Water Softeners vs. Water Filters: Which is Right for You?

Water Filtration system

If you're on a quest to quench your thirst with the purest and healthiest water, you're in the right place.

Depending on where you live and what kind of water source you have, you may be dealing with hard water, contaminated water, or both.

Water that’s “hard” contains high levels of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. These high levels of minerals can cause problems for your plumbing, appliances, and skin.

Contaminated water contains harmful substances, like chlorine, bacteria, and more, affecting your health.

To improve the quality of your water, you may need a water treatment system. There are two main types of water treatment systems: water softeners and water filters.

Join us as we explore their differences and how to choose the best option for your needs.

Let's dive into clean and healthy drinking water.

Water Softeners vs. Water Filters: Which is Right for You?

So, you know you want (and, more importantly, need) to improve the water quality in your home.

But, before deciding between installing a water softener or water filter, you need to understand them better.

What Water Softeners Do and How They Work

A water softener is a device that can soften hard water by taking out or changing excessive minerals.

The two most common water softeners are salt-based softeners and salt-free softeners (also known as water conditioners).

Salt-based softeners use salt to change the minerals in hard water with salt. This process, called ion exchange, practically eliminates the hardness of the water.

With softer water, you can protect your home from hard water problems like limescale buildup, reduced water flow, appliance damage, and the people in your home from dry skin and dull hair.

However, salt-based softeners need you to add salt and clean them often.

Salt-free softeners use scale-control media technology called template-assisted crystallization (TAC) that crystalizes the minerals in hard water. Once crystalized, the “hard” minerals won’t cause scale by sticking to surfaces.

However, they don’t remove the minerals from water but change them, so they can’t lead to problems.

Although salt-free softeners do not require any maintenance or electricity, they aren’t as effective as salt-based softeners in very hard water conditions.

Drinking Water from a Water Softener: Is it Safe?

It’s generally safe to drink water from a water softener. However, the softened water lacks certain minerals, contributing to its taste and health benefits.

Softened water can have a slightly salty taste due to the sodium or potassium ions used during the softening process.

If you're worried about the sodium content in your water, consider an additional water filter to ensure your drinking water is both soft and pure.

What Water Filters Do and How They Work

A water filter is a device that filters out contaminants from water using various technologies and media.

There are many water filters, like reverse osmosis, ultraviolet, sediment, and more filters.

The type of filter you need depends, among other things, on the type of contamination you want to remove from your water. (Of course, if you’re looking for the best water treatment system on the market, you want the Sentry Wellness System.)

Depending on the water filter system you install, it can remove a wide range of contaminants, from chlorine, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and heavy metals to bacteria, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals.

Water filters can improve the taste, odor, color, and clarity of your water. Best of all, it can also make your tap water safer and healthier to drink.

However, the filters of these systems must be replaced to maintain their effectiveness.

Do Water Filters Remove Minerals?

One common question when considering water filters is whether they remove essential minerals from your water.

The answer depends on the type of filter you choose.

Some filters, like reverse osmosis systems, are highly efficient at removing minerals, while others, such as activated carbon filters, retain most minerals in the water.

Water Softener vs. Water Filter: Understanding the Differences

In a nutshell, a water softener primarily addresses the issue of hard water by diluting the calcium and magnesium ions. It’s a good option if you've noticed limescale build-up on your faucets and appliances.

On the other hand, a water filter is designed to purify your water by removing contaminants. These filters can be particularly useful if you're concerned about the taste, odor, or health-related impurities in your water.

So, Water Softener vs. Water Filter: Which Do You Need?

The best way to answer this question is to understand your needs and goals fully.

If you’re just looking for filtered drinking water, you might only need to add a water filter under the sink.

If you’re looking for cleaner, healthier water throughout your entire home, you may want to consider a water softener (which targets scale) or a whole-house water filtration system (which focuses on removing contaminants).

Luckily, there is another option that does it all - the Sentry Whole House Wellness System.

It offers a comprehensive 2-stage water treatment solution designed to filter all the water entering your home, providing clean, healthy, and delicious water at every faucet. 

The system eliminates toxins, neutralizes scale, and softens water without salt. It also includes an under-sink water treatment system that enriches your drinking water with healthy minerals, improving the flavor for crisp, refreshing water straight from the tap.

Made with next-generation filtration media that’s been extensively researched and proven effective, the Sentry Whole House Wellness System takes your water quality to a whole new level.

Upgrade your water quality today.

Visit Sentry H2O and ask us about water softeners vs. water filters. We’re here to help you enjoy crystal-clear, healthy, delicious water straight from your tap!

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