home. A process called ion exchange works somewhat like 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 notice once you install a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water reduces scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, lengthening their life span and improving 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 effortlessly.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water is a good way to make sure cleaning products lather more effectively, which results in cleaner dishes, brighter laundry, and softer skin and hair, even if you use a smaller amount of soap and detergent.
- Energy savings: A water softener helps your plumbing appliances run effectively for lower electricity expenses.
How to Know 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 local government's water quality report. In the meantime, here are some signs that you could use a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky substance 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.
- Low water pressure: Showerheads and faucet aerators commonly become significantly blocked by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is another indication of hard water.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water stops soap from rinsing properly, contributing to irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Continual appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater fails frequently due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile purchase.
Should You Buy Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners each offer valuable benefits, but they perform different jobs. An inline water filter eliminates contaminants and elevates overall water quality, while a water softener specifically targets hard minerals. In some circumstances, having a water filter and a water softener is required in order to make sure you have high-quality water. Evaluate your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in West Palm Beach
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is a trusted provider of water treatment remedies in West Palm Beach, 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 enjoy the best water quality in your West Palm Beach home.