Here at Water Filter Stuff, we believe that filtering your water at home is one of the best things you can do for your health. While tap water in many areas is treated to remove contaminants, research shows that trace amounts can still get through and negatively impact your health over time. For example, a 2019 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that even low levels of lead in drinking water can negatively affect child development and behavior. Using a quality water filter is an easy and affordable way to get cleaner, better-tasting water right from your own faucet. We can help guide you to the best water filters for home use.
Health Benefits of Filtered Water
There are many advantages to filtering the water in your home:
Removes harmful contaminants – Water filters are effective at eliminating or reducing heavy metals like lead, pesticides, chemicals, chlorine and more that municipal treatment may miss. This improves the quality and purity of the water.
Improves taste – One of the most obvious benefits of filtered water is that it simply tastes better. Filters remove chlorine and other compounds that leave an unpleasant taste or odor.
Eliminates pathogens – Many filters are designed to trap microbiological pathogens like bacteria, viruses, cysts and more that could make you sick. This is especially important for at-risk groups like children, elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
Reduces exposure to lead – Lead leached from old pipes is a big concern. Water filters provide an extra barrier against this neurotoxin entering your glass and body. Even small amounts can harm development.
Gives healthier cooking and drinking water – Cleaner water for cooking helps remove impurities from entering your food. And drinking purified water hydrates while avoiding toxins found in unfiltered tap water.
Types of Water Filters for Home Use
There are a variety of water filtration systems available for home installation. The major types include:
Countertop Filters: These are pitchers or other containers with built-in filters. They’re affordable and easy to use, but have limited capacity and filtering power.
Faucet Mount: Attaches directly to the kitchen faucet. They filter as water passes through. Good for reducing some contaminants but don’t handle large volumes well.
Under Sink: Installed out of sight below the sink. This whole-house solution filters all water entering the kitchen faucet. Effective filtration but more expensive.
Refrigerator Filters: Many fridges come with built-in filters that process water dispensed from the door. Limited capacity but convenient.
Reverse Osmosis: Uses pressure to force water through a membrane, removing minerals and contaminants. It’s important to note that reverse osmosis removes both harmful contaminants and beneficial minerals. If desired, remineralization filters can be installed to add helpful calcium, magnesium and other healthy minerals back into the water post-filtration.
Shower Filters: Attach to shower heads to filter chlorine and other chemicals that can be absorbed through skin from shower steam and water.
Pros and Cons of Different Filter Types
There are positives and negatives to each system:
Countertop filters: Affordable and mobile but limited capacity and filtration power.
Faucet mount: Convenience of filtered water from tap but may slow water pressure.
Under sink: Strongest filtration but high upfront cost and requires installation.
Fridge filter: Easy access from fridge but filters water from that appliance only.
Reverse osmosis: Very thorough filtration but wastes water and filters slowly.
Shower filter: Improves shower experience but doesn’t provide drinking water.
Choosing the Right Filter
With so many options, select a filter based on:
Your budget – Basic pitchers are under $50 while under sink and reverse osmosis cost over $150 or more.
Your needs – Do you want filtered drinking water, or whole-house protection? Filters differ in what they remove so choose based on issues in your water.
Your household size – Larger or more active households may need higher capacity filters that can handle more water usage.
Your plumbing – Some install under your sink so require compatible plumbing for hoses and fittings.
Filtration standards – Look for filters certified against industry standards for contaminant removal. This ensures safety and effectiveness.
Ease of use – Pitcher and faucet filters are simplest while under sink and reverse osmosis require installation.
Maintaining and Replacing Your Filter
Some filters waste more than others. Reverse osmosis can waste 3-5 times the purified water produced but new efficient models minimize this. It’s important to note that reverse osmosis is still the most effective filtration method for thorough contaminant removal. For those concerned about water waste, installing a permeate pump or storage tank can help improve efficiency. Alternately, choosing another filter type may be preferred if water conservation is a priority.
To keep your filter working properly:
Change cartridges regularly – Every 2-6 months for most filters. Look for indicator lights or follow manufacturer guidelines.
Inspect for issues – Check for leaks, cracks or conspicuous buildup and replace if present. Many cartridges have limited lifespans.
Flush and disinfect – To prolong filter life, flush regularly to prevent clogs. Occasionally disinfect the unit.
Keep spares handy – Have replacement cartridges in stock so you can swap out expired ones immediately when needed.
Neglecting maintenance shortens filter lifespan and allows contaminants to break through, so follow the above best practices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do water filters remove beneficial minerals?
Some filters like reverse osmosis reduce helpful calcium and magnesium. Consider remineralizing filtered water or using mineralizing filters.
Is filtered water less safe than tap water?
No – Quality filters actually make water safer by removing more contaminants municipal treatment can miss.
How much water do water filters waste?
Some waste more than others. Reverse osmosis can waste 3-5 times the purified water produced but new efficient models minimize this.
Can water filters eliminate all contaminants?
No system removes 100% of contaminants. But certified filters eliminate most lead, chlorine, microbes, chemicals and particulates that harm health.
The Bottom Line
Installing water filters is an easy way to provide cleaner, better tasting water throughout your home. And safe water provides immense health benefits, especially for children and those with compromised immunity. Be sure to select the right filtration system based on your household needs and budget. Your family’s health is worth the investment!
EPA Guide to Water Filters: www.epa.gov/waterfilterguide
NSF Consumer Guide to Water Filters: www.nsf.org/consumer-guide-water-filters
FDA Water Filter Buying Tips: www.fda.gov/waterfilters
CDC Info on Water Contaminants: www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking
American Water Works Association Water Quality Info: www.drinktap.org/Water-Quality
Water Quality Association Water Treatment Guide: www.wqa.org
Let us know if you need any clarification or have additional questions! We’re happy to help you find the right filtration solution.