Some of the terms used in the HVAC and plumbing business can lead to confusion. One question we hear quite often at Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is, “I already have a water softener so why do I need a water filtration system?” Or it can be asked the other way around. The short answer is a water softener is a type of water conditioner, but it does not make the water in your Waterford, MI or Oxford, MI home cleaner. Let’s take a closer look.
The important thing to remember is hard water is caused by minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium, suspended in solution. Water softeners use sodium (salt) to start a chemical reaction that replaces the mineral ions with salt ions. Among the benefits:
- Cleaner dishes & laundry
- Use less soap
- Soft & health skin and hair
What water softeners and most conditioners don’t do is remove contaminants. Water filters are designed to make water cleaner and healthier by removing many pollutants including:
- Heavy metals (lead, arsenic, copper, & iron)
- Industrial, agricultural, and pharmaceutical byproducts
- Chlorine and chloramine
- Sediments and particulates
Choosing a Filtration System
Some Waterford, MI and Oxford, MI homeowners may be happy with what’s called a drinking water filter that cleans a single source. It’s installed either under a sink or on the countertop as part of the faucet. Kotz prefers a whole-home filtration system to address water quality. It purifies water throughout the entire home, reducing sediment, chlorine, and other contaminants. Whole-home water filters can also neutralize acidity, reducing costly corrosion of plumbing fixtures and appliances. One of the most effective whole-house systems is something called reverse osmosis. It is a multistage process that removes up to 99% of total dissolved solids.
What is Right For You?
The answer to this question depends largely on what’s in your water supply and which specific problems you want to fix. If water spots, mineral deposits, and dry skin are the main complaints, then a water conditioner/softener should be your priority. If you have concerns about possible contamination in your drinking water supply, a water filter makes more sense. Just don’t make the mistake of believing the two are interchangeable. That’s why many Waterford, MI and Oxford, MI homes have both systems. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more great information like this.