Water Filtration System Comparison
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Ratio (w/ Tank)
Water Filtration System Buying Guide
What is a Water Filtration System?
When looking for a water filtration system there are a number of factors which will determine which is the best water filtration system for your needs.
What is in your water? The first step to choosing a water filtration system is to learn what is in your water. Any community over 100,000 people place reports on water quality on the EPA website. The water company may also be able to provide a copy. Private wells are not regulated and must be tested to determine toxic levels and a measure of which pollutants arte a concern. The EPA puts out drinking water standards that provides acceptable ranges for toxins and pollutants. Personal filters are often stringent enough to reduce these numbers below acceptable ranges set by water companies. Water quality in your home will also be determined by the pipes that are passed along the way. Since 1986, all home pipes must be lead free. For those built before that time it is possible to have lead levels in water that can be effectively filtered out. Testing the water is another way to find out what is in the water that may need to be filtered out. Test kits can be found at hardware stores or from your local water department.
What Style Water Filter System Do You Want? Water filtration comes in several forms. Filters built within a dispenser, counter filters, faucet mounted filters, under sink filters, and whole house filters. Whole house filters are the most expensive but filter all water in the house rather than just drinking or sink water. Under sink filters provide greater filtration than faucet mounted filters, but also come with a higher price. Over the sink filters offer stronger filters than those built into a dispenser. Counter filters can provide solid filtration as a stand along unit. What you choose will depend on the water purity you are looking for and the current condition of your water.
What is your budget? Water filters can range from a $20 for a pitcher that provides filtered water to a couple thousand dollars for high quality whole house filters. Whole house units are the most expensive but filter all water that enters the home. Faucet filters and counter filters provide single stage carbon filtration. The middle range filters are under sink units which provide high levels of multi stage filtration at an affordable price.
Features to Consider
What Type of Filter Do You Need? Filters come in a few different processing units that determine the level of filtration. Carbon filters, reverse osmosis, ultra violet and distilling are the most commonly used filtration systems.
Carbon filters are one of the most common types of water filters found in homes. These low cost units offer the removal of a range of toxins that are found in home water. Pitchers, faucet mounted, under sink models, and whole house models frequently utilize carbon filters as the sole filtration or combined with other processes. Carbon is a porous material that is able to absorb water impurities. It can remove items like lead, chlorine, parasites, radon, herbicides and pesticides. Gasoline additives, dry cleaning solvents, and bacteria can also be found in city water and carbon filters will remove these as well.
Reverse Osmosis uses a semipermeable membrane to push the water through which creates a fine filter. These are often used with carbon filters to increase water purification. Their weakness is they are not efficient and can waste a lot of water. They are a stronger filter and can remove chemicals that carbon filters leave behind. Sulfate, fluoride, heavy metals and industrial chemicals can be removed with these stronger filters.
Ultra Violet filtration systems specialize in killing bacteria. They are available in countertop and whole house units and are a cost effective solution. These can be combined with carbon filters for very efficient filtration.
Distillers are the least commonly used process in home applications. The water is distilled through boiling and condensing. They are available in a countertop option, however, they use a lot of electricity and generate heat through the boiling process. They are able to remove heavy metals such as lead, particles, dissolved solids, fluoride, microbes, mercury and fluoride.
Replacement Filter Costs are an important consideration when choosing a filtration system. Without changing the filters as they wear out, the system cannot effectively remove contaminants and filter water long term. Filters need to be replaced anywhere from 1 month to 1 year depending on the type of filter and the use. Check replacement filter costs before investing in a system to ensure you are able to keep up the filter system. Multi stage systems come with several filters that will have different replacement schedules.
Refreshing water that is clean and pure is a highly sought after commodity. Thus the bottled water industry is a billion dollar industry. Installing your own water filtration system will eliminate the need to purchase bottled water while still giving you clean water that is free from toxins and contaminants. Under sink filtration offers a multi stage system that gives you the cleanest water while still remaining cost effective. You can then use the water in BPA free bottles saving you money. These units are easy to install and the filters are affordable.