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Types of Whole House Water Filters

The water you get from your municipal supply contains various contaminants that can be harmful to your home. A good way to solve the issues caused by well and city water is to install whole house water filters in your home. It is a good idea to invest in one as it may be the one home appliance that offers the most benefits.

While there are many water filter options, a whole house filtration system is the best way to get filtered water. Why? Well, these filters provide clean and filtered water as soon as it enters your home’s plumbing system.

However, it is not possible for any whole house filter to completely remove all contaminants. Each house filter has different capabilities. So, learning how each one works can help you choose the best one according to your water issues.

Whole house filters come with 3 stage options, with better filtration capability with each stage. Not to mention, some even come with water softener combinations. While there are many different types of whole house filtration systems, here are some of the best ones. Make sure you choose a filtration system that can deal with your unique water problem.

Types of Whole House Water Filters

Some of the whole house filter types include cartridge-based filters, sediment filters, reverse osmosis filters, catalytic filters, and ion exchange filters.

Contaminated and hard water from your local municipal supply can cause many health and household problems. For instance, you may notice scale build-up in fixtures and on pipes as well as deposits on utensils and hardware. Not to forget, consuming and using contaminated water can cause a number of health issues, such as stomach infections and skin irritation.

Whole house filters do a good job at removing unnatural tastes and odors so that you can safely drink tap water without affecting your health. A whole house filter isn’t a small purchase, so make sure you consider factors such as your house’s plumbing system and the biochemical properties of your water.

Cartridge-Based Whole House Filters

As the name suggests, cartridge-based whole house filters consist of a removable cartridge that filters the water. This cartridge can remove contaminants ranging from 0.04 to 500 microns. There are many subtypes of cartridge-based filters, such as sediment filters, organic chemical filters, heavy metal filters, etc. You can use a cartridge that is most suitable for your household needs. Make sure you get a new cartridge to replace the old one with once every 3 to 12 months.

  • Stage 1 Whole House Water Filters:stage 1 filtration systems work on a single filtration tank. This tank uses a sediment filter cartridge to remove contaminants. Most people like to use them with a water softening system to reduce the hardness of water as well.
  • Stage 2 Whole House Water Filters:As these filters use two filtration tanks, you can equip them with any cartridges for each tank. Stage 2 whole house filtration systems can remove sediments, dirt, sand, chlorine, and rust from your water.
  • Stage 3 Whole House Water Filter:Since a whole house filter uses 3 filtration tanks, you’ll need to make sure your property has enough room to set up a 3-stage filtration system. You can use a different filtration cartridge for each of the 3 filtration tanks. These whole house water filters may be the best type of cartridge-based filters as they can remove iron, lead, chlorine, heavy metals, rust, sand, dirt, pesticides, organic matter, algae, and microorganisms.

Sediment Whole House Filters

Sediment whole house filters are cartridge-based filters that are specially designed to filter sediments. If your water contains particles such as rust, sand, clay, or other debris, a sediment cartridge filter is a great go-to choice. The filter serves as a physical barrier that effectively stops larger particles from entering your house’s water system right at the point of supply.

These basic whole house filters are inexpensive and easy to install. They’re suitable for homes that get a lot of large particles and turbidity in their water. However, these filters aren’t as effective at removing chemicals and heavy metals. Furthermore, they are also incapable of treating unpleasant odors and tastes.

Reverse Osmosis Whole House Filters

While this type of filter is the most effective whole house water filter to treat most water problems, they are quite unpopular. Reverse Osmosis whole house water filter systems use the reverse osmosis process to remove organic molecules, viruses, minerals, pesticides, arsenic, bacteria, nitrates and salts, and heavy metals like lead.

The reverse osmosis process allows water to pass through a semi-permeable membrane that filters various contaminants and minerals. Not only can this membrane remove larger particles, but it can also filter smaller particles and dissolved solids. Moreover, you don’t need to replace the membrane very often as it can work for as long as 2 to 3 years.

However, reverse osmosis whole house water filters come with their fair share of drawbacks. For instance, they are not as environmentally friendly as their purification process can produce a lot of wastewater. On top of that, these filtration systems can also reduce water pressure.

Catalytic Activated Carbon Whole House Filters

Chloramines are quite damaging and problematic of a contaminant, so it is important that you filter them out from your water supply. It is mostly present in the city water supply as water utilities use chloramines to disinfect their water. Catalytic Activated Carbon whole house water filters are especially good to remove chloramines and chlorine from your water.

Catalytic whole house water filters use catalytic carbon instead of activated. This is because it is much better at catalyzing chloramines into chlorine. These filters are great at removing chlorine and chloramines from your water supply as they conduct faster chemical reactions with the help of catalytic carbon. But while catalytic carbon can remove these contaminants and lead, it is incapable of removing other heavy metals that may be present in your water.


Installing a whole house water filter system in your home can help in numerous ways as it filters your household water for safe drinking and cleaning. However, all whole house water filtration systems have different capabilities. While one system may be good at removing heavy metals, others may be designed to remove sediments. So, make sure you choose a whole house water filter type that addresses your concerns.  

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