How to Choose the Right Type of Drinking Water Filter for Your Home
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Imagine this. You have a reliable supply of clean, contaminant-free water in your home. You use it to stay hydrated, prepare your favorite meals, water your precious plants, and wash your dishes and laundry. Your family, too, gets to enjoy all this fresh, healthy water goodness. If you genuinely want to turn this dream into reality, then installing an efficient drinking water filter will help you achieve that and more. But there’s some bad news.
Every year, manufacturers flood the market with many different types of drinking water systems – all with varying features, functionalities, and prices. As a result, it can be challenging for consumers to find the right type of drinking water filter to fit their homes, lifestyles, and budgets. If you don’t know what you’re looking for exactly, you might end up spending a lot of time reading through heaps of water filter reviews online. Worse, there’s no single water filter that eliminates all contaminants in drinking water, which makes it harder to solve all your specific drinking water problems in one go.
But, if you want to come at least close to finding the ideal water filter, you must understand what contaminants are in your water and which ones are the most important to filter out, what functions you want the filtering system to provide and what type of filter you need, the amount of filtered water your home needs, and your budget.
Once you are fully aware of these things, finding the right type of filter becomes more straightforward. To give you a head start, here is a comprehensive and honest guide to finding the best kind of drinking water filter to suit your needs.
What’s in Your Drinking Water?
Before you can select the right type of filter, you first need to know exactly what contaminants are in your water, if any. As we mentioned earlier, no water filter eliminates all pollutants. That means there’s no one-size-fits-all filter that will work for every contaminant. You must tailor your water filtration system to focus on the problems specific to your drinking water.
Springwell Water Systems offers a unique line of reliable and affordable water testing kits. These kits can help you determine your water quality so that you can find the type of drinking water filter for your needs. Alternatively, you can contact your local water provider for a report of the water quality in your state or town. These reports are sometimes available on the provider’s website or the EPA’s website. Just make sure that you know how to read a water quality report beforehand. If you want more accurate results, you can send a water sample from your tap to a state-certified lab in your area for a thorough examination.
Why Use a Drinking Water Filter?
If your water comes from a public system, the water quality has to meet specific standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But not because your water probably meets these standards means that it’s free from all contaminants and additives.
Many municipal water providers treat the water to remove sediment and many chemicals and chlorinate it to kill pathogenic microorganisms like some bacteria and viruses. However, once the water leaves the plant and makes its way to your home, it may still contain low levels of contaminants, including chlorine, chloramines, and fluoride. Heck, it can even pick up lead from old service pipes and solders.
If you get your water from a private well, it could contain a host of toxic pollutants. These contaminants may include pesticides, bacteria, nitrate and nitrite, heavy metals, fluoride, organic chemicals, and others.
Luckily, installing a drinking water filter can help to significantly reduce specific impurities in your water to make it safer to drink and improve its taste, odor, and texture. Conventional systems use either a chemical or biological process, physical barriers, cleansing the liquid, or a combination of two or more operations to filter the water.
How to Choose the Right Type of Drinking Water Filter for Your Home
Choosing a particular type of drinking water system can be a challenge. Well, that’s if you don’t know what you’re looking for exactly. To avoid headaches and frustration, try to answer the questions below. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be much closer to finding the perfect solution for your specific needs.
1. What contaminants does the filter remove?
By now, you must know what contaminants are in your water supply. Now, it’s time to check what contaminants the filters can remove. Before we continue, be mindful that most brands sell many different types of filters and employ expert salespeople to help you make a ‘good’ selection. However, some of these salespeople will say almost anything to sell a particular product or brand. That’s why you should always check claims and read the fine print on the filter packaging or research for yourself to make sure that it carries out its intended purpose before purchasing.
Never assume that if a particular type of filter can remove one contaminant, it can also eliminate others. For instance, some filters that remove chemicals usually cannot effectively remove bacteria, and vice versa. Nevertheless, some water filters that remove chemicals, such as ion-exchange, reverse osmosis, or distillations systems, might also remove fluoride and other pollutants. So, always check the finer details before making your purchase.
2. What kind of filter do you need?
The three most common filters used in homes and businesses are:
- Whole-House Filters
- Under-Sink Filters
- Countertop Filters
Unfortunately, no single filtration system is entirely practical at removing all contaminants from water. Up top of that, not all of them use the same technology or have the same price, features, and functions. That’s one more good reason why you should always read the label carefully.
Whole-house filters treat all the water entering your household, and not just the water used for drinking. This type of filter will come in very handy, especially if you have hard water or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home. However, some whole-house filters can be costly and may require professional maintenance. Thankfully, our CF1 Whole House Water Filtration System is one of the best water filtration systems for homes on city water. Perhaps it’s the perfect choice for you if you decide to install a whole-house filter.
The CF1 is quite affordable and requires little to no maintenance. It can filter out up to 99.6% of contaminants in water that causes bad taste and odors. It also uses the highest quality catalytic coconut shell carbon and KDF media to target and remove harmful pollutants, including chlorine, chloramine, PFOA, PFAS PFOS, pesticides, herbicides, haloacetic acids, and many more. Still, it retains all the naturally-occurring minerals – like calcium, potassium, and magnesium – that improve the pH balance and nutrition of your water. There’s also the UV purification system add-on that you can install on the whole-house filter. The UV technology protects your home against 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, Cryptosporidium, Giardia lamblia, and other pathogens.
Under-sink Water Filters
As the name suggests, under-sink or under-counter water filters fit under your sink. From there, they send the water through a pipe to a dedicated faucet, so there’s no mixing with unfiltered water. Under-sink filters can filter large amounts of water and do not take up a lot of space under your sink. However, they can be expensive and may require modifications to plumbing. Our under-counter filters include our Brushed Nickel Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System and the Oil-Rubbed Bronze variant. Both systems work to filter out contaminants from your water, including lead, mercury, fluoride, arsenic, aluminum, iron, chlorine, chloramine, herbicides, pesticides, chlorine byproducts, and more.
Countertop Water Filters
Countertop water filters usually don’t require permanent fixtures. They are faucets with built-in filters (instead of an attached filter). This setup makes it easy to switch between filtered and unfiltered water. Still, this countertop filters are often expensive and require installation.
3. How much does the system cost?
The price of a water filtration system can vary based on its type, features, output, technology, and so on. You can find simple models for under $20 to complex systems costing hundreds of dollars and require professional installation. You also have to consider the ease of maintenance, such as changing filter cartridges. This is where your budget comes in.
4. How many gallons of filtered water do you need?
Some water filters are slow, while others can produce large amounts of filtered water quickly. Depending on the size of your household and your daily filtered water usage, you might need a particular type of filter. Perhaps a filtering system that provides large volumes for the entire home or one that only produces water for drinking.
So, which type of filter should you choose?
Well, it primarily depends on the specific contaminants in your water, the amount of filtered water that you need, and your budget. Whole house filters can ensure that you’re getting the same quality water from every tap. At the same time, a smaller under-sink or countertop drinking water system may be sufficient if you only want to filter your drinking water. So, think deeply about your water situation, then use this guide to pick a filter that you think will solve your water issues.
Installing a quality water filter in your home is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the toxic effects of possible contaminants in your water supply. However, deciding on the right type of filter depends on various factors. These factors may include your water quality, the specific kind of filtration system you need, and the functions it should have. Other factors include the amount of filtered water your home needs, and of course, your budget. Once you figure those out, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the right type of filter for your needs – whether a whole house water filter, an under-sink filter, or a countertop filter.