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Water Softener Vs. Water Filter: Which Is Better?

Shared ideology predisposes most people to assume that the use of water softeners guarantees the safety of the water they utilize.

This, however, appears to be quite the opposite. Water softeners may eliminate calcium and magnesium salts from the water. However, this is not enough to make the water perfectly safe for use.

Water contains a lot of harmful particulates- both organic and inorganic- and most of them may prove detrimental to your health.

These harmful elements include suspended solids, pesticides, bacteria, chlorine, viruses and in some cases radiological elements too. Chlorine being the leading destructive element, which ironically is used to treat water to make it safe for use, has a vast array of harmful effects to the human body.

The water filter removes chlorine alongside other harmful particles present in your water system.

Most water filters in the market are incorporated with water softening features. However, there is a standard and significant difference between these two appliances…

So what exactly differentiates a water softener from a water filter?

Water softeners are solely designed to act on hard water, remove the high amounts of calcium and magnesium minerals and as such convert it into soft water.

Water filters are designed to remove harmful inorganic and organic elements from the water, but not just limited to minerals, making the water usable for the more sensitive individuals and overall provision of clean water.

Let us look at the advantages and disadvantages of both water softeners and water filters.

Water Softeners.

Water softeners remove hard metal ions i.e. calcium and magnesium from the water through ion exchange, and replaces them with less harmful sodium or potassium salts.

Pros​​​​

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    This unit reduces mineral content in the water making it easier to use for most households.
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    It reduces the amount of cleaning product used to achieve a lather and the overall clean feel when showering, washing, etc.
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    It makes the skin, hair and nails smoother, healthier. It also reduces the susceptibility to skin conditions such as pimples, eczema and acne.
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    Hard water makes the skin and hair dry. Use of soft water reduces this, and as such it reduces the amount of skin and hair product utilized in the house hold.
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    Using soft water allows you to save on both cleaning and oiling product costs you had incurred while using hard water.
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    Saves energy used by water heating appliances such as water heaters or boilers. This alongside the savings made by the reduction in product use accentuates the overall savings potential given by this appliance.
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    It increases the life span of most household appliances while maintaining the efficiency f their functionality.
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    Require less costly maintenance since the unit can last for years requiring only adequate replacement of salt into the system.

Cons

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    Water softeners only remove minerals leaving you susceptible to the harmful elements (both organic and inorganic) present in the water. This includes chlorine, algae, fungi, mold, mildew, etc.
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    Doesn’t remove chlorine. Chlorine is a very harmful element that happens to be abundantly present in the water system. Use of water softeners still leaves you susceptible to adverse health effects arising from inhalation and exposure to chlorine vapor.
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    It doesn’t disinfect the water, and as such, it cannot be used by more sensitive individuals, e.g. infants.
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    Removes all calcium from the water and as such eliminates the health benefits that arise from consumption of water with adequate calcium minerals.

Water Filters.

Water filters can be installed for the whole house or even solely for the shower system. If you require the use of adequately disinfected water, then this unit can be considered.

Let's look at the advantages and pitfalls that come with this unit.

Pros

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    Removes chlorine.

Water filters are equipped to remove chlorine from your household water efficiently.

This is a major plus when it comes to utilizing water filters because of the various advantages of using chlorine free water.

They include:

  • Elimination of the skin and hair drying caused by chlorine.
  • Improved air quality in the household due to the removal of harmful chlorine vapor.
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    Removes most harmful organic elements.

Studies have shown that most water systems harbor numerous microorganism colonies such as mold, algae, bacteria etc.

In the case of showers, the shower head is seen to contain various bacteria and such leads to individuals showering themselves with these harmful organisms.

Water filters eliminate and prevent the growth of these colonies. They provide purified water ideal for the whole family’s use.

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    It softens water.

Most water filtration systems are also seen to remove the minerals in the water leaving it soft and ideal for use.

This appliance has more of a two-in-one functionality.

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    Provides sufficiently clean water for whole family use

Some members of the household may be sensitive to certain particles and may require utilizing above average disinfected and clean water to prevent health issues or the aggravation of existing health problems.

Water filters through the efficient removal or harmful elements make the water ideally clean and proper for the use by all family member including infants and pets.

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    Provides healthy drinking water.

Water filters adequately remove harmful elements from the water but also retain healthy amounts of minerals that are beneficial in drinking water

Cons

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    Costly

Most water filters tend to be expensive. However, the efficacy in both elimination of the harmful particulates present in the water prove it to be cost beneficial.

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    Regular maintenance and replacement.

The filter cartridges need to be regularly removed and replaced. This may prove to be costly since it has to be done at least every six months for most filter units.

Final Word

As implements designed to improve the pre-existing conditions of the water in your household, both these units offer you a range of undisputedly advantageous services.

Nevertheless, the water filter is seen to deliver higher levels of disinfection and filtration and as such surpasses the water softener in providing cleaner water.

Hopefully you have picked up on the functionality presented by each enabling you to effectively choose that one which will adequately meet your needs.

Remember that water is life and so making sure to set high standards of water quality and quantity utilized in your household tops as one of the major household necessities.

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