If you’re curious about water filtration systems for your home, cost is likely one of the biggest topics on your mind. How much should you expect to spend on water filter solutions?
That all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Some of the least comprehensive filters can cost just $15, while a more complete filter system will be upwards of $1,000. The specific price depends on a lot of factors, from the system’s filtration approach, technology and capacity to installation and replacement filters.
Here’s how to find the house water filtration solution that fits your budget, needs and water quality goals.
Determining The Cost of Water Filtration Systems
Every water filter system has its own costs, from the simplest pitcher filter to the most comprehensive reverse osmosis (RO) solution. That’s why you’re not likely to find any “one-size-fits-all” answer to your pricing questions.
However, you can learn more about what to expect from any home water filtration solution by considering a few key factors:
A strong brand name adds quality and reliability to your filter system. You’re paying a little more for expert craftsmanship, long-term experience, third-party certifications and often even experienced service. You’ll likely see the benefits every day, from the beginning of the water filtration installation process to everyday questions and support.
Water treatment comes in all shapes and sizes — and so do the filters that help make it possible. Generally speaking, the less you pay for a system or individual filter, the less work it does. For example, cheaper fridge filters often primarily address chlorine, while more comprehensive RO systems can address more than 70 contaminants.*
Every house water filter has a set capacity — that is, the number of gallons the system can treat per day or per minute. If you need more water in a shorter period of time — for example, when there are a lot of people in your household — you’ll want a system with a high capacity. That’s another reason simpler options like pitcher filters aren’t usually ideal long-term solutions.
While you can set up many simple water filtration systems on your own, the more comprehensive solutions require expert service. The cost of this labor and installation depends on various factors, including the size and type of your water filter, the deals offered by the manufacturer and more.
You should also think about ongoing maintenance. Does the system require any expert care? If so, is there a service package available so you don’t have to think about it? Another important factor here is reliability. Will there be replacement parts available for your system in the long term?
Did you know you’re supposed to change fridge water filters every six months and some pitcher filters as often as every two months? Each system and manufacturer has different recommendations — and if you don’t stick to these timeframes, your house filtration system might start letting contaminants through. That means two things: First, it’s important to stay on top of filter replacements, and second, this kind of maintenance can significantly increase the total cost of ownership.
Things get a bit more complicated with higher-end filtration solutions. For example, good RO systems have reverse osmosis membranes that can last up to five years with proper maintenance — but these systems may also have additional filters that need to be replaced at different times. This varies based on models and optional features. That’s why it’s particularly important to understand how a home water filtration system works and what kind of maintenance it needs when determining total price.
Top Water Filtration System Types
There’s one more thing to consider when breaking down the cost of a water treatment system, and that’s the type. Generally, the right option for your needs will depend on your contaminant concerns, water usage and more.
Here are the top kinds of filtration solutions:
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration
If you choose a reverse osmosis system from Culligan Water®, you’ll enjoy up to seven stages of filtration and 14 interchangeable filters, some of which can last up to two years. In fact, Culligan RO systems are certified to reduce 12x more contaminants than the leading standard filter pitcher.**
Overall, an RO house filter system can address fluoride, iron, lead, mercury, some pesticides and more. That means you’re getting the best of reverse osmosis — a process that forces water through a semipermeable membrane to address the presence of certain contaminants — and other stages of filtration designed to provide a virtually limitless supply of filtered water.
Takeaway: RO systems have a higher upfront cost than simpler solutions because they do a whole lot more. Plus, with the right options, you’ll have to deal less with filter and membrane replacements over time.
Whole House Water Filtration
A whole house water filter system provides cleaner water from every faucet. That means drinking, bathing, cooking and cleaning water all see the same benefits — including reduced foul tastes and odors, sediment content and more. Because these are best for specific problem water issues (sediment, hydrogen sulfide, iron and more), they typically address fewer contaminants overall than RO systems. However, whole house water filtration solutions are far more comprehensive than standalone carbon or sediment filter options.
These systems do need occasional replacements of filtration media depending on the specific options you choose. However, like our RO systems, the whole house filter solutions from Culligan Water are designed to work harder and last longer.
Takeaway: Unlike RO, a whole house water filtration system addresses more specific issues and treats all your home’s tap water. That’s far more comprehensive than standalone filters — and often more efficient, too.
This category includes fridge, pitcher, countertop and faucet filters. While some options are more capable than others, their main selling points are affordability and simplicity. It may be better to use these than to drink unfiltered water or constantly buy single-use water bottle packs — but for a longer-term solution, invest in more comprehensive water treatment.
Takeaway: While the upfront purchase price may be attractive, remember that you’ll spend more overall on constant filter replacements — all while potentially seeing fewer benefits.
Signs You Need a Water Filtration System
Although all factors are important when choosing the right house filter system, none of that matters until you know what your water quality needs look like.
Here are a few signs that something isn’t right:
You Notice Unpleasant Odors
Have you ever grabbed a glass of water only to smell a swimming pool, rotten eggs or something else you certainly don’t want to drink? If so, you may have issues with chlorine, sulfur or other contaminants that can cause unpleasant odors. Fortunately, solutions like an RO or whole house system can help straighten out your water experience.
You Taste Something Strange
Metallic or rotten egg tastes can ruin your favorite food or drink and might even make you less likely to hit your daily hydration goals. This is another big sign that you might want to look into a water filtration system, as certain contaminants and chemical reactions can cause these bad flavors.
Your Tap Water Doesn’t Look Clean
Sometimes, an odd appearance — like white, bubbly water, which is the result of high turbidity — isn’t something a water filtration system can fix. Other times, strange colors or sediment can be quickly, easily and effectively addressed by an RO system.
Your Area Had a Recent Boil Advisory
Whether you use a private well or city water, it’s smart to keep an eye on boil advisories. These are warnings shared when a potentially harmful contaminant or other issue affects local water quality. No matter where your water comes from, a boil advisory is a sign that it’s time to learn more about filtration.
Your Water Test Came Back With Concerning Results
A professional water test is the best way to learn what’s really happening when you turn on your tap. If that test comes back with concerning results, your local water expert can explain where the issue likely came from and what filtration solution will best address it.
You Notice Other Issues
Have you noticed mineral buildup around your faucets, showers and bathtubs? What about spotty dishes, dry hair and itchy skin? These are water quality problems, too — but a water filter system isn’t the answer. Instead, these hard water issues should be solved by a water softener.
Keep in mind that filtration and softening are two different processes, and they address two different sets of issues. Fortunately, you can have both a filtration system and a water softener for a complete water treatment solution.
Find Your Water Filtration Match
No matter what capabilities, capacity or price you’re looking for, there’s a perfect water filtration match waiting for you. All you have to do is find out what works best for your water needs.
The first step is a professional water test. Our experts will uncover potential hardness levels, chlorine, iron and more — and, better yet, they’ll outline the next steps and ideal solutions.
Get started today. Schedule your free, in-home water test and consultation.
*Contaminants may not be present in your water.
**Aquasential RO and Smart RO when configured with post-filter and Total Defense cartridge.
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