The Differences Between Water Softeners and Water Filters

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Water quality for your home is essential, and improving your home’s water is always a sound investment for your quality of life. While researching new ways to improve your home’s water, you may have come across several water filters and softeners, but which do you buy? Do you need both systems or just one? We will break down each device and the differences between water softeners and water filters so you can make the best-informed decision for your home!

Water Filters

Water filters are fairly straightforward and are always a great addition to any home. While water filtration systems can vary based on brands and systems used for filtration, typically, each water filter serves a similar purpose of removing contaminants from your water. Water filters help remove harmful materials such as lead, arsenic, iron, pesticides, chlorine, sediments, and other particulates that can potentially cause harm.

If properly built and up to code, your home should have a whole-home water filtration system that helps provide you with clean drinking water across your entire home. While a whole system is sufficient for many, you can also have an additional point of use water filter placed in areas like your kitchen for extra filtration. Think of compact water filters that you fill with tap water to drink later.

Water Softener

Water is a liquid; how exactly do you soften water? Hard water refers to water high in mineral contents such as calcium, which leads to water that can be pretty abrasive for everyday use. Typically hard water can lead to dryer skin, damage pipes, and form mineral deposits that damage water heaters and other plumbing fixtures.

While you may think a standard water filter can just filter out these minerals, you would be mistaken. Water softeners are specially designed water filters that help remove minerals that lead to hard water as your water passes through your plumbing. How every rectangle is a square, but not every square is a rectangle. Every water softener is a water filter, but not every water filter is a water softener.

Which Do I Need?

Answering what a home needs can vary drastically based on the whole-home filtration system, but you typically want to prioritize a water filter over a water softener. If you only have a water softener, while you can reduce minerals and hard water, you are not filtering out contaminants such as chlorine or even lead. Some water filter systems can help reduce calcium or mineral deposits to avoid hard water issues, but this depends on the system.

You can have both a water softener and water filter to help improve your water, but do note that water filters for the entire home will do a lot more to make your drinking water safe than just having a water softener.

Improving your home’s water quality should be fine-tuned to your home and your area. While we suggest investing in a top-of-the-line whole-home water filtration system, some homes may need additional water softeners to help improve water quality. No matter the plumbing issue at B & J Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. we can help find the best solution for your home. So call us today at (252) 512-5651