How to Buy a Water Filtration System for Home

By Polly Palindrome

Buying a water filtration system for your home has many benefits. The most obvious one is that a filtration system makes your water cleaner, tastier, and safer to drink. Removing harsh minerals and metals from the water also has additional benefits for your hair and clothing, as softer water is less harsh and will not be so drying. In some cases using a filter can save water and help prevent global warming. Not all filters save water though so read on…

Faucet-Mounted Water Filter

There are two main types of water filtration systems for the home. One is a faucet-mounted system, which attaches to a single faucet or more than one faucet if you want to buy several filters. These filters are cheap and easy to install, as you usually just screw them onto the faucet. Faucet-mounted systems usually have a small carbon filter inside that needs to be changed every couple of months. More expensive systems have a hose that connects to a small machine that sits on your counter top or under your kitchen sink. This machine is the actual filter. These electric filters tend to be expensive. For example, the eSpring system from Amway sells for almost $1000.

In-Line Water Filter

The second option in water filtration systems for the home is an in-line system. This is a large filter that mounts to the plumbing system and filters the water before it even enters your house. The obvious benefit of this type of filter is that a single filter works for all the faucets in the house, even the ones in the garden. These filters run into the thousands of dollars, but need little maintenance once installed. The main filter needs to be changed about once a year, depending on how much water you use.

Aside from the filter model and system, you also need to think about what contaminants you will be filtering. This will depend on where you live and what comes through the tap. Cheaper filters typically only get rid of chemicals and chlorine and cannot remove heavy metals or microbes. More expensive filters get rid of everything, including organic contaminants, lead, and more. If you donft know what type of filter you need, test your water first. You can buy a testing kit at hardware or home repair stores.

Water filtration systems are not a one-size-fits-all solution. For example, if your water is high in calcium or other minerals, you might need to use a water softening system on top of your filter. The testing kit you buy should also measure the minerals in your water.

Reverse-Osmosis Filter

There’s an additional type of home filtration system known as a reverse-osmosis filter. These filters must be installed under the sink and are bulky and expensive. They also create a lot of waste. The filters discard up to five gallons of water for every gallon of clean water they produce. These filters require regular maintenance, which can increase the overall cost of the system. Reverse-osmosis filters are a good choice if you suspect your water might contain solids, pesticides, or arsenic, though, as reverse osmosis gets rid of all of these contaminants.

If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford a faucet or in-line system, your other option is to buy a pitcher filter. Pitcher filters, also known as carafe filters, have the obvious disadvantage of only being able to filter a couple of liters of water at a time. Their filtration tends to be slow and their cartridge life is short, so they are not the most convenient type of filter. Despite those shortcomings, the filters themselves are still effective in getting rid of chlorine, calcium carbonates, and bad odors. Pitcher filtration systems do not purify water, however, and are not meant to replace more advanced water filtration systems for home.

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2 Responses to “How to Buy a Water Filtration System for Home”

  1. Jackie Sandoz
    June 24th, 2012

    We use a reverse osmosis system at home. Not bad but definitely a water waster. Might be better off with faucet filters like britta and pur. Plus we have to put salt in our water softener. Anyway great post. Thanks!

  2. […] come in different shapes and sizes. The best (but most expensive) option involves setting up a home filtration system, which ensures all the water coming out of the faucet is already clean and safe to drink. Pitcher […]

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