We all need clean water for day-to-day tasks like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Gaithersburg homeowners consider the question of which is better—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 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 treats water as it enters your home. It’s installed right on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other pollutants 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 provider, you may ask yourself why you might need an inline water filter. After all, the water is cleaned at a water treatment plant. The problem is, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may acquire harmful particles 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 debris for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters reduce sediment accumulation in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, safeguarding them from wear and tear.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters reduce the need for bottled water, adding to a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra money on bottled water and reducesthe stress 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 quality drinking water. Here are some signals that you need a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, strange taste or unpleasant smell: If your tap water is anything but crystal-clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Give consideration to adding a filter for your health and well-being.
- Constant plumbing issues: A whole-house water filter helps reduce plugged pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
- Skin irritation: If you notice anyone in your household suffering from redness, rashes or other skin issues connected to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be beneficial.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a background of possible contamination? Installing a whole-house water filter can give you peace of mind against potential problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener eliminates calcium and magnesium from your water supply. A process called ion exchange acts sort of 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’s what you’ll observe once you put in a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water reduces scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, extending their life span and enhancing their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t leave a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, which helps keep 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 if you use a smaller amount of soap and detergent.
- Energy savings: A water softener helps your plumbing appliances work efficiently for lower power expenses.
How to Determine if You Need a Water Softener
Most water supplies in North America are characterized as moderately hard, hard or very hard. Learn more by reading your city’s water quality report. In the meantime, here are some signs that you could benefit from a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky residue 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 commonly become significantly clogged 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 prevents soap from rinsing properly, causing irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Frequent appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater stops functioning regularly due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile investment.
Do You Need Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners each offer valuable benefits, but they perform different functions. An inline water filter removes contaminants and boosts overall water quality, while a water softener specifically targets hard minerals. Sometimes, having a water filter and a water softener is necessary. Assess your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Gaithersburg
Parker Pearce Service Experts is a respected provider of water treatment remedies in Gaithersburg, including water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our experienced professionals can help you decide if one or both solutions are necessary to help you enjoy the best water quality in your Gaithersburg home.