Having clean and safe tap water for consumption is imperative for any household. Moreover, the necessity of clean drinking water for human beings is hard to underestimate. The most and easiest way to provide people with potable water is to use a water filter. Then the ultimate question is:
Due to having an abundance of water filters available on the market, which one to buy?
To answer this question, we came up with this comprehensive guide on different home water filters to help you make the right choice for your home. If interested, continue reading.
Table of Contents
Water Filter Pitchers
How Water Filter Pitchers Work
Water filter pitchers are easy to use and, because of their simplicity, they have become one of the most popular type of home water filters today. The only thing you need to do is fill them with tap water and wait for a few minutes until enough water has flown through the cartridge.
A filter pitcher improves the taste and odor of your water in a matter of minutes, guaranteed!
As usual, the complexity of the water treatment process and how many filter stages are involved define the efficiency of the filtration. For instance, budget models are only capable of improving aesthetic factors that are generally not health-related.
On the contrary, more advanced pitchers eliminate detrimental contaminants such as chlorine, chloramine, fluoride, microplastic, various metals, herbicides, pesticides, bacteria, cysts, and other microorganisms, to name a few.
Installation and Maintenance
Due to the design, water filter pitchers do not require any installation and are ready to use straight out of the box.
The necessity to replace a filter cartridge correlates with the number of contaminants that are present in the water. One of the indicators for filter replacement is a change in water taste and slowing filtration.
Water filter pitchers are inexpensive and retail for $40-$70 on average. Although they are considered simple devices, there are still a lot of factors you should consider before buying. To avoid any issues and get all information you need, read more here.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) Systems
How Reverse Osmosis Filters Work
Pollutants in the feed water are eliminated by forcing the water through a semipermeable membrane. The membrane consists of tiny pores blocking contaminants only allowing clean water to pass through. Reverse Osmosis Systems have several filtration stages ensuring high-quality drinking water for your home.
Accordance to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reverse osmosis systems are said to have an extremely high working efficiency and easily remove 95% or more of all water contaminants including:
- bacteria (Salmonella, Campylobacter, E Coli)
- protozoa (Giardia, Cryptosporidium)
- viruses (Rotavirus, Enteric, Hepatitis A)
- Common chemical pollutants (chlorine, chloramine)
- Metals and salts (lead, sodium, copper, barium, mercury, nickel)
RO filters might also reduce the amount of calcium, radium, sulfate, arsenic, fluoride, magnesium, nitrate, potassium, and phosphorous in water.
Installation and Maintenance
In general, reverse osmosis systems are great for use:
- under the sink
- for a refrigerator
- for wells
Installation of such filters requires proper experience and knowledge along with certain tools. Therefore, it may be better to get a plumber to do it for you. However, if you are skilled you may be able of putting everything together yourself.
Although reverse osmosis systems may serve you well for up to 15 years, the RO membrane and filters ought to be replaced more frequently:
- prefilters and post filters last from 6 months to 1 year
- the RO membrane needs to be changed every 2-4 years
Depending on the brand and model, the cost for a reverse osmosis system varies from $100 to $500.
Countertop Water Filters
How Countertop Water Filters Work
Countertop filters have a quite straightforward working principle. A diverter tube attaches to a sink faucet. The incoming water flows out of the faucet and into the filter. Tap water is filtered through the replaceable cartridges installed in the system before it leaves through a dispenser.
Available in various designs, countertop water filters offer a great deal of highly effective filtration options and are capable of removing bacteria and eliminating or reducing up to 99% of harmful chemicals.
If you want the best countertop water filter systems for your home, you should figure out what contaminants are present in your water by conducting a test (using a home water test kit). Then you can pick a treatment solution accordingly.
There are 4 types of countertop water filters:
- Carbon filters have proved to be effective at eliminating chlorine, chloramine, trihalomethanes, and also mercury. Furthermore, they are able to remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds) along with pesticides and herbicides.
- Ceramic filters have a porous surface and are excellent at removing dangerous bacteria. Due to having extremely small pores, which are 0.5-0.7 microns in size, such systems do not allow bacteria to pass through.
- Ultrafiltration is thought to be one of the highest purity filtration processes and is extremely effective at reducing dissolved solids without eliminating minerals that are essential for health.
- Water distillers deliver clean and safe water by making use of evaporation. As a result, it removes chemicals, viruses, and heavy metals which cannot evaporate.
Installation and Maintenance
Countertop water filter installation isn’t complex so there is no need to get a plumber involved. You can install a system with relative ease on your own.
Depending on the filter type and your water’s dirt level, the maintenance of a countertop filtration system can differ. The more debris in your water, the more frequently the filter cartridge needs replacement. You should check for steady water flow and pay attention to filtered water quality to ensuring that the filter works correctly.
Based on customer reviews, top countertop water filters are the AquaCera Pioneer SS4, the AquaCera HCP, he APEX MR-1050, the Nautilus Countertop Distiller, and the Royal Berkey. They all come at affordable price tags; you can purchase a filter for as little as $119.