Water filter systems have become a necessity in many households, as tap water contains many pollutants. The good news is they have become simpler to install and convenient to maintain. From carafes to whole house systems, removing impurities from your water has never been easier. New models even feature electronic indicators to alert you when it’s time to replace the filter.
Most people believe that bottled water advertised as pure is a safe alternative to tap water. Besides being more expensive, bottled water is less regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Moreover, some brands simply filter tap water. The permanent solution to this problem is a water filter system. However, choosing the best one for your household can be a difficult task, as there are many brands and models available.
Find out what’s in your water
The best way to find out what’s in your water is to ask for your consumer confidence report, or CCR. EPA requires all utilities to provide their customers with a CCR each year. You may find it posted on your local government website or printed in the newsletter. However, you can test the water yourself at a specialized lab or with a home kit. Dangerous contaminants such as arsenic, chloroform, lead, fluoride, nitrate, bacteria and parasites are common in tap water. Although none of the water systems are consistently unhealthy, some samples contain dangerous contaminants. Knowing what contaminants are in your water will help you choose the right type of filter. Ultimately, you might even discover that your water is safe and you don’t need a filter.
What should I choose?
Choose a filter that fits your needs. If you use several gallons of water a day, a single carafe filter will be too small and you would have to refill it constantly. Read the fine print to make sure the type of filter you choose removes the contaminants found in your water. Also, the filter has to be certified by the National Sanitation Foundation to remove the contaminants it claims. Make sure you also check many water filter system reviews and ratings to gauge the actual performance of each model. It is also important to consider all the costs. Almost all systems have filters that must be replaced periodically. Take into account the yearly filter replacement cost which ranges from $20 to $400.
The first type of filter we will examine is the carafe. Carafe filters do a great job removing chloroform and lead, although some are prone to clogging and have a short filter life. If you are looking for a water filter system for easy installation, faucet-mounted filters are a good choice. However, they are slow and don’t fit on all faucets. Countertop filter are also easy to install and less likely to clog than the previous two types. Although they have the capacity to filter large quantities of water, you will need extra space and they don’t fit all faucets. Under-sink filters are less cluttering, but they require professional plumbing modifications.
Reverse osmosis filters are also a good option because they are the only type certified to remove arsenic. However, they need regular cleaning and waste 3 to 5 gallons of water for every gallon filtered. According to water filter system reviews, they rob cabinet space and can be extremely slow. Another alternative are whole-house filters. These types of filters can remove chlorine, rust and sediment. However, they can’t remove other contaminants and require some plumbing changes