A water filter is a device used to remove impurities from drinking, cooking and bathing water. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and configurations, from plastic pitcher filters to whole-house systems that treat all the water in your home.
Filtration is a process that reduces or eliminates contaminates from water by either lowering its contamination through physical barriers or removing it through a chemical or biological process. There are several types of filtration methods, and each has its own pros and cons.
Choosing the Best Water Filter
The first step in buying a water filter is to determine what contaminants are present in your tap water, and whether you want to remove them completely or just lessen their effects. Once you know which substances are in your water, ask a local professional to help you choose the best type of water filter for your needs.
Point of Entry Filters
These filters focus on reducing sediment and sand for cleaner, clearer water. They are designed to prevent the particles that enter your toilet tank and bathtub from clogging up your plumbing system, as well as protecting appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. Some of these systems also reduce chlorine taste and odor for better-tasting water throughout your home.
They can be found in a range of prices, depending on the size and number of filters needed. Look for systems that are NSF-certified, which means they have been tested for safety, leakage and performance.
Deionization (DI) Filters
DI water filters use a combination of ion exchange media to remove ions from the water and replace them with hydrogen and hydroxyl ions, producing pure water. They are usually expensive to maintain, though, so they are only used when purity is a priority.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
RO filters use a semi-permeable membrane to separate and filter out dissolved solids from water. They are the most common choice for removing contaminants such as salt, iron, chlorine and heavy metals like lead.
They are effective at removing up to 97% of dissolved minerals from the water and thereby improving its taste and odor. They are also very easy to install, and do not require additional plumbing.
If you prefer a more affordable solution, then a filter made from granular activated carbon may be a good choice for your family. This material absorbs odours and tastes by capturing them in a mesh or granular structure.
Activated carbon has been used for decades to remove chlorine, chemicals and other contaminants from water. It is a common material in domestic filters and can be made from a wide variety of materials, including wood or coconut shell.
Reverse osmosis filters are often used for reducing salt levels in the water and are very effective at doing so, but they also waste a lot of water. The resulting water can be too salty for most people to consume, so it’s best to choose an alternative filter that is designed to remove this contaminant instead. Wasserfiler