If you are tired of always filling and refilling your filter pitcher, you may be considering having a whole-home water softener installed. This device removes impurities from your water as it enters your home so that every drop of water that comes through your taps is free of these concerning chemicals and compounds. But while whole-home water softeners are a smart choice for many homeowners, they are not necessarily the right choice for everyone. Consider these pros and cons as you decide whether to have one installed.
Pro: Your shower water will be cleaner, too.
When you just run your water through a pitcher or buy bottled water, only the water you drink is being cleared of harmful chemicals. Some compounds found in tap water, such as certain chlorine compounds, can actually permeate your skin and cause damage. Others can be harmful if you inhale them, which you very well may if steam fills your shower. With a whole-house water filter, compounds are removed from your shower and wash water, too, so you don't have to worry about these risks.
Pro: You only have to buy and change one filter.
One problem with having individual filters on various taps is that you must remember to change them all. It's nearly impossible to keep them all on the same schedule, and you may not remember which one needs to be changed one week and white one needs to be changed the next. With a whole-home filter, there's only one filter to change. Just set a single reminder in your phone to remind you.
Pro: There are affordable options.
Some people steer clear of installing a whole-home filter because they fear the cost. However, there are options that are more affordable than you might imagine. Costs have come down in recent years as more manufacturers enter the market and demands for water filters have risen. You can find some systems for as little as $400 -- though these are models without timers or special features. If you can afford closer to $3,000, you can have your pick of a wide range of filters.
Con: These systems often remove fluoride from the water.
Fluoride is a mineral that is added to tap water in order to strengthen tooth enamel. It's not a drug -- it's a naturally occurring and essential mineral, similar to calcium and magnesium. Many whole-home water filtration systems remove fluoride from the water, so if you solely drink the filtered water, you may not be exposed to as much fluoride as you need. This can leave your teeth more prone to cavities if you're not careful to use other fluoride-rich products like fluoridated toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash.
Con: Forgetting to change the filter could be dangerous.
While there is only one filter to change in a whole-home system, remembering to change it on time is crucial. Over time, the toxins removed from water build up inside the filter. If you let them build up too much, they could end up rinsing back into your water. You could end up being exposed to higher levels of toxins than were originally found in your tap water. Many homeowners have no problem remembering to change the filter, but if you're very forgetful, this may be an issue to keep in mind.
If you are sure you can remember to change the filter and will be careful to get your fluoride from other sources -- like toothpaste and fluoride rinses -- then a whole-home water softener can be the perfect solution for you. Talk with a professional from a company like Dupage Water Conditioning to learn more about these systems and to choose the one that's best for you.