The convenience of whole house filters cannot be stated enough. Not only do you receive sparkling, filtered water to every faucet in your home, but you can cook delicious meals and clean clothes to an even higher degree with purified water from the source. However, the quality of your water is only as good as the water filter you purchase.
Aquasana is a USA brand of water filtration systems that covers the spectrum of filter types. Whether you’re looking for whole home filtration, under sink filters, or reverse osmosis filtration, Aquasana has something for everyone. However, we think their whole home filtration systems offer the highest purification for water sources with lead, chlorine, chloramine, and bacteria problems.
For those currently looking for a whole house water filter, you should consider an Aquasana system if you want multi-stage filtration, easy installation, long filter life, and unrivalled purified water quality.
We’ve reviewed several water filtration brands, but Aquasana is, by far, at the top, and it’s not just us who think so. The brand offers many systems highly rated by NSF/ANSI and IAPMO, including 99% lead and chlorine removal. However, their Rhino and OPTIMH2o systems remove much more than that.
Benefits of Whole House Water Filtration
When thinking about water filtration for your home, it’s tempting to go with the bare minimum. You only need clean water for drinking, right? Actually, there are a ton of benefits to installation whole home water filters. The most important of which is that every single faucet, appliance, sink, and shower in your home receives purified water.
Purified water is just healthier for the human body. Without lead, arsenic, pesticides, chlorine, bacteria, and cysts, our bodies can heal from the inside out. There are multiple studies on the benefits of drinking pure water, but those who have whole house filtration systems know how these water filters can totally change your home.
For example, your clothes will be softer and brighter because your washing machine will use purified, filtered water to clean. The same phenomenon happens to your skin and hair. Households wither whole home water filters experience softer, lustrous skin and vibrant hair color.
Some water filtration systems come with salt-free technology as well. For example, Aquasana has an add-on for a water conditioner that protects your pipes and appliances from scale buildup.
Finally, homeowners report that whole house water filtration enhances the home and adds tremendous value. Home buyers actually look for whole house water filters because of their potential health benefits and pure water taste.
About the Aquasana Brand
When it comes to whole home water filtration, Aquasana is one of the top brands, reviewed by thousands of satisfied customers who have left five-star reviews for both Rhino and OPTIMH2o systems.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Aquasana devotes their engineering team to coming up with new water filtration systems that use recyclable, sustainable, and reusable materials.
The award-winning Aquasana Rhino filtration systems offer a variety of unique features at different price points. Their basic EQ600 is one of the top systems for those who want to remove chlorine, as well as thousands of other contaminants. The Rhino systems also include the EQ1000 and EQ-Well-UV.
However, the OPTIMH2o water filtration system is their latest line and includes innovative technology that has never been seen before. The system has been IAPMO tested and certified to remove 99% of all lead and PFOA/PFOS toxins.
We’ll provide more insights and reviews of each system, including what features we liked and what we could live without.
In a Rush? Here’s the Best Aquasana Whole House Filter: Aquasana OPTIMH2o Whole House Filter System
It’s simply at the top of our list when it comes to high-quality filtration. It can purify dirty municipal water in seconds, providing a result that is 99% toxin-free. In fact, it’s the first whole home water filtration system that can reduce all traces of lead, down to 99.99% according to Aquasana.
Take a look at the review below to see the smart engineering and features of the OPTIMH2o whole home water filter.
Looking for an entry-level filter instead? Try the Aquasana Rhino (EQ-1000). It is certified for 10 years and 1,000,000 gallons of usage.
We know that not everyone has the need for such a comprehensive system as the OPTIMH2o. The Rhino EQ-1000 is also one of Aquasana’s best sellers because of its ability to remove 97% of all chlorine, as well as thousands of other contaminants.
Cheat Sheet: Finding The Best Whole House Water Filter For Your Household
Before delving into reviews, you should know how we rated each of Aquasana’s systems. We use a cheat sheet to determine the best features and ideal profile of the best whole home filtration systems. Here is a look at our criteria:
High Filtration and Water Purity
You want to know that your home’s water is clean and free of toxins. That’s why it’s important to check for ratings and certifications, such as NSF, ANSI, and IAPMO. These organizations test and certify that water is pure and can remove thousands of toxins, such as chlorine, lead, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoro octane sulfonate (PFOS).
Water should also have an odorless, smooth taste with absolutely sparkling crystal clear appearance. The top whole home water filtration systems may look crystal clear, but the truth is in the taste test. We conduct multiple tests for thousands of contaminants before and after the system is installed to verify the company’s statements.
Any high-quality system will have 3 or more steps of filtration. While two stages can be enough, you may want more processing steps if you have dirty municipal water or well water. The typical filtration stages include:
• Pre-filter sediment
• Activated carbon block
• Reverse osmosis
• Salt-free water conditioner
• UV Filter
Not all whole house filtration systems have these options. The highest quality results would come from a combination system that included the sediment filter, carbon block filtration, and reverse osmosis.
However, it’s also about the filter’s micron size. The best filters can reduce all microscopic toxins and contaminants using a .5 micron filter or smaller.
Water efficiency, filter life, and sustainable construction are important to the latest water filtration systems. You want to know that your system will be secure and endure the elements since it connects at your water source, but you also want filter replacements to be easy and fuss-free.
One of the most important features in any whole home system is the lifespan or longevity of the filters. If a system is rated for 1,000,000 gallons, that means you won’t have to change the filter for 10 years. Others are rated only for 50,000 gallons or 6 months.
Aquasana names their systems based on their filter capacity. For example, the EQ-1000 can handle 1,000,000 gallons.
Salt-Free Water Conditioner
In addition to filtration, you also want to make sure that the system isn’t going to harm your pipes and appliances by causing scale buildup. That’s why it’s important to include a water conditioner if you have problems with this in your home.
If you are able to get this add-on, it’s definitely worth the upgrade. While not essential for all water sources, UV filtration is often the last line of defense against microscopic bacteria and viruses, like E. coli. If you have a well source, you definitely want to consider the UV filter. Aquasana has created the Rhino EQ-Well-UV just for this purpose.
Aquasana OPTIMH2o Whole House Filter System
We’ll start off with our favorite out of all the Aquasana filtration systems: the OPTIMH2o Whole House Filter System. What’s so great about this system compared to many other filters on the market, including Aquasana’s Rhino filters? It’s the first-of-a-kind to be rated for 99% lead trace removal.
If you have issues with lead and metallic taste in your water, then you know how difficult it can be to remove it. The OPTIMH2o water filter is NSF-certified and IAPMO tested for 99% lead removal and 99.99% of other contaminants, such as microbial cysts, PFOA, PFOS, chlorine, chloramine, arsenic, and many other toxins.
Commentary and Features
For those who live with questionable water sources, the OPTIMH2o filtration system is ideal. For one, it’s a great option for homes with poor-quality city water and traces of lead. We found that the OPTIMH2o system purified our water sample of 99.99% of all contaminants, including lead, chlorine, chloramine, and many other toxins. In addition, we liked the multi-stage filtration system that included the latest filter designs from recyclable materials.
99% Pure Water Quality
Thanks to the level of filtration, the OPTIMH2o does what almost no other water filter system can do. It filters out almost all traceable evidence of lead. In fact, we didn’t find any lead in our water sample after putting it through the test.
OPTIMH2o was able to filter out chlorine, chloramine, fluoride, pesticides, arsenic, mercury, lead, PFOA, PFOS, chromium, bacteria, cysts, and many other toxins.
All Aquasana filtration systems can be customized to have multiple stages of filtration. The OPTIMH2o comes with a sediment pre-filter and activated carbon block filter. These filters are able to remove particles down to .5 micron size. After passing through these filters, water is crystal clear and free of rust, sediment, and silt, which can be indicative of poor municipal water sources.
Lightweight and simple to operate, the filter system comes with easy-to-replace filters and filter life indicators. While the OPTIMH2o is rated for 100,000 gallons, that’s about one year filter life. The filters are also made from recyclable materials, as the brand is committed to an eco-friendly and sustainable future.
With the included installation kit, you can connect the filters and tanks together in no time. However, it does help to know how to attach the system to your water source. Aquasana provides great instructions, videos, and toll-free support line if you need help.
Salt-Free Water Conditioner
The salt-free water conditioner is a special add-on for the OPTIMH2o system that prevents minerals from binding and creating scale build-up within your pipes and appliances. It’s the perfect add-on if you want to protect your home even further.
Finally, the ultraviolet (UV) filter protects against viruses and bacteria that can sneak into your water without your knowledge. Using UV rays, your water is purified until crystal clear. Aquasana offers UV filtration as an add-on to most systems, except for their custom EQ-Well-UV filter.
What We Liked
The base unit is rated for 100,000 gallons, which translates to a one-year filter life. This isn’t the longest in the game, but for lead removal of 99% with high-quality filtration, it’s hard to find another filter that offers the same quality or lifespan. Most filters have a 90-day or 6-month lifespan.
Multiple filters reduce all toxins and contaminants by 99.99% including lead, chlorine, chloramine, bacteria, cysts, PFOA, PFOS, and many others. It’s NSF-certified and IAPMO tested.
The system is simple to install and comes with a 90-day moneyback guarantee, as well as a 5-year warranty. If you need any help, there’s a toll-free customer support line or you can chat online with their customer service team.
We suggest looking into the add-ons for more perks, such as the salt-free water conditioner and UV filter. These two additions result in the best-tasting purified water that we have experienced yet.
What We Don’t Like
OPTIMH2o systems are made to be simple to install, but if you aren’t plumber or don’t have a lot of experience installing a water filtration system, you may need to follow the instructions and watch a video beforehand. This is the only thing that really holds people back from whole house filtration systems.
In addition, the added cost with the salt-free water conditioner and UV filter may not seem worth it. We were able to test the system and see how these additions affected water source, and the result was a slightly more refreshing taste. If you can afford the upgrade, you should consider these two add-ons for your home.
Aquasana 1,000,000 Gallon Rhino Whole House Filter System
Aquasana created the Rhino whole home water filtration systems to be comprehensive and low maintenance with high-quality filers that could eliminate 97% of all chlorine. That’s why it’s particularly well known for treating polluted municipal water.
The design of the Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 is incredibly simple, and it’s much cheaper to maintain than a reverse osmosis system. In addition, it’s rated for 10 years of filter life and comes with a 10-year warranty.
Commentary and Features
Since the Rhino EQ-1000 is a whole home system, you’ll receive high-quality, purified water to every faucet and appliance in your home. Since it’s designed for removing chlorine, the system is able to remove over 1,000 contaminants as well.
Here are some of the most notable features of the EQ-1000 system:
Multiple Levels of Filtration
The system comes with a pre-filter for sediment, copper-zinc mineral stone filter, and activated carbon filter. However, you can customize this system to also include a post-filter, UV filter, and salt-free water conditioner. Together, these filtration steps remove all kinds of rust, sediment, minerals, heavy metals, bacteria, herbicides, pesticides, and other toxins.
Imagine 97% Chlorine Removal
The EQ-1000 is a beast of a water filter that brings long-term, high-performance water filtration to every bathroom, kitchen, and water appliance in your home. We found that the Rhino EQ-1000 reduces all traces of contaminants, leading to a 99.99% pure result.
If you have dry skin and hair, just showering with this whole home filtration system can soften your skin and hair. That’s because all of the dangerous toxins and chemicals like chlorine are almost completely removed.
Long Filter Life
The EQ-1000 is actually rated for 1,000,000 gallons, which is equal to a 10-year filter life. That’s right. You wouldn’t have to change the filters for the next decade. That certainly saves a lot of time, but when you do have to change out the sediment filter each year, it’s easy to do so. You don’t need to be an expert plumber to replace filters.
Aquasana is one of the best water filtration companies because of its 90-day moneyback policy and 10-year warranty. If anything goes wrong, you can simply call their toll-free number or chat online to get help.
As mentioned before, the EQ-1000 doesn’t come standard with the salt-free water conditioner and post-filter. The UV filter is only included with the EQ-Well-UV model (see review below). These add-ons are worth it if you want to remove even more particles for a smoother, cleaner result.
What We Liked
The best part about the EQ-1000 is definitely the filtration steps. The copper-zinc and mineral stone filter reduces chlorine almost completely, but it also filters out heavy metals, scale, bacteria, and algae. It’s also the reason that water tastes better, because of the pH balanced result.
The system comes with a smart filter indicator that lets you know when filters need to be changed out. It also doesn’t require any backflushing. Aquasana has engineered this system to simply work with your water source, so it has the right flow rate and gallon capacity for a small home.
If you need a custom system for a larger home or want to add on filtration stages like reverse osmosis, Aquasana actually builds out custom systems for their customers, too.
What We Don’t Like
Even though we think it’s pretty easy to install, we can’t ignore how many parts come with this system. If you opt for the additional water conditioner, UV filter, and post-filter, there are three more items that you have to install. Thankfully, Aquasana includes the installation kit. However, if you want to upgrade to the pro-grade kit with brass fittings, you’ll have to pay extra.
Looking for something smaller and more budget-friendly? The Aquasana EQ-600 may be the perfect choice for a smaller home. The system is rated for 600,000 gallons or 6 years of filter life, and it’s also recognized for its 97% removal of chlorine.
Commentary and Features
The only real difference between the EQ-600 and the EQ-1000 is the strength and capacity of the filter. Otherwise, this system is just as good as the EQ-1000, particularly with the salt-free conditioner and UV filtration options.
Much of the features are the same with this system. We tested the results and found that it was more than 97% free of chlorine. In fact, we didn’t find any traces of chlorine after our test. We also didn’t find arsenic, lead, chloramine, bacteria, cysts, viruses, pesticides, and other toxins. The system is also NSF-certified.
6-Year Filter Life
You don’t have to worry about changing out the main filter in this system. However, there are some surprises for those who like a longer filter life. We found that the 10” pre-filter may only last up to 3 months. The 20” pre-filter may be a better upgrade.
The EQ-600 has multiple configurations depending on what filters you want. You can create a completely custom system with the post-filter, salt-free conditioner, and UV filter. These systems may be better if your municipal water has an odor, tastes bad, or has a yellowish-greenish tint.
What We Liked
We love how the EQ-600 produces great-tasting water in a quick period of time. You don’t have to wait for high-quality water to dispense right into your glass or come out of the shower head. It’s about a 7/gpm flow rate, which is pretty fast for most single family homes.
In addition, the copper-zinc mineral stone filter reduces all kinds of heavy metals and chlorine, while providing that mineral spa-quality water. It’s incredibly smooth and fresh.
Bad tastes and odors completely go away within moments of installing this system. You can enjoy excellent water quality throughout your home, and you won’t have to worry about scale buildup either with the salt-free water conditioner.
What We Don’t Like
One of the biggest issues with Aquasana is that you may need to have a certified installer to perfectly set up your system, or else your warranty could be voided if there were any mistakes. You can always talk to Aquasana’s customer service team by phone or online if you need help. There’s a 90-day moneyback guarantee and multiple videos showing you how to install this system.
The main beauty of the Aquasana EQ-Well-UV is that it works with well water sources. In fact, that’s what it was designed to do. Many homes with well water find it hard to install a system without the right fittings and installation kit.
Aquasana makes that step incredibly easy with their custom well water installation kit. This whole home filter for well systems also comes with a UV filter, whereas with other Rhino models, it’s an extra add-on.
Commentary and Features
Much of the Aquasana EQ-Well-UV system is like the others that we reviewed. However, one key difference is the filter capacity and additional UV filtration stage. The best part about this filter is that it’s rated to remove 99.99% of all bacteria, viruses, cysts, chlorine, and lead.
The system comes with a pre-filter sediment stage, then a copper-zinc mineral stone filter, followed by an activated carbon filter. Each of these removes heavy metals, rust, dust, pesticides, bacteria, chlorine, bad odors, and much more.
We found that this system purified well water completely, removing all bad odors and taste, resulting in an incredibly refreshing and clean result.
Copper-Zinc Mineral Stone
This special filter helps to reduce scale and removes water-soluble heavy metals, while also reducing algae growth, bacteria, and viruses.
The UV filtration is unique to this system because it’s included with the basic model. Ultraviolet filtration also protects against bacteria and viruses, such as E. coli that could be lingering in your well water.
What We Liked
The best thing about the EQ-Well-UV is that it’s built for well water systems and offers the most practicality for homes with polluted ground water. If you feel like your well water tastes bad, then Aquasana’s system not only will clean it up but you can see the difference in the water as well.
The NSF certification speaks for itself. There aren’t too many well water filtration systems that run as well as the Aquasana, but that’s likely because this system was made to clean well water systems. It’s tough and durable with a rather long filter life of 5 years or 500,000 gallons.
What We Don’t Like
Perhaps the one thing that gets in the water is that you’ll likely need a professional, certified installer. This is because there are a number of different parts and installing a filter on your well water source may prove to be difficult without the right equipment.
Conclusion: Aquasana OPTIMH20 is the best.
You already know that we voted for the OPTIMH2o as the best whole home filter out of all the options. It’s simply the best! There’s nothing better than nearly 100% toxin-free, lead-free, chlorine-free water. We found that the results really were slightly above the other Aquasana whole home filters, particularly in terms of taste and clarity.
If you are looking for a more basic water filtration systems, we recommend you take a look at the Aquasana Rhino standard water filter. It’s more affordable and includes some of the filters that we’ve reviewed for the EQ600 and EQ-Well-UV.
Frequently Asked Questions for Aquasana Filters
Is Aquasana A Good Filter?
After reviewing hundreds of water filters and different brands, we feel confident in saying that Aquasana filters are extremely good. Every result was pure with a smooth, fresh taste. All odors were eliminated.
We also have to point out that Aquasana truly puts the time into engineering their systems to be more efficient and durable, using recyclable, eco-friendly materials. That’s a huge goal for any company, let alone one trying to make high-end water filtration systems more affordable.
What Does Aquasana Filter?
Aquasana filers get rid of thousands of contaminants. Here are a few we found removed after testing our water samples before and after installation:
• Bacteria and viruses
All of the systems reviewed above are rated by NSF and ANSI for water taste, purification level, and overall quality.
Does Aquasana Remove Nitrates?
Aquasana offers a number of reverse osmosis filtration systems that do remove nitrates and nitrites, as well as fluoride, chromium, arsenic, copper, radium, salt, and other contaminants.
Does Aquasana Soften Water?
Aquasana doesn’t have a water softener add-on, but you can get the salt-free water conditioner, which reduces scale buildup and has unique benefits of salt-based water treatments. For example, water tastes better and still has the same benefits as soft water in showers and washer machines. You can see the difference in your skin, hair, and clothes after using their water filtration systems.
How Long Does Aquasana Filter Last?
All systems are different, so it depends on the water capacity. For example, Aquasana filters in the EQ-600 last for 6 years, while the filter in the EQ-1000 lasts for 10 years.
One thing should be noted here that each system has multiple filters. The pre-sediment filters typically must be replaced after 2 to 3 months.
Where Are Aquasana Filters Made?
Aquasana filters are made in Texas, United States. The company’s headquarters are in Austin, Texas, but the actual filters are designed and manufactured in nearby Haltom City, Texas.