Nowadays, it’d be a wonder if your local tap water isn’t hard. Every time you use it, it’s surely a bad experience and as most people do, you probably have to buy distilled or mineral water in order to fulfill your daily needs of clean and drinkable water. Luckily, the Internet market has given the opportunity for manufacturers to come up with water filtration and softener systems to solve the problem of hard water. Actually, there are tons of whole-house units that specialize in filtration and softening and even though most people don’t realize the need for such an appliance at home, the benefits are very significant and worthy.
Usually, water is considered “hard” when it contains at least 60 mg of calcium and magnesium. However, in some cases, the estimated content can reach 180 mg. Some of the signs of hard water include watermarks and residue on your faucets and dishes, bad water taste and smell, dry and itchy skin and hair after a shower, low water pressure and many others. Moreover, the continuous use of hard water can lead to some health issues.
However, it’s important to know that there’s an effective way to deal with all these issues. For this reason, we have reviewed 2 of the best whole-house water filtration and softener systems on Amazon that will help you eliminate the unwanted contents of your tap water. Whole-house water filtration and softener systems can dramatically improve the quality of your home tap water as you will be able to get rid of the stains on your silverware and glassware, the rigidness of your clothes, the dryness and itchiness of your skin, the acne and the scale buildup in your pipes and faucets.
Some Facts and Known Benefits
Before we review the best systems out there, it’s vital to know the facts and benefits of soft water. Knowing why you need such a product at your home will motivate you to stay relevant to modern technologies and nurture your health, time and even money. There are several benefits of soft water but here are the most important ones:
- Dermatological Benefits
Firstly, it’s a well-known fact that soft water keeps your hair and skin smooth and clean. When mixed with soap, the calcium and magnesium in hard water form an annoying and hard-to-rinse soap scum which leads to rashes, dryness and itchiness. What’s more, the use of hard water can even cause acne. Studies suggest that washing your body with such water increases the risk of eczema development by 50%. Instead, soft water contributes to acne-free skin with clean and unclogged pores.
- Soft Water Benefits Fabrics
Logically enough, as soft water benefits skin, so it does fabrics and textiles. It’s pretty self-explanatory though – soft water helps fabrics’ colors to last longer and stay more vibrant without fading away. What’s more, you’ll get a much softer feel since you won’t have minerals trapping into the fabric of your clothes and making them rigid.
- Brighter Dishes and Less Time Cleaning
Since hard water leaves unwanted scum on your skin, it’s the very reason why you also have embarrassing stains on your silverware and cutlery even after you’ve just cleaned them. It’s all because of the calcium and magnesium content in hard water and you’ll definitely be amazed how streak-free your dishes and glasses will be after you wash them with softer water. What’s more, you’ll spend tons of time cleaning over and over to achieve that shiny and bright effect.
- Soft Water Equals Fewer Expenses
Even though that might not be so obvious, using soft water will surely save you some money and for several reasons. First and foremost, hard water clogs your pipes and faucets which often requires fixing and repairing. The same goes for all the appliances that use water. Basically, using such water reduces the life of everything it gets in touch with because of the mineral and scale buildup. It’s safe to say that soft water will help you avoid these issues thus reducing your expenses.
In addition, with soft water, you’ll definitely need less soap, shampoo and other washing detergents since it’ll ease the overall cleaning process of everything. Last but not least, softer water will benefit your water heater as it will be more efficient and in result, will reduce its yearly energy cost by around 20-30%.
- Mineral Consumption and Sodium Intake
Although some may consider it a disadvantage, the main task of a water softener and filtration system is to reduce the mineral content in the water. The consumption of most minerals is definitely healthy but overdoing it can actually lead to some health issues. For example, calcium benefits the bones, the muscle movement, blood pressure, the release of hormones and enzymes in the body and the nervous system. However, too much calcium can contribute to conditions such as constipation and higher risks of kidney stones, prostate cancer and heart disease. In a less likely manner, the same goes for magnesium. Drinking soft water can prevent such issues and drinking lower mineral content is quite fine because you get enough mineral intake from foods.
As for sodium, it’s known for its health benefits and one thing you should know is that water softeners increase the sodium in the water by a low percentage. Although some people avoid sodium in their diets, it’s still an essential mineral and it should be consumed daily for better health. However, you should keep in mind that drinking too much soft water can lead to cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure because of the sodium in it.
The Best Whole House Water Filtration and Softener Systems
- A 2-in-1 system
- Demand-initiated regeneration technology
- Easy maintenance
- Easy to install
- Sturdy construction
- NSF certified product
- DIY installation kit
- Low salt alert
- Compact size
- The quality of the plastic components looks cheap
To begin with, the EcoPure EPHS007 is a top-notch unit in its category that is hailed as a must-buy product by its customers and for a reason. The main feature that distinguishes the filtration and softener system is its unique demand-initiated regeneration technology. The unit calculates the salt and water required to regenerate the system and auto-adjusts the soft water production throughout your home. Talking about home, the 31,000 grain capacity of the unit is enough to supply a family of around 6 with soft and clean water.
What’s more important, the hybrid system does what it’s supposed to. The EPHS007 not only removes the bad taste and odor, but it also reduces the levels of chlorine, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron and other sediments in the water. Last but not least, the EcoPure EPHS007 is completely environmentally-friendly as it is self-sustainable and doesn’t require its filters to be changed. The unit comes with standard 1-year manufacturer parts and labor, 3-year limited electronics and 10-year limited warranty on tanks. The 1-year parts and labor warranty can be extended to 2 years with the purchase of 3 bottles of EcoPure EPCL water softener cleaner within the first year of ownership of the system.
- A 2-in-1 system
- Superior hardness removal ratings
- The filter cleans itself every 14 days
- NSF certified product
- Demand-initiated technology of use
- 6th Sense Technology of salt and water use
- Easy to clean
- DIY installation kit
- High-quality and durable construction
- 10-year warranty period
- Poor installation instructions
- There are some complaints about defective units
First off, this unit might slightly pricier than its counterpart, but it definitely meets the expectations with a great value for the money spent. Just like the EcoPure EPHS007, the Whirlpool WHESFC Pro Series unit has a demand-initiated technology of use. What’s more, the 6th Sense Technology feature optimizes the use of salt and water thus reducing the amount of waste the system produces. The unit has 31,000-grain capacity which is enough for a family of around 5.
Of course, the WHESFC Pro might cost a couple of bucks more but it might just be worth it as the unit offers a hardness removal level of 120 grains per gallon. The hybrid system successfully removes bad taste and odor, chlorine and sediments, as well as unwanted metals such as lead, iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium. The filter is entirely self-sustainable as it cleans itself every 14 days so you won’t have to worry about replacement filters and cleaning. Lastly, the hybrid system comes with a 10-year warranty period.
To conclude, it’s evident that soft water contributes to a better lifestyle and whole house water filtration and softener systems are key to achieving it. From skin and hair to clothes, dishes and household appliances, the use of soft water brings in lots of advantages which makes everything easier than ever. For this reason, choosing the best whole-house filtration and softener system for your needs will help you avoid spending money on repairs and time on cleaning, not to mention the health benefits you will reap with such a unit at home.