How much does a water filtration system cost? The short answer is it depends. You can get a high-quality under sink filter for less than $100. However, if you want a whole house water filter, you could be spending $500-$3,000. Don’t let the price deter you, though. Water filtration systems are ultimately a cost-effective purchase, and we will explain why.
Water filters for households use a combination of physical and chemical processes to remove or reduce contaminants found in water, but some require an initial investment. Knowing the total cost will help you make an informed decision before you buy. Water filter costs depend on these factors:
- Cost of filtration system
- Cost of installation
- Cost of maintenance
These aspects will further depend on the type of system, the details surrounding the installation process, and the type of maintenance required.
Water Filtration System Price Breakdown
To get an accurate depiction of price, we need to consider the type of filtration system. Water filters come in all different types, but they are first categorized by Point-of-Use or Point-of-Entry.
Point-of-Use (POU) vs Point-of-Entry (POE)
Point-of-Use systems provide filtered drinking water at a specific location. For example, a countertop or under sink filter is a POU system.
A Point-of-Entry system delivers filtered water to your entire house. Obviously, POE filtration is more expensive than POU since they are larger and have higher output. They require a larger amount of filtration media, and the installation and maintenance are more in-depth than POU filters.
Each type of filtration will depend on the quality of the water and what needs to be removed. Let’s look a little closer at the options:
Carbon Filtration vs Reverse Osmosis
Two of the leading technologies for water filtration are carbon-based filters and reverse osmosis filtration. Carbon filtration uses carbon in a block form that removes common contaminants such as chlorine and organic compounds.
Reverse Osmosis systems utilize a membrane technology to remove pretty much anything you would want to be removed. Reverse Osmosis systems are more extensive in removing impurities as they can filter down to a .001 micron. Naturally, RO filters are usually more expensive than their carbon counterparts.
The size of the filter also influences cost. For example, you can buy a POU under sink carbon filter for less than 100 bucks. Some of the higher-end ones will be more. An under sink reverse osmosis system costs around $200-$500.
Faucet mounted POE systems are also convenient if you only want your drinking water filtered. Some are as low as $20.
Whole-house filtration systems purify your water from the very moment it enters your home through the main water line. While they require a cost investment (these can range from $500-$3,000, the higher-end ones are even more), they last a long time (some up to ten years), are eco-friendly, low-maintenance and they will save you money in the long run.
When it comes to installation, costs vary greatly. POU filtration systems are typically straightforward and can be installed under a sink faucet or even on the countertop. On the other hand, POE systems are installed at the main water supply in your home.
Professional installation may be required for POE systems. The cost of installation will vary depending on how in-depth it is, but on average, a whole house filter will cost between $872-2,768, with an average of $1800. Yes, this can get expensive, so it’s important to take this cost into account.
To evaluate cost, take into account ongoing maintenance for different systems. How often you replace filters depends on the type of system and the filtration media it uses. Some filters need replacing every 2-3 months while others can last years.
Are Whole House Water Filtration Systems Worth It?
If you are concerned about what’s in your water, and it tastes or smells strange, a whole house water filter may be right for you.
There are many benefits to a whole house water filter:
- Low maintenance once it’s installed
- High-filtration level
- All faucets and appliances treated with clean water
- Cost-effective in the long run
- Can be combined with water softening
- Positive environmental impact
Here are a few downsides of a whole house system:
- Cost and installation more expensive than other filtration methods
- Lack of space may be an issue
The best whole house water filter can definitely be worth the cost if it’s what you need. Here is our comparison of whole water filtration systems of two top brands:
Two Top Brands: SpringWell and Aquasana Price Comparison
SpringWell and Aquasana are both top brands in the water filtration industry. Let’s look at each company’s whole house filter to further compare the benefits and drawbacks.
SpringWell’s Whole House Water Filter System
SpringWell has over 20 years of experience in water filtration and is committed to its mission of giving every family the purest water possible at the best prices available. The Whole House Water Filter is a 1,000,000-gallon system that uses certified tanks and media to effectively remove common contaminants from city water with no drop in water pressure.
Using high-quality catalytic coconut shell carbon and certified KDF media, SpringWell employs a four-stage filtration process to remove up to 99.6 percent of contaminants including:
- Heavy metals
- Organic contaminants such as VOC’s, pesticides, and herbicides
- Optional add-on UV system removes 99% harmful pathogens, bacteria, and viruses
This system allows the most contact time with any water system on the market, which gives you multiple lines of defense to best filter and purify your water. In addition to removing harmful contaminants, this filter also eliminates odor and improves taste.
Installation and Maintenance:
Those with basic plumbing experience should be able to install this filter. SpringWell provides a detailed installation guide and videos to detail the process. Those who don’t want to bother with installing it themselves will need to hire a professional.
Once this system is installed, it has a one million gallon capacity, which lasts around ten years. The 5-micron pre-filters should be replaced every 6-9 months, and you can order these in a two-pack from the company.
The retail cost of the Whole House Water Filter System is $1643.00. However, SpringWell is always offering sale prices. At the time of this writing, they reduced the price more than 50% to just $793.60!
The add-on UV Purification Technology retails at $1650.00 and is currently on sale for $959.00 This is an optional add-on, but if you want to remove all bacteria and viruses, it is well worth it.
SpringWell also offers free shipping, a lifetime warranty on all tanks and valves, and a six-month money-back guarantee. All of these perks should be factored into the total cost. If you need to hire a professional to install, take that into account.
The 5-micron pre-filter should be replaced every 6-9 months. A two pack of these is $39.95 when ordering from SpringWell.
- Filters up to 1,000,000 gallons of water while maintaining water pressure 9-20 GPM
- Eliminates bacteria, chemicals, and heavy metals
- Allows the most contact time with any system on the market
- Low maintenance
- Six-month money-back guarantee/Lifetime warranty
- You may need to hire a plumber to install this system.
- Does not include a replacement filter.
Aquasana Whole House Filter: “1,000,000 Gallon Rhino”
Aquasana was founded in 1997, with its headquarters in Austin, Texas, and prides itself on providing high-quality water filtration systems at affordable prices. Similar to SpringWell, Aquasana’s Whole House Filter System, the 1,000,000 Gallon Rhino, provides great-tasting, healthy water throughout your home for up to a million gallons or ten years.
The 1,000,000 Gallon Rhino utilizes a sediment pre-filter, a copper-zinc mineral stone, an activated carbon filter, and a post-filter to remove contaminants such as:
- 97% Chlorine
- Heavy metals like lead and mercury
- Organic chemicals
In addition, there are two optional add-ons for this system:
The UV filter that protects against additional bacteria and viruses and meets NSF certification for removing up to 97% of chlorine.
The salt-free conditioner system uses Scale Control Media (SCM) to prevent minerals from binding to form scale build-up in your pipes and appliances.
Installation and Maintenance:
You can install the 1,000,000 Gallon Rhino by yourself, but to validate the 10-year warranty, a licensed plumbing professional will need to install it. That may be a downside of this system, especially if you already have plumbing experience and could easily install it yourself.
The 10” pre-filters last 1-3 months, and the 20” filters last 2-3 months, depending on water usage.
You may have a drop in water pressure with this system. It is common for filtration systems to drop pressure a bit, and the average is 6-7 GPM. Aquasana’s flow rate is 7.0.
The 1,000,000 Gallon Rhino retail cost is $1598.00. However, like SpringWell, Aquasana is always offering sales. Currently, this system is 50% off and offered for $799.00.
The optional UV filter costs an extra $583, and the Salt-Free Water Conditioner costs $670.
Another factor is the Pro Upgrade Install Kit. This kit provides upgraded components to make your system last even longer. For example, the pre-filters included are 20 inch versus the standard 10 inch ones. The upgrade kit is an additional $83, but because it ensures fewer filter replacements, it may be worth the cost.
Aquasana offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, a ten-year warranty, and free shipping. The ten year warranty covers the system and parts, as long as the installation is performed by a licensed plumbing professional and the parts are bought through Aquasana.
Of course, you probably need to take into account the cost of professional installation with this system, if you want the ten-year warranty.
Finally, a 4-pack of 20 inch filters costs $29.95. These filters should be replaced every 2-3 months.
- One million gallon/ten-year capacity
- Removes 97% of chlorine in addition to other harmful pollutants
- Includes combo-system with filter + salt-free conditioner
- Low-maintenance system
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- Possible drop in water flow rate
- Professional must install to activate the ten-year warranty
Let’s look at an estimate of the total cost breakdown of SpringWell and Aquasana’s whole house filtration systems. Both filter a million gallons of water. Both have comparable filter media. Both are extremely effective systems.
*Cost is estimated from retail price. Both companies offer frequent sales so you’re likely to get them at a much lesser price.
- Filter cost: $1643.00
- Filter replacements: Two for $39.95; Replace every 3-6 months
- Shipping: free
- Warranty: 6-month money-back and lifetime guarantee on tanks and valves
- Cost for professional installation: $872-2,768 depending on factors
- Filter cost: $1598.00
- Filter replacements: Four for $29.95; replace every 2-3 months
- Shipping: free
- Warranty: 3-month money-back guarantee/lifetime on system if professionally installed
- Cost for professional installation: $872-2,768 depending on factors
The cost of SpringWell and Aquasana is close. SpringWell’s filter is $45 higher, but the cost of filters even it out. If you buy 6 filters a year from SpringWell (with changing every 4.5 months), you will be paying approximately $119.85. Aquasana’s filters need replaced more often, at 2-3 months. A four pack is $29.95, so if you use six per year, your cost will be approximately $45 dollars per year.
Finally, there’s the installation cost. You can have either system professionally installed or do it yourself. Keep in mind, Aquasana requires professional installation to validate the ten year warranty, so that’s another factor to keep in mind.
Where Do I Buy a Water Filter System?
If you are looking for an excellent whole house filter, we recommend the SpringWell Whole House Water Filter System. You will see our review above.
Not sure you need a whole house filter system? No problem; check out the WaterDrop Reverse Osmosis Filter WD-G3-W. This reverse osmosis filter sink water filter features a tankless design, seven stages of filtration, and an impressive 400 gallons per day capacity.
A great countertop RO system is the AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Countertop Water System. AquaTru is currently the first and only countertop reverse osmosis system NSF certified to remove 82 contaminants. Its sleek, modern look compliments any kitchen counter.
Want to search more options? Amazon is a great place to look around, read reviews, and weigh pros and cons of various water filtration systems.