No matter where in the United States you live, filtering your household water is a must. Not only does filtered water taste better, but it’s also much better for your health.
Which water filter is right for you? These days there are tons of options when it comes to the types of water filters, and they all have pros and cons.
Let’s break down each type of water filter and which one is best for you based on your personal needs.
The Most Popular Types of Water Filters
Before we get into how water filters work and the actual filtration process, let’s look at the various filter forms. The most popular options are refrigerator filters, pitcher filters, faucet filters, countertop filters, under-sink filters, and whole house filter systems.
Let’s dive into the pros and cons of each type of filter.
1. Refrigerator Filters
Fridge water filters are probably the most common water filters utilized in homes. Heck, you might already be using one if your fridge has a water and/or ice dispenser. They are great because they are relatively inexpensive (from the right company) and easy to change on your own. They also only need to be changed about every six months.
The only downside to fridge water filters is that the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will often charge an arm and a leg for replacement filters for the refrigerators that they sell. Oftentimes, these are cheaply-made filters from China that are way overpriced. Luckily, there are aftermarket filters available for almost every fridge model at a fraction of the price.
Pro Tip: ClearChoice makes some of the very best aftermarket filters available right here in the USA and they are much cheaper than the big brands.
2. Pitcher Filters
Water pitcher filters are great because they are accessible to everyone no matter where you live. If you are renting and don’t want to install a more permanent filter, your pitcher is convenient and can go with you to your next house or apartment.
Pitchers are also inexpensive to get started with, although you do have to keep buying new filters every few months, which can add up.
The downside to pitcher water filters is that they are small, don’t hold much water, and can take a while to filter. They are typically only used to filter drinking water, so you still have unfiltered water coming from your taps and showers.
3. Faucet Filters
Faucet water filters are a step above pitchers because you can have clean water straight from your tap. You can easily fill up your glass at your kitchen sink for great-tasting drinking water.
When filtered water comes straight from your faucet, you can eliminate contaminants in more than just your drinking water. For instance, now the water you use to wash your dishes or fill up your pots for cooking is clean.
Faucet filters are easy to install and remove, so they’re a nice option if you’re renting. When you move, you can take the filter with you to use at your next place.
However, one con of a faucet filter is that it doesn’t fit on all types of faucets. If you have a low faucet, it may be especially difficult. The filter can also slow down the flow of the water from your faucet, which can be frustrating.
3. Countertop Filters
Countertop water filters connect directly to your faucet, but they are a separate water source. They sit right next to your sink and filter the water as you turn the tap on. They are a quick, convenient, and still reasonably priced water filtering solution.
Homeowners opt for a countertop filter because they don’t want to constantly fill up a pitcher anymore. However, they have a more involved installation process, so it’s not a good option if you’re renting. They also do take up some space on your countertop, even though it is minimal.
4. Under-Sink Filters
The next step up in water filtration is an under-sink filter. These are strictly for homeowners since they come with an involved and bulky installation. However, once they are installed they are completely out of sight.
Under-sink filters are also a step up because they can filter out more types of contaminants in your water. If you’re wanting the best purity, this is the option you should consider. Just keep in mind that they are a more pricey and permanent choice.
5. Whole House Water Filter Systems
If you want the whole shebang, go for a whole house water filter system. This is the most expensive option that only works when you own your home. This kind of system also requires professional installation.
The major perk of a whole house water filter system is that the filters are connected to the main pipe. That means you don’t have to worry about any other filtration system inside your house. Every single tap and showerhead in your home will use clean water.
A whole house water filter system is for the homeowner who cares about all the water your home uses, not just your drinking water. If you’re concerned about contaminants in the water you bathe in, wash your dishes in, or wash your clothes in, this type of filtering system will give you the ultimate peace of mind.
Whole house systems are pricey in the beginning, but in the long run, they can actually save you money on your water bill. However, the system may decrease your home’s water pressure.
How Do Water Filters Work?
Choosing the type of your water filter is just the first step in the process. You should also consider the different types of filtration technologies. They include activated alumina, activated carbon charcoal filters, ceramic filters, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet light, and distillation.
Let’s break down each of these briefly. Activated alumina removes selenium, fluoride, and arsenic. However, it’s possible that it can leach aluminum into your water.
Carbon filters, or activated charcoal filters, remove chlorine, volatile organic compounds, and sediment. They are also very inexpensive. However, they do not remove minerals, salt, and other compounds.
Next, ceramic filters last for years and remove protozoa and bacteria. However, they work slowly and do not work against viruses.
Reverse osmosis is a highly effective filtering method that doesn’t require electricity. It removes viruses, pollutants, and parasites. The downside is that this filtering method wastes a good amount of water.
The next option is ultraviolet light filtration. It’s highly effective at getting rid of pollutants, including parasites, viruses, and bacteria, but it is also expensive. Additionally, it needs electricity to run, and it doesn’t get rid of all contaminants.
Lastly, the distillation method can produce pure drinking water; however, it is a very slow process that requires a ton of energy.
The Importance of Water Filters
There are several types of water filters, but the most important thing is knowing why you need a water filter in the first place. Not only will your water taste and smell better, but it will also be better for you.
Plus, using a water filter of any kind will eliminate your need for plastic water bottles, which is a huge win for Mother Nature.
When you’re ready to up your home’s water quality, let us help you find the right water filter for your home. Start by clicking here!