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Water Filter GuideWater water for a healthy life
Do I need a water filter?|
A) Does my water has a smell?
B) It my water not quite clear?
C) Could there be contaminants in my water?
We offer information about your options before you buy.
There is a wide range of water filter types. Take a quick look at the differences.
Water Filter Facts:
1. Types of systems: Water filters are available in different form factors, such as water filter pitchers and faucet water filters for drinking water and large under-sink water filters or whole house water filters. Pitcher filtration systems, where the water drips through the filter directly into the pitcher, are convenient for keeping purified water in the refrigerator, while faucet attachments offer the option of filtering water continuously right out of the tap. For areas where the water supply is a concern, reverse osmosis and other large-sized filtration units can filter water for the household even before it reaches the tap.
2. Filtration methods: Different water purifiers use different methods of filtration. One method is to run water through filters that trap contaminants and remove them from the water. Filters, often in pitcher-style and faucet-attachment systems, can be made of activated carbon or charcoal and can remove contaminants as well as unpleasant tastes and smells. Faucet and pitcher filtration methods allow you to filter small volumes of water, such as a gallon or less. A second method, reverse osmosis, uses a high-pressure water flow through a specialized type of filter called a membrane and can include multiple filtration stages. Reverse osmosis systems, which often fit under a sink or at the point of the household's main water supply, can filter large volumes of water for multiple uses.
3. Uses: Water purifiers can improve the taste of drinking water, remove unpleasant odors and generally make drinking water more enjoyable. You can also use reverse osmosis filters to remove organic contaminants, such as bacteria and microbes, from your water supply. All filtration methods are designed to remove inorganic matter, such as chlorine and lead, from your water supply, which can improve both the taste and the color of your water.
4. Certifications: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you look for one or more of three certifications when choosing a water filter. These certifications are from the Underwriters Laboratories, the Water Quality Association and NSF International. The certifications, which may appear on the product's packaging or on the product itself in the form of an icon or similar mark, can also help to ensure that a particular filter addresses the specific uses you have in mind when buying a water filter. 5. Considerations: Most water filters use types of filters that will eventually need to be replaced. The frequency with which a filter needs to be replaced varies depending on the individual product and may be noted on the product's packaging. Some products provide the information in terms of gallons of water filtered, while others refer to timelines, such as one or two months. It is helpful to take into account both the cost and availability of replacement filters when choosing a water filter.
Water keeps you healthy, energized, alert, hydrated and looking good. With all of the reasons you have to drink plenty of water, a home water filter system can be a sound investment. Read on to discover tips on how to buy water filters and explore clean drinking options in this water filter buying guide.
Buying Water Filters:
1. Filtering systems: The type of water filter system you decide upon will depend on the type of contaminants you want to eliminate and your level of water consumption. You may also want to test your tap water to see what needs to be removed from it and choose a water filtration system accordingly.
2. Water filter pitchers: The most common type of water filter is the water filter pitcher that you fill with tap water and keep in the refrigerator or on the countertop, depending on the temperature you prefer. Water filter pitchers use replaceable carbon filters which trap sediment and reduce levels of chemicals, chlorine and other byproducts in your water.
Pros and Cons of Water Filter Pitchers
Pros: Because the pitchers can be put in the fridge, you can always have access to cold filtered water. Some water filter pitchers are small enough to be portable, and you can drink directly from them. Water filter pitchers and replacement filters are both very inexpensive.
Cons: The pitcher needs to be refilled frequently, and most water filter pitchers only hold enough water for two or three people.
3. Faucet water filters: This type of water filter fits onto the faucet and filters water with a carbon filter as it pours from the tap, reducing chlorine, sediment and a variety of minerals that can affect the pure taste. Many faucet-mounted water filters also reduce bacteria and lead. Most faucet filters let you bypass the filter for nondrinking water so you can preserve the life of the filter cartridge.
Pros and Cons of Faucet Water Filters
Pros: Faucet water filters give you a continuous flow of drinking water for even larger numbers of guests. They attach easily to the faucet, most without using any tools. Water is instantly filtered, making it convenient to have filtered water for drinking as well as cooking.
Cons: You can only use the filter with cold water because hot water will cause the cartridge to deteriorate prematurely. Refill cartridges can be more expensive for faucet water filters than they are for water filter pitchers.
4. Under-counter filters: Under-counter water filters are attached to the cold water line underneath your sink. The filtered water is dispensed through a separate above-sink faucet.
Pros and Cons of Under-counter Filters
Pros: Under-counter water filters give you a large amount of filtered water for drinking or cooking. These water filters stay out of sight to keep your kitchen tidy. Generally, their cartridges need only to be changed twice a year. Cons: Under-counter water filter systems require a bit more work to install, including changes to your plumbing fixtures.
5. Whole house water-filter systems: These filter systems include "point-of-entry" filters that purify the water as it comes into your home. This means that all of your water is filtered, including the water in your dishwasher and washing machine. When choosing a whole house water-filtration system, you will need to determine your family's water usage; most households need about 10 to 40 gallons per minute.
Pros and Cons of Whole House Water-filters
Pros: Home water filters are available with different types of filtration, so you can choose one that is right for the water in your area. With all of your home's water being filtered, you will have pure water for drinking and cooking. Filtered water can eliminate rusty water, which can discolor your clothes. In your shower, filtered water can lead to healthier hair and less dry skin.
Cons: While whole house filters are excellent at removing sediment and rust, most do not remove parasites, possibly requiring the use of a second type of filter for your drinking water. These systems also require a good deal of work to install.
6. Activated carbon (AC) filters: Carbon water filters attract and trap carbon-based impurities, such as chlorine, that give water a bad taste. This type of water filtration is the most common and usually the least expensive.
7. Distillers: The distillation process is fairly simple: The dirty water is heated to the boiling point until it vaporizes. The steam is directed into a cooler, leaving impurities behind and condensing back into liquid water. The end result is purified water. Some impurities cannot be distilled, however.
8. Ultraviolet (UV) disinfecting devices: Ultraviolet light is capable of killing all types of bacteria and viruses. In addition, ultraviolet disinfection works quickly without using heat or chemical additives that may alter the composition of water.
9. Reverse-osmosis (RO) filters: Reverse osmosis is a method of producing pure water by forcing impure water through a semi-permeable membrane. Salts or impurities cannot pass through this membrane. This process removes many contaminants.
10. Ionic exchange water filters: Using a process that percolates water through special resins, ion exchange water filters soften hard water and de-ionize water, which many people believe has health benefits. This method does not remove organic contaminants, however.
Quench your thirst with clean, purified water when you buy water filters for your home. Whether you want a reverse-osmosis water filter you can connect to your plumbing or a simple tap-water filter that attaches to your faucet, the following suggestions will help you find the best water filter for you and your family. Read on for tips on buying water filters.
What Water Filter:
1. Buy filters that target specific impurities. Before you buy any home water filters, you'll want to identify the problems with your tap water. If you know your water contains a lot of contaminants, including harmful metals and chemicals, you'll probably want to invest in a reverse-osmosis water filter. This water filtering system, which connects directly to your home's plumbing and mounts beneath the sink, uses a semi-permeable membrane to filter water and catch impurities. Reverse osmosis home water filters use no energy, flush all collected sediments down the drain and provide filtered water at a low cost.
2. Look for water filters that remove odors and flavors. If your water has an off-putting taste or smell, you may want to try a carbon water filter, which contains activated carbon. This type of water filtering system uses the carbon, which has a slightly positive charge, to attract chemicals and particles that have negative ions and remove them from the water. A carbon water filter is particularly useful for eliminating chlorine and many man-made chemicals that affect your tap water's taste and scent, but you'll want to buy a water filter that is better at removing inorganic pollutants and metals if they are present in your water. You'll also need to replace carbon cartridges frequently in even the best water filter so that the contaminants do not accumulate and breed bacteria.
3. Find a water filter that attaches to your tap for convenience. When you want to buy a water filter that is affordable and doesn't require any installation, look for faucet water filters that fit over the faucet in your kitchen or bathroom. This type of tap-water filter allows you to strain your water only when necessary or switch between filtered and unfiltered water if you're cooking or washing dishes. Faucet water filters can also be removed easily and placed on other faucets in your home.
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