Table of Contents
How To Choose Water Filter For Home Use
This article is not intended to scare you about your tap water but there are situations where you have to be careful because there can be contaminants in the tap water you consume in a lot of cases.
The U.S. is very fortunate to have a very safe water supply and there are consumer confidence reports that are published annually for each of the public utilities. The reports are usually available in June or July every year.
You can take a look at these reports and know how safe your water supply actually is.
These reports are available no matter where you are within the distribution system if you are a paying customer to a utility they are required to provide this information to you upon request.
If you’re on a well water system you may want to consider having a private laboratory analyze your water.
Despite our water supply being safe there still are many homeowners in the marketplace that are interested in having some type of water treatment device in their home.
Having a water filter in your home can certainly improve the taste of your water and ultimately protect your family from harmful contaminants.
Older homes, in particular, tend to have the potential for more contaminants depending on the type of plumbing system already installed.
Here’s a short list of some of the most common pollutants typically found in city water:
Things to do Before Deciding on a Water Filter
- First, get your water tested or look for reference materials like the consumer confidence report. Talk to your local health department because they will have a good idea of the potential contaminants in the water.
- Check plumbing system, especially older homes with outdated plumbing.
- Once you understand what’s in your water as well as the type of plumbing system you have then you can begin to decide on what type of water treatment device is available to meet your needs.
Types of Water Filters
There are several water filter systems on the market that you can choose from.
Most home water filters are fairly simple to install and very consumer friendly. Some don’t require any installation like the styles that mount to the kitchen faucet.
The most important thing to consider when choosing a water filter for home use is to select the one that best suits your family’s needs.
As you can see from the types of water filter systems listed above there are so many options so how do you choose?
Here are some tips that we hope will help clear up some of the confusion.
Two key questions to ask yourself when choosing your water filter:
- What level of water filtration do you need? (The contaminant removal for each type of water filter will vary)
- Which water filter will best fit into your family’s current lifestyle?
You can start with a filter, like a carafe or a countertop filter, both are inexpensive and easy to use.
These filter the water through the use of gravity and are a very effective way to treat the water with a very minimal cost and ease of installation.
Many of the refrigerators that are manufactured today incorporate water filters within the water dispenser. This is a great way to get filtered water just as a benefit of having a newer refrigerator.
Faucet-mounted filters, meaning they are attached to the end of the kitchen faucet, are very convenient to use because they can operate in both the filtered and the bypass mode for when you are washing dishes.
There are more elaborate systems that can be installed in your home like a reverse-osmosis system. These are a bit more complex to install but they provide a great treatment for your water.
If you only want water to be filtered in your sink you may go with an under the sink product but if you’re concerned about your plumbing and shower water then you may consider a whole house system.
The more elaborate the system the more water treatment.
There’s sediment in your water but you may not be able to see it with your naked eye but you can certainly taste it especially if you live on the coast or near a large river or lake.
Sediment is the most basic type of filtration that’s included in most filtration products.
What if you don’t like the taste or smell of your water? Then you may want to look for a standard filtration product that reduces sediment, chlorine taste, and odor.
Now these are just the things you can see, smell and taste but what about the invisible contaminants like the ones mentioned above that you also want to filter out?
Many of those things may be in your water or they may not be.
That’s why it’s important to know what’s in your water before you decide on a water filter for home use.
If there are any microbial cysts in your water then you’ll only need an advanced carbon block filtration system that would eliminate the cysts as well as take care of the sediment, chlorine taste, odor, and smell.
If you discover other contaminants in your water like lead, select pharmaceuticals,Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) then you definitely will need a more complex filtration system.
There’s a whole range of water treatment technologies available. It’s very important to test your plumbing periodically and see what your water quality characteristics are.
Our best piece of advice is to think about purpose when buying a water filter.
If you’re just looking to improve the taste or odor of your water, there are some simple to use and relatively inexpensive products that can be very helpful for you.
On the other hand, if you’re more concerned about arsenic, pesticides, other contaminants or maybe you have medical issues to be concerned about there are other water treatment products that may be more appropriate for you to consider.
Always look for the NSF mark. This represents that fact that NSF has tested and certified that product to meet the standard.
That means it’s safe to use and is effective in terms of performance as advertised by the manufacturer in delivering on those contaminant reduction capabilities.