If you are thinking of getting a water filtration system, there probably seems to be too many options available and too much information to digest. Honestly, though, it doesn’t have to be that complex—it is just water, after all. Below is a list of 7 things you need to know before choosing the best water filter for you.
1. Why you need one
Even if you live in a home that has had a water system in place for many years, both in urban and rural areas, you could have dangerous toxins in your tap water. It can be contaminated with chlorine, pesticides, and lead, among many other chemicals, that are known to cause health problems as deadly as cancer. Only with a good water filter can you ensure you’re safe from these toxins.
2. The types
There are 3 main types of water filters, and each serves the same purpose—to clean your water. However, each is slightly different in how they do so, and you may find that one filters better than another for your own home’s needs.
3. Activated carbon
This is probably the most commonly used type of water filter. In an activated carbon filter, carbon is used to attract and remove toxins from the water that comes out of it. It is designed to remove mostly chlorine and unpleasant odors/tastes, but it can also remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like lead and mercury. However, this type often does not remove inorganic pollutants like nitrate and fluoride.
4. Reverse Osmosis
This type of filter pushes water through a semipermeable membrane that physically blocks particles any larger than water molecules from passing through. So, this type can remove the inorganic pollutants that activated carbon filters cannot, but it, in turn, does not remove chlorine or the VOCs, and it also uses more water in the filtering process than it actually produces.
5. Ion Exchange
This filter is best for softening water that contains a lot of lime. It actually traps contaminated ions in the water and then replaces them with sodium (or salt) ions.
6. Filters need to be cleaned
Believe it or not, filters do need to be cleaned every once in a while. You can do this normally with a quick hot water rinse, but if there are some stuck-on lime stains, you can scrub them with light soap as well.
7. And filters need to be changed
When cleaning doesn’t do the job, or you’ve realized it’s been some time since you last changed your filter, it’s time to switch it out. A lot of filters now may indicate when they’re due for changing, but there’s also a good rule of thumb to change filters once every 100 gallons, or on average about once every 4 months.
All filters have some things in common, like their basic purpose and needs, but each is slightly different in how it serves your household. Remember, though, it doesn’t have to be complicated—it’s just water.