So how does anyone have access to clean water? Well, the US has some of the cleanest drinking water out of anywhere in the world thanks to our water systems and regular maintenance and care.
While there are many different water filtration methods out there that operate on a commercial and local level, there are some things that they miss or some things that get picked up in the pipes on the way to our home.
But luckily for us, there’s something we can do about that.
We’re here today to talk about different types of water filters and how you can use them in your home to improve the quality of the water you drink today.
What You Need to Know
It’s important to know that not every water filter was created equally. You can’t pick one up from the store and expect it to do the same as the one you install, or even the same as the one sitting next to it on the shelf.
The quality of every water filter will vary depending on the brand, and each brand seeks to eliminate a different set of contamination. And while we’re on that thread, it’s important that you know that a label reading “NSF Certified” doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to remove a specific contaminant.
Types of Water Filters
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s take a look at the 8 most popular types of water filters out there so you know what’s best for you and your home.
Refrigerator Water Filters
Most modern refrigerators come with a built-in water filtration system. A survey that the University of Arizona conducted showed that refrigerator water filters actually get rid of more contaminants than carafe or pitcher style water filters.
A refrigerator water filter is a reliable way to rid your water of contaminants. And they do this by forcing your water through the activated carbon inside of their filters.
The carbon then attracts contaminants like magnets, trapping it inside of the filter while creating clean, clear drinking water for you and your family.
However, you will have to replace these filters frequently to ensure that those contaminants don’t overtake the filter and get pushed back out with your drinking water, causing water that is actually more polluted than it was before it went through the filter.
These filters are great for families as long as you can commit to changing your water filter every six months, at least.
Faucet Mount Filters
When you turn on the tap in your sink, the water flows through a screen around the filter. This screen traps the larger sediment like sand and dirt. After it’s made this trip, it passes through a block of carbon and zeolite.
Carbon is interesting because the surface is covered in millions of tiny pores, so even though it’s such a small piece of material, the surface area is incredible. These pores then work to suck in chemicals and other tiny bits of debris that the larger screen didn’t catch.
However, this comes with a catch. In order for the carbon to be truly effective, the water has to pass through it slowly so that it has more contact with it. The longer the contact, the more chemicals will be removed.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filters
In order to understand how reverse osmosis water filters work, let’s talk for a second about what osmosis is.
Osmosis is the process of molecules passing through a semipermeable membrane, like the way a tree’s roots suck water from the ground.
Reverse osmosis works in the opposite way. By the end of the process, we don’t want more highly concentrated solutions of pollutants, right? So we force the water through a semipermeable membrane to lessen them instead.
It does this in a series of steps.
First, it takes out the larger sediment and reduces the chlorine in a process handled in the sediment filter area of the overall filter. This helps to protect the membrane from getting clogged by the larger particles or too much chlorine.
Then the filter applies pressure to the water to force it through the membrane. This membrane is made of a plastic material that will let water pass through, but it keeps out the chlorine, calcium, glucose, urea, bacteria, and viruses.
Once that’s done, the filter works on doing one final filter of your water by pushing it through yet another carbon filter, just in case anything managed to slip by the other two systems in place. From there, the water sits in a storage tank until you use it, at which point yet another activated carbon filter that eliminates anything from the storage tank, mostly to protect the taste.
Under Counter Water Filters
Under counter water filters work sort of similar to the reverse osmosis systems, but they produce the water on demand instead of allowing your water to sit in a holding tank.
It pulls water from the cold water pipe and allows it to flow through a plastic tube into the water filter, and once it leaves the filter it comes out through its own special faucet.
Point-of-Entry Water Filters
Instead of waiting for you to use your water to activate the filter, the point-of-entry water filters work as soon as the water enters your home. It connects to your water line and filters the water for your entire house.
These systems are great for homes that have more than once water faucet and to add the peace of mind that having clean water for all of your daily functions brings.
Shower Water Filters
If you have sensitive skin or you believe that your shower water is causing any other issues, you might want to consider installing a shower water filter. These are filters that fit directly over your showerhead to filter out things like chlorine, scale, and sulfur.
You’ll need to replace the filter on a regular basis as well because filtering such a large amount of water means that it will experience build-up a lot faster. But you’ll notice improvements in your skin and hair immediately.
Inline Water Filters
Inline water filters are long, cylindrical filters that you attach to your water line under your sink. They’re perfect for smaller houses or mobile units that need clean water on the go. They work with your kitchen tap and though they take a little more plumbing knowledge than a faucet filter, they last for a while and are relatively inexpensive.
The Trouble With Carafe Water Filters
Carafe water filters, also known as pitcher filters or pour-through filters, are pitchers that you fill up with water and place in your fridge to drink later. There are many different models out there and their effectiveness is largely questioned.
For the most part, these pitchers can filter at most a gallon or two a day.
They have a charcoal filter that has active carbon granules. These granules absorb chemicals like chlorine because of their large surface area and millions of tiny pores.
However, most filter water pitchers can’t remove things like nitrates, heavy metals, microbes, lead, or fluoride. So before you consider settling for a pitcher water filter, make sure you test your tap water and ensure that it’s safe to drink.
If it’s not, stick with one of the more heavy-duty options.
Filter for Safer and Cleaner Drinking Water
We live in the greatest country in the world. Our people don’t have to hunt hard to find water that’s drinkable and safe and our municipalities have rules and regulations they have to follow before they can send us treated water.
However, everyone deserves a glass of fresh water that’s clean, clear, and tastes amazing. There’s no reason to spend money on bottled water when the option to have great tasting tap water right in your own home is there for the taking. That takes a little effort and research because you have to make sure that you’re using the right types of water filters for your home, but the after effects are worth it.
If you’re looking for more information about water filters, you can visit our blog today. Or if you’ve already made your choice to switch to better, cleaner drinking water, you can browse our selection of water filters.