Whole-House Water Filtration Systems: Your Buyer’s Guide

Purchasing a whole-house water filtration system is an important – and long-term – investment in your home. Unfortunately, choosing the system that best fits your needs can be a perplexing adventure. Of course, price is an important factor, but shrewd buyers make smarter choices when armed with clear information. So we’re setting out to answer your most pressing questions.

How much does a whole-house water filtration system cost?

As with many home projects, costs will vary dramatically, based on the brand, system size, filtration capability and capacity, as well as complexity of the install. Many systems range from $600 to $4,200 for home systems. Commercial systems will typically set you back between $5,000 and $14,000.  

It’s important to consider many factors beyond cost, however, which we’ll continue to discuss in the questions below.

What types of whole-house water filter systems are available?

The options available to consumers seem limitless, but to keep things as simple as possible, let’s focus on the four main filtration processes:

  1. Sediment pre-filters – These systems typically remove particles that suspend in the water, some of which can be visible to the human eye. Think of contaminants such as silica, salt, and organic matter. Think about these as being somewhat like a coffee filter. They won’t remove microparticles, but they can be highly effective at removing macro particles and are a good starting point for filtration.
  2. Carbon filters – Most people think of a pitcher system when they think of carbon filters, but there are whole house options available. A carbon filter will help knock down levels of chemical contaminants such as chlorine fluoride, sulfur, and others by moving water through an activated carbon filter. Beyond simply removing sediments, these filters help reduce chemical contaminants that can be harmful to ingest, bathe in, or use in your appliances.
  3. UV filters – When bacteria and viruses are at play, exposing water to UV light can sterilize microbial contaminants that could potentially make you ill. UV has no impact on the chemical composition of water. 
  4. Reverse osmosis filters – These filters are more commonly known among consumer buyers, because smaller reverse osmosis (RO) systems have been installed in millions of kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets to provide filtered water to one location in a home. Reverse osmosis treats chemical and microbial contaminants by forcing water through a semipermeable membrane in one direction. Only pure water molecules can pass through. Whole-house RO systems simply implement the concept to a single location near the water inlet for a home.

Do filtration systems differ based on where I live?

As a starting point, consider any known municipal or private well water issues for your area. For example, residents in the east Twin Cities around Woodbury and Afton, Minnesota have been plagued with a water contamination issue dating back decades due to an infamous case of chemical dumping by 3M. People in these areas may rely more on charcoal or reverse osmosis systems.

People living in Minnesota’s agricultural centers in the southwestern and central portions of the state can face unique challenges, particularly with private wells. Water sources near livestock can be impacted by livestock and/or chemicals from pesticides or fertilizers used in farming. They may need systems that address bacteria as well as chemical issues – so UV and charcoal filtration or reverse osmosis might make the most sense, for example. The same may hold true for portions of western Wisconsin from Spooner and Hayward to the Eau Claire region.

Sandy region near lakes and rivers across much of Minnesota and Wisconsin could have more suspended sediment in their water, requiring some pre-filtering.

It’s critical to remember that each installation is unique. Water characteristics can vary greatly, even within a community. This is why it’s very important to get input from experts who can address your unique water filtration needs.

What size whole-house water filtration system is right for your home?

Every installation has its own unique requirements, so there’s no “best” size. However, it’s important to remember that the larger the filter the longer the time gap between service intervals. From a convenience standpoint, many homeowners place a high value on minimizing maintenance while maximizing longevity of individual filters. In addition, larger systems can accommodate more water flow and higher water pressure.

As an initial guidepost, many homes are well served with a filter size of 4.5” x 20” which is a fairly standard size across the industry. Larger homes may require a second unit operating in parallel to accommodate optimal water flow and capacity.

Will a whole-house water filter system ensure clean drinking water?

A quality whole-house filtration system is a great first step in virtually any home. After all, who doesn’t really like great tasting, purified drinking water?!?!

It’s important to note, however, that no system can treat all water problems alone. In some instances, a combination of filtration types may be required. And over time, the quality of water from a municipality or well can change over time. As a result, it’s a good idea to periodically test water to see how things may be changing over time to see if any filtration modifications might be in order.

How difficult is it to maintain a whole-house water filtration system?

Think of your whole-house water filtration system as any other appliance that requires some routine maintenance. While sometimes pesky, it’s really pretty easy to maintain most systems on a regular basis:

  • Turn off the home’s water supply (usually a simple valve where the water line comes into a home)
  • Unscrew the filter housing, remove the filter, and discard it
  • Wash the housing with warm soapy water and thoroughly rinse it
  • Reassemble the housing and turn the water supply back on

I already have a good under-sink filter system or a filtered water dispenser in my kitchen for drinking water. Is a whole-house system overkill?

As noted earlier, any filter is better than no filter. There are serious limitations to a single-point filter such as an under-sink model.

  • Capacity: The flow rate for such units is very low, so filling a one-gallon container can take a long time. In some instances, the water will cut off until the filter can catch up.
  • Multiple purposes: Unfiltered water can pose health risks for consumption through brushing teeth or grabbing a quick drink from a source other than the single point of filtration.
  • Cleanliness: Filtered water can be far better for general cleaning, laundry, and bathing. The more pure the source, the better!

Should I invest in a whole-house system?

Yes! Call us and we can help configure Kinetico water filter options to meet your needs.

Pat Alexander
Pat Alexander
1718405710
The most thorough AC check up I have EVER had in the 18 years I have owned my house. And I get AC and furnace check up done EVERY year.
Ileana Essig
Ileana Essig
1718398249
Ethan was friendly and very informative. When he arrived, I made it clear that I was not interested in additional services, just the tuneup/inspection of my HVAC system. He went over the results and answered my questions with thorough explanations without trying to upsell me via a list of ’recommendations’, which I sincerely appreciated.
Richard Pierson
Richard Pierson
1718388233
Michael Brandt
Michael Brandt
1718382329
Nick and Marcus were knowledgeable, efficient, and friendly. Great service call.
Nathan McCauley
Nathan McCauley
1718325023
Ethan did a great job servicing our A/C unit and went above and beyond the call of duty by removing the mice that had taken up residence in the unit.Thank you.
LA Paul
LA Paul
1718317846
Nicholas and Marcus went over everything in detail and explained what should be prioritized. Even tolerated the cat that wanted to supervise their work. Great employees for Aquarius, always responsive and professional. Ended up scheduling another appointment for some electrical repair. Great company to work with.
John Stiehl
John Stiehl
1718316855
Anson MacFarlane
Anson MacFarlane
1718314204
Great service!
Joel DeMarais
Joel DeMarais
1718222835
Completely satisfied with the work Chris, Nick and Matt did installing a new Furnace and A/C system. They were very thorough, courteous and professional!
Ted ALLISON
Ted ALLISON
1718216675
Raymond Cruz
Raymond Cruz
1718192723
RayVery satisfied and impressed!Thanks to Travis, David, Adam & EricFriendly, professional and knowledgeableThey arrived explained what was going to happen and kept me updated on the process.Answered my many questions.As they finished cleaning everything up. They again insured that I had no other questions before leaving.GREAT JOB!!
Patty George
Patty George
1718150859
Brandon was great! He gave great advice, had attention to details, was helpful and trustworthy. I love that I can be in a service program with Aquarius to help me remember the updates and cleanings during the year, especially when I have too many things to remember to do. ☺️
Bryce Chu
Bryce Chu
1718148665
Nick and his partner were incredibly thorough in their inspection of my AC and furnace unit. They clearly pointed out areas of concern as well as what working properly both inside and outside. They presented clear options for repair or intervention. I felt was given all the information I needed and had all my questions answered in simple direct language that most laymen unfamiliar with jargon could understand. Highly recommend.
Dale and Carol Tilden
Dale and Carol Tilden
1718131763
Aquarius takes excellent care of my water softening and heating as well as my furnace and air conditioning systems. Also just had a new electric panel installed (needed updating).
Debra Klejeski
Debra Klejeski
1718055650
Jon answered our questions and explained everything on the checklist. He was very professional and courteous!
Jeff Peterson
Jeff Peterson
1718055086
Wally Lee
Wally Lee
1718044949
Brandon did a great job for us with our A/C general maintenance check. Very knowledgeable, and was professional and efficient.
Joe Capistrant
Joe Capistrant
1718042522
Nate is wonderful. Knows his stuff. Resolved a troublesome problem. Very pleasant, enjoyable fellow.
Cindy Rae Dainsberg
Cindy Rae Dainsberg
1718034743
Brandon was exceptional. Professional. Knowledgeable. Efficient. Kind. Caring. Remembers the client from previous visits. An excellent example of what Customer Service should be to keep customers coming back.
Gary Smith
Gary Smith
1718030176
Excellent technician. Nick is an outstanding young man and very knowledgeable. I felt like he was giving me an honest assessment of my system.
mary bond
mary bond
1717801266
Our water heater went out on Fri evening. We called Aquarius early Sat morning and they said earliest they could get out was Mon. On Sun I received a text confirming our Mon appointment but on Mon morning they called and said the earliest they could get to us was the following week !We should be without hot water till then ? We are not a new customer…. 5 months previously we had a new furnace and air conditioner installed at quite an expense. I am appalled at their service or rather lack there of ! As an established customer they felt waiting approximately 10days without water was acceptable Bad, Bad, Bad !Two weeks later…The air conditioner Aquarius installed in Dec failed to cool when we turned it on on our 1st warm days. After the poor experience I had had with them I didn’t want to deal with them again but since it was under warranty I had to. We were told we would have a technician out Wed morning. After waiting at home all day they called and canceled at 4pm. We were rescheduled for Fri morning. We had several calls during the day with updates At 5:22 pm we received a cal the tech would be here at 6pm. We cancelled our dinner reservation and are awaiting his arrival.I realize our air conditioning is not an emergency but we have spent 2days waiting for our scheduled service. This is in addition to the 10days they wanted us to wait for a new water heater(which I do think is an emergency) I feel bad for the tech who I’m sure has had a long day and must now come at 6 on a Fri evening. Once again I repeat Aquarius has failed us again !!
Todd Schull
Todd Schull
1717795955
Riley was the tech that performed our membership maintenance check-up. He did an outstanding job explaining what was included in the maintenance check-up. After his inspection, he was very detailed, using pictures, to help describe what he found and he made recommendations on what should be addressed now and what could wait until our next membership maintenance check-up. He was very thorough doing the repairs, cleaning impeccably both our furnace and air conditioner. We are going to request Riley for all our member maintenance check-ups going forward.
Gary Winkel
Gary Winkel
1717786300
John Keller
John Keller
1717778469
Gordy replaced my lawn faucet once it was clear that it could not be repaired. He explained the problem and the process to fix it in a clear and professional manner. The cost were what I expected for such a job.
Robert McDivitt
Robert McDivitt
1717771730
Great service from Ethan. Very helpful and professional.
Frank Potocnik
Frank Potocnik
1717721504
Service Tech Nick was great. Thank you
Anthony Mielzarek
Anthony Mielzarek
1717713912
Riley is always a professional when coming to the house for HVAC services. He is always a pleasure to deal with! Even my dogs like him!
Nancy Anderson
Nancy Anderson
1717632583
Our thermostat was not working properly. Called Aquarius & they contacted , Nick Sarinske. He arrived soon after & was able to figure out what the problem was. He explained the problem & the solution very thoroughly. Great service🙂
david e brown
david e brown
1717628659
Friendly. Fast. Great staff
Sue Austin
Sue Austin
1717607256
Chris Becker
Chris Becker
1717547200
Nick stayed until my AC problem was fixed and verified it worked, even stuck around as we were hit by a rainstorm. Very impressed. Thank you, Nick, for going the extra mile to check (and replace!) that capacitor, educate me a bit on the AC unit itself, and making sure it worked before leaving!
Lloyd Lindenfelser
Lloyd Lindenfelser
1717540351
Very knowledgeable and helpful!Received prompt estimate for repairs. Thanks, Paul
kay Linsmeier
kay Linsmeier
1717527233
Tried to take advantage of me, because I am old. Tried charging me $2100 to replace a part on unit that costs $800, per other estimates, very disappointing.
Jim Muehlbauer
Jim Muehlbauer
1717523996
Guys were on time, and did an excellent job. They explained everything to our satisfaction, Great job!
Will Determan
Will Determan
1717518929
Nick was over the top wonderful to work with, highly efficient troubleshooter, and a proper gentleman! Highly recommend!!
T.R Hinrichs
T.R Hinrichs
1717453461
Great friendly service!
barry spotts
barry spotts
1717448139
Very knowlegable
Greg Benson
Greg Benson
1717440410
Serviced our soft water system, very professional
Gary Fritz
Gary Fritz
1717427584
Brent was on time, friendly, courteous, and efficient in his work. And left no trace. Very clear as well when discussing services rendered and needs I should keep in mind.
Julie A. Stoner
Julie A. Stoner
1717261784
This was the first time we used Aquarius Service. We were really impressed! 👍 Our Technician's name was Casey Ogilvie. He was very Professional.😊 Always explained everything he was doing & was able to resolve the problem, right away & was very well informed about the task @ hand. No complaints! Seems like a really nice guy.🙂Thanks, again, Casey, for a job well done! ✅ May/2024.
Doug Hicks
Doug Hicks
1717256807
Very professional.
Hager Studios
Hager Studios
1717163166
Friendly, knowledgeable techs, good install on my furnace and heat pump. Overall a very positive experience.
Clive North
Clive North
1717158882
Aquarius installed our ERV and it's been truly mind boggling how much better our air quality in our aggressively sealed house became immediately. Timely, thoughtful, and happy to keep everyone in our household safe. Would recommend!
Paul Ciernia
Paul Ciernia
1717125673
It's not much fun when your furnace goes out on New Years Eve with a forecasted minus 18 degree night approaching. Aquarius responded quickly, determined the furnace was not repairable, came the next morning (Saturday - New Years Day) to arrange a replacement which took place on Monday. They provided us with 4 space heaters which kept us above 60 degrees for the weekend. The installation of the new furnace was quick, professional and very neat. One could say they left us feeling very warm. All the Aquarius professionals we dealt with, Service, Sales and Installation, clearly took pride in the quality of their work. And, they offered a very generous Veteran's discount. Definitely 5 Stars.
Jim Roskens
Jim Roskens
1717103899
Brendon did a thorough job.
Kenneth Janda
Kenneth Janda
1717102014
Matt from Aquarius showed me photos of the furnace blower fan before and after he cleaned it. A dramatic diference. Moreover, he detected low (20%) humidity (not good for January) and showed us how to set the smat thermostat to increase it to 35% and lower the heating temperature. Excellent service and advice.Brandon was pleasant and efficient. Replaced a part under warranty. Great job.
Mark Potter
Mark Potter
1717097910
Alec was very thorough-great job tuning up our A/C for the season
Kristina Sande
Kristina Sande
1717086091
Great service, as usual! Knowledgeable and efficient, and made sure to go through all of the details of the work that was completed.
Jeff Ericksen
Jeff Ericksen
1717006658
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