How to Decide If a Property Needs a Water Softener or Water Filter?


Water Softener or Water Filter for rental properties

Choosing the right water cleaning system for your home can be challenging, and some consideration must be taken. However, certain key factors will impact the decision-making process of picking a water cleaning device.

Odds are there could be any number of issues with water quality that need resolving, and this requires a proper investigation before investing in any device.

There are different water treatment options, and they are not all equal. For example, a dilemma between water softeners and water filters is something that one may bump into.

Water Filter or Water Softener – What’s the Difference?

Water filters are primarily used to remove harmful contaminants from drinking water. Some pollutants that filters remove are sediments, depending on the water filter itself. It also can take out iron, pesticides, fluoride, and more.

Filters are often mainly designed to clear away specific contaminants. For example, carbon filters are perfect for removing substances that affect drinking water’s smell and taste, while UV filters take out viruses.

By contrast, a water softener does what it says; it softens the water. This means that calcium and magnesium, the components that make water hard, are either taken out or made inactive.

Ordinarily, magnesium and calcium would combine in the form of limescale deposits.

Not every water filter will have the capacity to reduce hardness like a water softener.

Likewise, a water softener will not be able to remove the same harmful contaminants as a water filter. Instead, it’s an either-or situation with the different types of filtering devices.

What Water Issues Do Water Filters and Softeners Resolve?

Facing the choice between a water filter or a water softener, you must know precisely what they are meant to treat and how they will improve other aspects of a home.

What Do Water Filters Provide?

 Water filters are mostly a catch-all water quality problem solver. And based on your area’s water quality, they can help with various issues.

Improved taste and smell of drinking water

Chemicals found in drinking water will have some secondary side effects. Chlorine, fluoride, and metals all lead to foul smells and tastes. Many water filters work great at producing overall fresher tasting water; some consumers even report it being sweeter.

Cleaning out unsafe pollutants

Plenty of dangerous elements make their way into drinking water and cause severe contamination problems. Pathogens, viruses, and bacteria are some examples that specific water filters like UV or whole house filters can take care of.

Protection for appliances and plumbing

High levels of sedimentation are one element that can negatively affect other appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine. Water from wells is most commonly plagued by sedimentation, and a water filter is beneficial here.

What Do Water Softeners Provide?

 Water softeners are most often known to deal with limescale issues. Even so, quite a few different types of water softeners work differently. Some use salt, while others employ a water purification process by using a resin bed to exchange ions.

Nevertheless, both methods make water less complicated, bringing a few other benefits to the home.

Helps with cleaning surfaces 

From sinks to bathtubs and toilet bowls to showers, bathrooms already have large surface areas to clean. However, hard water only makes this chore all that much harder. Deposits of limescale on these surfaces guarantee a harder and longer cleaning time.

Appliance longevity and efficiency

Limescale is the more bothersome contaminant that deposits itself inside machinery and clogs it up. In the long term, this deals massive amounts of damage and can thus decrease a device’s longevity.

In the same vein as longevity, there is the issue of efficiency.

Deposits inside the water boiler will make warming the home more problematic as it will take longer. Magnesium and calcium particles that produce limescale can bind with soap molecules, making lathering soaps or detergents less effective.

Reduce skin irritants

Hard water is sometimes known to cause skin irritation as the molecules bind to the skin. Using a water softener will take care of this issue and reduce its irritant effect on the skin.

Is a Water Filter Better Than a Water Softener?

There isn’t a definitive correct answer as to what would be a better option between either a water filter or softener.

They are both excellent at their particular job, but sometimes it’s not the case to choose just one. Location and water quality play the most critical parts in deciding what type of water treatment gadget is needed.

Bad, harmful contaminants will need a suitable water filter, possibly with multiple stages and varying mediums of filtering water. Hard water, however, is not particularly dangerous to one’s health but still poses an aggravating problem. There is also the third option, where hard and contaminated water is present within the same water source and home.

In cases like this, the decision is made simple. A water filter is most definitely needed to make the water safe enough to drink and, based on budget, a combination with a water softener.

The cost for a whole house filter-softener combo may seem steep at first, but it can also be accommodated within lower budgets. Capacity, available space, and the exact water contaminants in the water source make this combo ideal for many households.


Many considerations will influence what type of water filter you may need but looking at the basics, and the most pressing issue will help you reach a choice.

Water filters, in general, are suitable for treating a laundry list of water contamination issues, and budget, space, or convenience will surely factor in deciding what water filter to invest in.

Water softeners have their advantages, and if all else is well, this one problem of limescale deposits will be the most annoying. Luckily, softeners and filters can be paired with each other and get the best of both worlds.

The British Landlords Association is a national landlords association for residential & commercial landlords. Join us today; membership for the year is only £69.95

Our Top Read Blogs:

How to best Terminate a Contract with a letting agent

When my house was built? (Guide 2022)

Selective Licensing of Private Rented Sector Property in Leicester

Tenant Eviction services, best UK companies in 2022

Can a tenant claim ownership of a commercial property?


This post is for general use only and is not intended to offer legal, tax, or investment advice; it may be out of date, incorrect, or maybe a guest post. You are required to seek legal advice from a solicitor before acting on anything written hereinabove.

Shopping Basket
Scroll to Top