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Point-of-Use Filters vs. Whole Home Filtration

16 January

When it comes to purifying the water in your home, you have two main options: point-of-use water filters that attach to individual taps or whole-home filtration systems that treat all the water entering your house. Both offer ways to improve water quality and remove contaminants, but they have key differences when it comes to effectiveness, convenience, and costs.

Point-of-use filters are easy to install on specific taps and work well to provide cleaner water for drinking and cooking. However, they only treat a single faucet’s water. Whole home systems require professional installation but can filter all the water in a home for bathing, laundry, and more.

Determining whether point-of-use or whole-home filtration is better for your needs depends on several factors, such as your budget, home size, and current water quality. This article will examine the pros and cons of each type of water filtration system.

We’ll compare how water filtration systems work, their effectiveness in removing various contaminants, installation and maintenance needs, and costs. With the information provided, you can decide which option may be the better choice for your household’s water purification needs.

Point-of-Use Water Filtration

Point Of Use Wter Filter

Point-of-use (POU) water filters, also known as point-of-entry filters, are systems designed to purify water when used, such as at a faucet or tap. These types of filters are installed at specific water outlets where drinking or cooking water is needed.


  • More affordable, upfront cost compared to whole house filter systems
  • Small and compact sizes take up little space.
  • Easy and quick DIY installation under sinks or on countertops
  • Immediate access to filtered water at a single tap
  • Can provide targeted filtration for drinking and cooking uses
  • Filter cartridges are relatively inexpensive to replace


  • Only filter a single water outlet’s flow
  • Must be installed at every tap where filtered water is needed
  • Filtration is limited to a single faucet’s water usage
  • Filter cartridges may need frequent replacing (every 2-6 months)
  • Do not remove contaminants from water used for bathing, laundry, etc.
  • Filter maintenance can be tedious with multiple installations

Whole Home Water Filtration

Water Filtration Whole House

Whole home water filtration systems are centralised treatment solutions that filter all the water entering a home. These systems are installed where the main water line enters the home, often in the basement or garage.


  • Filters all water in the home, including showers, appliances, outdoor spigots
  • Single system treats entire home vs. multiple filters
  • Long-lasting filters may only need annual replacement
  • Effectively reduces hard minerals like calcium and magnesium
  • Can filter hot water also with installation on recirculation line
  • Provides consistent water quality throughout the home


  • High upfront equipment and installation costs
  • Ongoing filter replacement costs, though less frequent
  • Professional installation often required
  • Can be overkill for small households or good water quality
  • Doesn’t filter contaminants from an entry point to the system
  • Takes up significant space for tanks and filtration equipment

Comparing The Two Systems

When deciding between point-of-use and whole-home water filtration, there are a few key factors to compare to determine the best option for your needs.


Point-of-use filters are highly effective at removing contaminants right at the tap, providing clean water for drinking and cooking. However, they only treat one water outlet. Whole home systems filter a wider range of contaminants from all water sources in a home. Their centralised design leads to more thorough and consistent filtration.


Point-of-use filters are convenient with simple installation and maintenance. But filters must be changed frequently and installed at multiple taps. Whole home systems require professional installation and space for equipment. But they provide filtered water from every tap with less frequent filter changes.


Point-of-use is more affordable upfront and for replacement filters. But the costs add up with multiple installations. Whole home systems carry a large upfront cost for equipment and installation. But they require fewer filter replacements for the entire home.

Recommendations For Deciding What Is Best For Your Home

When choosing between point-of-use and whole-home systems, consider your budget, home size, and current water quality. Point-of-use works well for smaller homes and apartments, supplemental filtration, or if you rent.

The lower upfront costs and easy installation make point-of-use a great temporary solution. However, a whole home system is likely better for larger homes with families, poor water quality, or hard water issues.

Glass Of Water

Whole house water filters treat all water sources and provide consistent quality water with minimal long-term maintenance. Conduct water testing to understand your unique water contamination issues.

This will help determine whether whole-whole house filters are warranted or if point-of-use suffice. Also, consider your willingness for DIY installation or need for professional help when deciding between the two filtration options.

Get the Whole Picture Before Filtering Your Water

Both point-of-use and whole-home filtration systems have advantages and disadvantages regarding effectiveness, convenience, and cost. Point-of-use filters provide affordable and easy filtration for drinking water at the tap. Whole house water filter systems require a larger investment, but treat all household water for a more complete solution.

When deciding which option may be suitable for your home, carefully consider your needs, water quality, and budget. Testing your water first is also recommended to identify any specific contaminants or issues to target.

The water filtration experts at Gold Coast Plumbing Company can help assess your situation and determine if a point-of-use or whole-house system makes the most sense. Contact us today to learn more about the best water filtration options for purifying the water in your home.