Since water is our most basic necessity, in a perfect world, it would taste good, be safe, and easily accessible. However, our world is far from perfect, and the tap water quality is deteriorating with every passing day.
Although bottled water is an alternative, it’s not good for the environment, our health, or our pockets. Therefore, we need a more consistent and affordable solution – home water filtration systems.
In this guide, we’ll shed light on the importance of water filtration systems and how to pick the best one for your home’s water.
When Do You Need A Home Water Filtration System?
Not every household needs a water filtration system because some regions get clean tap water. You can determine if you need a filtration system by reading the annual water quality report for your area.
In some places, it’s also called the consumer confidence report and helps the homeowners make informed decisions about tap water filtration. The report tells you which contaminants are present in your drinking water and how they may harm your health. Also Read – 15 mindblowing places to visit in Sweden
Additionally, the report lists the toxins present in water. Since it’s issued once every year, a water quality report lays the groundwork for the rest of the year. Here are some things you’ll find in your report:
- Source of drinking water, such as groundwater aquifer, lake, or river
- A summary of tap water assessment, measuring the contaminations
- Health goals and regulations of the EPA for contaminants in drinking water
- Levels of all contaminants in your drinking water
- Potential hazards of contaminants that exceed the level set by the EPA
- Educational statements about immunocompromised individuals
- Contact information for the EPA’s and water system’s hotline
Importance Of A Water Quality Report
A water quality report is immensely important because it tells you if the levels of contaminants in your drinking water are above the EPA’s set levels. Thus, this report alerts you about the water being unsafe and enables you to take appropriate action for your family’s protection.
Things To Consider When Buying A Home Water Filtration System
You have to choose a water filtration system for your home depending on the impurities or contaminants you want to filter. Do you simply want to get rid of bad odor, or do you also want the filter to remove unappetizing tastes? What about heavy metals and stuff?
Depending on their functionalities, all filters have different jobs, and you need to pick one that removes the impurities implicated in your water quality report. Suggested – How Do You Start Writing A Travel Blog?
Water Filtration Options
Water filters are available in different functionalities, sizes, and shapes. Here are some kinds of filters that you can get for your home.
- Pour-through Filters: These are the simplest filters you can install in your home since they easily fit in a pitcher that’s kept in the fridge. They are also called carafes. Although inexpensive, these filters don’t last for a long time and have a limit on the amount of water they can filter at a time.
- Faucet-Mounted Filters: These filters attach to the faucet. They come with minimal installation. However, you can’t use them on all kinds of faucets, and they also slow down the water flow.
- Countertop Filters: If you want to install a water filtration system that gets the job done without needing plumbing modifications, this is your best option. Such filters can clean a large amount of water without clogging up. However, they create clutter on the countertops and are not compatible with all kinds of faucets.
- Plumbed-in Filters: These filters are installed in the existing water pipes in your home. In most cases, they go under the sink and are called under-sink filters. Although they need plumbing modifications and use cabinet space, these filters are excellent for cleaning large amounts of water.
- Whole-House Filters: These filters are directly installed at the main water source of the home – that goes to the laundry room, bathrooms, and kitchen. They have longer lifespans and effectively remove rust and sediment from tap water. These filters need to be professionally installed and may not remove chemical contaminants.
Water Filter Technologies
Water filters can be categorized on different technologies. While some filters are designed to remove chemical contaminants, others follow ion exchange filtration technology.
Here are some common water filter technologies in home filtration systems.
- Particulate Filters: Such filters merely have a simple screen blocking larger impurities, such as sediments. They’re not suitable for removing chemical impurities.
- Adsorption: Adsorption refers to the process in which the contaminants present in drinking water stick to the filter’s surface, cleansing the flowing water. Filters using adsorption technology are generally made with carbon – granulated or powdered. These filters can remove chlorine byproducts, volatile organic chemicals, chlorine, herbicides, and pesticides. Additionally, they also remove bad tastes and odors from water.
- Ion Exchange Units: Ion exchange chromatography helps remove hard metals from drinking water. Filters with this technology use a softening mechanism to cleanse water of minerals.
- UV Treatment: Filters with this technology use ultraviolet light for killing germs in drinking water. It’s the only treatment method that the National Sanitation Foundation International has certified for reducing water-borne bacteria.
- Reverse Osmosis: In reverse osmosis, water passes through a membrane, and particles larger than those of water are left behind. Such filters are effective against minerals but don’t filter volatile organic compounds or chlorine. Some advanced home water filtration systems combine carbon filters with reverse osmosis technology. Although these filters are suitable against mineral impurities, they’re quite expensive.
- Distillation: In distillation, the water turns to steam, and the impurities present in it are left behind as the liquid evaporates. Therefore, distillation is useful in removing bacteria and minerals from drinking water. Filters that use distillation need more energy than other filtration systems.
You can find different commercially available filters with specialized technologies here.
Apart from functionality and technology, you also need to consider the cost of home water filtration systems. Carafes begin from as little as $20, while whole-house filters can cost as much as $900.
When taking the price into account, keep in mind that it should cover everything from purchase to the installation of the filtration system.
Besides initial installation, water filters also need to be maintained. You’ll have to get them cleaned from time to time to prevent clogging.
How much water do you use in a day? Filters like carafes can cleanse a few gallons or cups of water at once. On the other hand, under-sink filters directly filter tap water.
Comparison Table For Home Water Filtration Systems
Depending on the contaminants present in your tap water, you should choose the filtration method accordingly. Here’s a table to help you make a decision.
|Chlorine||Carbon or charcoal filter|
|Chlorine byproducts||Carbon or charcoal filter|
|Taste and odor||Carbon or charcoal filter|
|Lead||Reverse osmosis, distillation, or carbon filters|
|Fluoride||Reverse osmosis or distillation|
|Chloramines||Carbon or charcoal filters|
|Arsenic||Reverse osmosis and distillation|
Besides learning about different kinds of home filtration systems and choosing the best type, you should also ensure that you’re buying high-quality filters from reputable companies.
Make sure that the filter’s packaging is certified by independent agencies, such as the Water Quality Association or the National Sanitation Foundation.
In the long run, an appropriate water filtration system is a useful investment in your family’s health. Therefore, you shouldn’t delay its installation if your water quality report shows an alarming level of contaminants.