Would you believe that over 21 million Americans rely on unsafe drinking water?
Before your water reaches your taps, there’s a high chance it passes through rocks, dirt, nasty contaminants, harsh chemicals, and dangerous microorganisms like pathogens, viruses, and bacteria. This reason in itself makes having a home water filtration system essential in your home.
Now, there are so many types of water filtration systems in the market. If you were to search for the best home water filtration system right now, the results would be overwhelming. We have put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand all the different types of home water filtration systems and how to choose the right one.
How to Determine the Best Home Water Filtration System
Basically, there are three steps to make when purchasing the best filtration system. First, you need to determine your water quality and what it is you need to filter out of it. Does it have specific contaminants like lead and fluoride, or is it simply the fact that it smells or tastes bad?
If you’re not sure, have your water tested or purchase a home water testing kit but make sure it tests for lead, which is the one substance you don’t want to miss. Second, determine what capacity you need by considering the number of people in your home and how many gallons of water you intend to filter daily.
Do you only need to filter your drinking water, or cooking, bathing, and showering water as well? Third, you need to consider all the features a filtration system comes with and decide which ones will come in handy in your home.
What to Consider When Choosing a Home Water Filtration System?
Given that there are several varieties of water filters available, you need to consider the costs, effectiveness, and ease of use of the system. Some filtration systems will undoubtedly be more effective than others. Some filters will remove virtually everything, while others filter out only certain contaminants.
This is why you need to test your water to determine what filter will work best for the contaminants in your water. Beyond this, some water filters are easier to use than others.
Also, consider your budget and how much you can afford. Include the maintenance, repair, and replacement costs that you may face in the future.
Whole House Point of Entry vs. Point of Use Systems
There are essentially two categories of home water filtration systems you can choose from. The whole house point of entry filtration system, better known as POE, will be the first thing the water encounters when coming into your home. This system will filter all the water that comes through the sinks, bathtubs, showers, washing machines, spigots, etc.
Point of use systems or POU filters will filter water where it’s being used, and you can choose what location you need it. You may consider having a filter under your kitchen sink if you want to filter drinking and cooking water only. You can also choose portable countertop filters like pitcher filters, distillers, gravity filters, and faucet-mounted filters.
Different Filter Technologies
There are several different water filter technologies, all of which have their pros and cons and levels of effectiveness. Here are the different types of filtration methods to consider.
Activated carbon filtration systems come equipped with different natural carbon materials. These materials are usually porous, and they attract impurities, making them adhere to the surfaces. While choosing a filtration system, it’s imperative for you to check the efficiency of the carbon.
Some only filter out chlorine, bad smell, and bad taste, while others can remove VOC organic compounds and radon. Also, carbon will not work for inorganic compounds like chromium, heavy metals, arsenic, and fluoride. If you have these, this type of filtration system is not suitable.
You can either get the carbon block or carbon granular activated carbon filters, but the carbon will need to be replaced after some time.
Ceramic filters feature tiny holes that allow water through while filtering all other particles. These are only effective at blocking out protozoa and bacteria but not chemicals or viruses. If embedded with silver, they prevent algae and bacteria growth, and they could last for years unless they break.
Distillation is the process of boiling water and collecting the steam, leaving all the contaminants behind. Any biological contaminants like bacteria and viruses die during the boiling process. On the other hand, most VOCs have a higher boiling point, so distillation will not work on them. However, most distillation systems come with carbon filters, which leave pure H2O behind.
The reverse osmosis filters force water through a semipermeable membrane. It blocks out any particles larger than water molecules. These membranes block out viruses, lead, lead, nitrate, arsenic, bacteria, protozoa, among others.
However, it also doesn’t work on chlorine, trihalomethanes, and VOCs. Of course, you can get one combined with a carbon filter, and this will give you one of the best home water filtration systems.
UV light disinfects water by killing protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. Technically, it attacks their DNA, so they don’t reproduce. This filtration system is usually combined with something else like reverse osmosis for optimum effectiveness.
Common Types of Home Water Filtration Systems
Apart from all these, there are several water filtration system types you need to consider.
The Faucet Mount Water Filter – These attach to the end of the faucet, and most of them have activated carbon filters. They are simple to install, inexpensive, and feature a switch between filtered and unfiltered water. On the downside, they may not work well with all types of faucets, may slow down water flow, and may need replacing more often.
Countertop Water Filters – These also connect to the faucet, but the system sits on the counter near the sink. Some are simple and use activated carbon, while others are sophisticated and feature several filters. These are easy to install, have longer lifespans compared to faucet filters, and can switch from filtered to unfiltered water.
Gravity Water Filters – These are counter filtration systems that you must fill manually and use either activated carbon or ceramic filtration systems. They require no installation, can use any kind of water, and come in various sizes. However, they are slow and take up counter space.
Under Counter Carbon Block Water Filters – These have to be connected to the water supply system and installed under the sink. A different faucet is installed next to the regular sink faucet, but they are affordable and last a long time. However, they have limited effectiveness and must be installed by a plumber.
Under Counter Multi-Stage Water Filters – These are hooked to the plumbing system and also come with dedicated faucets. Most feature several different filtration technologies. You can have yours customized depending on the contaminants in your water. Still, an installation by a plumber may be necessary.
Choosing the Best Home Water Filtration System
There you have it! Now you know exactly what to go for if you need a home water filtration system. Whether you need a DIY water test kit or one of many types of water filters, we have something for you.