It’s hard to make a choice when it comes to large up-front costs, but better efficiency over time and higher cost should usually trump smaller up-front cost and lower efficiency over time. Immediate strain on the wallet can look undesirable, but sometimes it’s best to spend a little extra on something that will provide clean, healthy water for you and your family. That’s right: I’m talking about water filters again. This time, I want to explore the realities of under counter/sink water filters. In my home, I always strive to keep the best quality water and air filters possible so that my wife and daughter are always getting the purest and cleanest of the two.
Let’s Talk About What They Are, Exactly
Under the sink water filters are larger units that are fitted directly to the water supply line. They use a variety of filter methods, from reverse osmosis to activated carbon. They are generally quite large and often need professional plumbers to install them. That, with a higher up-front cost, can lead to a less attractive price tag, but these filter types typically don’t need to be changed as often as other filters—like faucet mounted ones. While clunky faucet mounted filters take up useable space above the sink that often gets in the way, under-sink filter systems are out of sight. For the most part, under-sink filters can provide more reliable source of cleaner water, allowing for a longer and better filter system.
There are a lot of different brands and filter types, but some are going to rise over others. Of course, the best filter for you will depend on your needs. Things like family size, prize range, and more are all going to affect what under the sink filter is best for you. In order to make the best decision for you regarding under-sink filters, you need to know what you should be looking for. In some cases, the high price isn’t necessarily going to give you everything you want out of a filter.
Some people mainly use a filter to get rid of that nasty taste that can come out of the faucet. That’s fine but there’s more work to be done and under-sink filters are going to make sure the water is rid of any unwanted contaminants. Depending on where you live and where your water is coming from, you can be experiencing a number of different kinds of bacteria. Different filter types can remove different kinds of contaminants. Most of these systems use activated carbon, which are tiny particles of charcoal treated with oxygen to create a very porous texture that traps and collects contaminants as water passes through it. It’s a very effective way of filtering water, especially when you compare to other sand-based filtration methods. Activated Carbon is generally viewed as the best filter for removing organic pollutants like chlorine, asbestos, mercury, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The other main filter type for under-sink systems is reverse osmosis, which traps pollutants through a semi-permeable membrane. This one is able to trap larger, non-organic contaminants but it has difficulty blocking many organic ones. If you already have a clean water source, the best thing for you might be a reverse osmosis filter. If you’re on well water, I would suggest activated carbon. To get the absolute best, look for filters that remove chlorine, lead, cysts, THMs, VOCs, lindane, alachlor, atrazine, benzene and MTBE.
Look for filters with multiple stages. You can find filters with one, two, or even three stages. The more stages in the process, the more contaminants will be removed. It’s reasonable to expect a higher price for a unit with more stages, but you can also expect a better quality filter.
As already mentioned, there’s a higher upfront cost than other common filter types. Along with that, you usually have to mess with your entire sink plumbing, which requires a professional plumber (unless you’re a fairly confidant home plumber yourself). A lot of these under-sink filters come with specific faucets so you can’t always choose one that’s aesthetically appealing enough.
Under the sink water filters are more discreet, as they hook up to the water line in the cabinet under your sink. They allow you to keep the clunky appliances that take up fridge space or attach to the end of a faucet. Under-sink filters also require less maintenance and filter replacement. The quality is typically much better than filtered pitchers and allow you to have as much filtered water when you want it—this is especially handy for using water when cooking. Sure, the upfront cost is going to be unattractive, but the long-running benefits may be enough for you to make a decision to invest in one of these for you own kitchen and/or bathroom sink.