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5 Things to Consider When Comparing Whole Home Filtration Options

Home water filtration systems are a great way to filter contaminants out of the water that flows through your entire home’s plumbing system. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to determine which system is best for your needs. This article explores five important factors to consider when comparing different whole home filtration options.

1. Filtration Method

One of the most important things to look at is the type of filtration media used by each system. Whole home filters use various materials like carbon, sediment filters, and membranes to remove different contaminants from water.

Carbon filtration is very effective at removing chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other chemicals that can impact water quality and taste. Sediment filtration traps particles and debris in water to protect plumbing. Membrane filtration like reverse osmosis is needed to remove salts, heavy metals, and other dissolved contaminants.

2. Flow Rate

The flow rate, or gallons per minute (GPM) a filter can handle, is also important. Whole home filters need to keep up with the water demands of an entire residence. Consider factors like the number of bathroom fixtures, outdoor faucets/sprinklers, and appliances like dishwashers that use water simultaneously.

Higher flow rates mean the filter won’t get overwhelmed or reduce water pressure during peak usage times. It also helps avoid short filter life that can occur if a system is asked to process more water than it can handle smoothly. Flow rates of 10-15 GPM or more are suitable for most average-sized homes.

3. Filtration Cycle

Another specification to evaluate is how long a filter provides effective cleaning before needing to be changed or regenerated. Filter life expectancy depends on factors like water quality, flow rate through the filter, and capacity of the filtration media.

Longer filtration cycles save money in the long run versus filters that must be replaced more frequently. Check the manufacturer’s estimates for the filtration cycle based on standard contaminant loads. Also, research if special cartridges or membranes are needed for replacement and their availability/cost compared to generic options.

4. Installation and Maintenance

Ease of installation and maintenance is a consideration, especially if you plan to self-install the system. Whole home filters require installation at a central location like the home’s main water line which often involves plumbing. Consider the tools and skill level required for the installation process of different options.

Maintenance also varies – some types require cartridge replacement only while others may involve membrane cleaning, disinfection cycles, or other techniques. The effort involved in routine care can impact your decision. Systems with simple cartridge swaps are more convenient than those with intensive regeneration requirements.

5. Warranty and Customer Service

A strong warranty and good customer service standing help ensure the investment is protected and issues can be addressed smoothly if any occur. Reputable brands tend to offer longer standard warranties on the filter housing/valves versus just the filter cartridges alone.

Pay attention to what’s covered in the filter warranty versus any exclusions for things like damage from freezing or lack of proper maintenance. Read online reviews to gauge customer satisfaction levels with a company’s service response to problems. This is particularly important for filters requiring technical troubleshooting versus just cartridge swaps.

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