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Our Top Product Picks
Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water FilterA popular pick for those on a tight budget, this 3-stage water filter is one of the best for purifying well water. Offering a whopping 15 GPM of water pressure, its 1-inch ports make this system suitable for large households. In addition to that, this unit removes 95% of common water pollutants that are larger than 1 micron. So, if you want clean, crystal clear water running through your faucets, look no further!
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- Impressive water flow rate
- Less frequent replacement of filters
- Eliminates a wide range of impurities
- Recommended for well water
- Filters include activated carbon and hold 3x more dirt
- Not suitable for water containing high amounts of iron and calcium
- Heavy unit makes it difficult to install
What Could’ve Been Better?
With quite a lot of impressive features, this filter continues to remain a favorite among buyers. However, a few faults must be considered before you make the purchase.
For instance, although the multi-layered construction eliminates many pollutants, it does not guarantee the complete removal of iron. So, if the water contains high levels of ferrous iron, you might want to check out another product. Some customers have even complained about the unit being inefficient at removing sulfur, calcium, and more.
Furthermore, installing this filter is quite a task that needs a professional hand. Add to that its heavy tanks, and you will be waiting for an hour or so for the installation to complete.
Why Buy This Product?
1. Impressive Flow Rate
The massive 1-inch ports of this whole house filter provide the strongest pressure of 15 GPM. That makes the filter suitable for large households that receive well water. Even when all faucets are engaged, you need not worry about the flow rate decreases.
Due to the oversized circumference, blockages will also be at a bare minimum. This will save you from repair and maintenance expenditures in the future.
2. Easy Replacement Of Filters
If you are further concerned about the frequency of maintenance, fret not. All the filters in this system can hold a lot of dirt and sediment without causing any build-up and blockages. In fact, the tanks can filter up to 100,000 gallons of polluted well water. While the interval between each replacement varies according to your water usage, the filters usually last for more than a year.
Moreover, replacement is a breeze since you will not need any professional intervention. However, we suggest leaving enough space while installing the unit to allow easy removal and replacement in the future.
3. Innovative 3-stage Filtration System
Quite similar to our previous recommendations, this water filtration system features three stages. The reason behind most units featuring a multi-layered filter is to elongate the filtration time to eliminate even the tiniest pollutants found in well water. Let’s understand what each stage does…
First and foremost is the multi-gradient sediment filter that resists bacteria and holds three times more dirt than other similar products. This polypropylene filter contains four layers that remove particles of 25, 10, 5, and 1 micron, respectively.
Due to its massive dirt holding capacity, its replacement period can range from 6-12 months.
This layer consists of a radial flow iron reduction filter that eradicates heavy metals like sulfur, manganese, and iron. As a matter of fact, it removes iron of up to 3 PPM. Because of its metal removing properties, this filter also keeps a check on damages caused by rust.
Last but not least is the activated coconut shell carbon filter which gets rid of chlorine and other chemicals, which cause bad taste and odor. It can purify up to 95,000 gallons of water, so it can be used for an entire year by a family of four before replacement.
The brand purposely elongated the lifespan of the activated carbon filter to cleanse and purify water to improve the overall health of the users.
4. Excellent Purification Removes Bad Taste And Odor
This effective 3-stage filter gets rid of 95% of iron, manganese, sediment, and other impurities found in well water. Additionally, chlorine, chloramine, and other chemicals are eliminated to ensure natural tasting, odorless water. Since water is used in high volumes while cooking, using the filter will also add more flavor and facilitate faster, more even cooking.
You must note that if your home is not supplied with well water, it is better to look for another model named HMF2SMGCC. Moreover, water containing high levels of calcium requires a water softener or conditioner along with this unit.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Water Softener
Now, you’re familiar with the best whole house water filters on the market. But choosing the best out of these top-notch options is another challenge. Well, fret not because we’ve made it easier for you by going back to the basics.
After all, you’re making this investment for your family’s health and well-being, and such important decisions should be made carefully. So, without further ado, let’s find out the characteristics of whole house water filters you must consider before making a decision.
1. Flow Rate Of Water
One of the most crucial factors that you must check is the amount of water pressure the filter offers to ensure convenient usage in the future. Although faster flow is not always favorable as it may imply that the water is not filtered well enough, it helps when all the bathrooms are engaged.
But you must keep in mind that slow pressure is beneficial for using a carbon water filter to ensure thorough filtration. You can use a pressure gauge to test the flow rate of your water supply.
2. Space Required
Imagine spending all of that money only to get a whole house water filter that doesn’t fit properly. What a bummer!
Thus, when looking for a suitable water filter, you must keep in mind the size of the unit. We recommend that you note down the dimensions of free space in your house beforehand. Keeping some margin of error also helps since you will need additional space during replacements and maintenance work.
3. Type Of Filter
Depending on the quality of water, you can choose the best type of water filter for your household. Consult the water supplier of your locality to get an idea of the different types of impurities present in your tap water. If you’ve got prior experience, you can even opt for a water testing kit that is readily available online.
The different types of whole house water filters are explained in the following parts.
A. Carbon-based Filter
This is the most common type of water filter which provides pure, filtered water for your entire household. A good-quality carbon-based filter must consist of at least three layers, although some units feature four stages.
The stages of filtration include a sediment filter, a copper/ zinc filter, an activated carbon filter, and a post-filter. Such a multi-layered structure helps catch large chunks of heavy metals as well as minute dust particles to improve the quality of water.
B. Reverse Osmosis
Most reverse osmosis (RO) systems claim to eliminate at least 99.9% of pollutants, including TDS. Suitable for well water and city water alike, RO units provide stronger and more thorough filtration. However, this means that it can get rid of some minerals and substances that are actually desirable in drinking water.
Since these systems are more efficient in purifying the water and preventing bacterial growth, they are relatively more expensive. Moreover, maintenance bills will also remain high.
Another drawback of these otherwise efficient filters would be the amount of water that drains out. The alarming ratio of the amount of filtered water to that of wasted water is 1:4. So, it is definitely not an eco-friendly variant.
C. Next-Generation Technology
A newer and more sustainable alternative to an RO filter is the next-generation filter technology. It strikes the perfect balance between vigorous removal of contaminants and minimum wastage of water. The pricing of these filters is also on the middle ground as they are cheaper than RO units but more expensive than carbon-based systems.
4. Filter Size
Whole house water filters with more water-holding capacity will last longer. It also ensures faster and efficient filtration so you can enjoy the goodness of clean water for longer. In this list, Springwell CF1 offers the maximum filter capacity of 1,000,000 gallons.
However, the operating period of a filter before replacement varies according to your daily consumptions, quality of water, and more.
5. Frequency Of Replacement
In addition to the factors mentioned before, the quality of materials used also plays a massive role in determining the lifespan of a filter. While comparing the different filtration stages, usually the first stage or the sediment filter gets clogged up with large particles easily. Thus, this filter requires quicker replacements, ranging from 3 to 6 months.
Most third or fourth-stage filters made of activated carbon last relatively longer. The replacement intervals of such filters may fluctuate between 6 and 12 months.
In this aspect, a reverse osmosis system has the edge over water filtration systems since the former needs a replacement every two years.
6. Micron Rating
A micron, also known as a micrometer, is a measurement unit that equals one-millionth of a meter. Usually, water pollutants are measured by microns, and the naked eye cannot see them.
Knowing the micron rating of a filter helps in determining the amount of undesirable particles it can remove. For instance, Home Master HMF3SDGFEC features a multi-layer sediment filter that removes contaminants of 25, 10, 5, and 1 micron.
The efficiency of filtration varies for products with nominal and absolute micron ratings. If a water filter shows a nominal micron rating of 10, it can remove pollutants of that size at 50-90% accuracy.
On the other hand, absolute nominal rating ensures 98.7% efficiency. All of these details are mentioned in the product description of the filters, so ensure that you read them carefully. Ultimately, it is best to opt for a filter that provides multiple stages to remove contaminants of varying sizes.
Of course, every brand will claim its product to be the best in terms of quality and construction. That’s when the products need a third-party certification after being tested according to the WQA or NSF/ANSI standards. These certifications confirm the claims of the brand so the buyers can feel confident in their purchase.
A. NSF International
The NSF International requires a particular product to qualify the performance, sustainability, and safety standards, according to the test of a third party. Due to the direct intervention of an independent body, this certification holds more credibility, thus making it a popular standard for quality.
B. Water Quality Association (WQA)
This independent body certifies the performance standards of water improvement products. Customers can refer to the WQA certification of a product to know about its efficiency.
Albeit mentioned in the end, this factor is as important as others in finding a suitable water filter. Once you’ve decided on a budget, you can look for high-quality and functional products within that range.
Most whole house water filters may cost you anywhere between $300 and $600. Optional add-ons like a UV filter, a water conditioner, and more may carry additional charges.
Next-generation filters and RO systems cost more than $1,000, sometimes surpassing $5,000. If within your budget, we recommend you to opt for these options since they offer stronger filtration. However, maintenance costs and water wastage are some major drawbacks you will have to face.
Water was once a natural, unlimited resource. But with growing urbanization and other human practices, the amount of freshwater has decreased considerably, with only a fraction of it being available for us. Thus, a whole house water filter that provides purified water without causing much wastage is the way to go.
With our top six picks and a detailed buyer’s guide, we hope you could find the perfect option for your household. Some of our favorites include Springwell CF1 for its enormous capacity, iSpring WGB32B for its high performance, and Express Water WH300SCKS to remove heavy metals.
Let us know your ideal product in the comments section below, and we’ll be back with another comprehensive guide soon.
Till then, stay hydrated!