Are you concerned about the quality of drinking water that you get at your home? If you are worried by studies that show how drinking water may contain different chemicals, heavy metals and pathogens then you should get yourself a water filtration system to quash your doubts for good.
Once you’ve decided to put your good health in the hand of water filter, there are several options available. The market is flooded with many models of water filters from various brands employing different filtering technologies that the prospect of buying a filtering system can overwhelm you.
The following five things will help you get a general idea about what to look for in your water filter.
1. Removal of contamination
The primary reason to install a water filtration system is to get rid of the contaminants that are present in tap water and get safe water. Water coming to your household may contain several impurities that can have serious effects on your health.
Biological impurities like bacteria, cysts and other micro parasites can make their way into your body via impure water. In addition, several studies have shown that household water may contain harmful chemical pollutants that are linked to high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression, etc. Furthermore, there may be carcinogenic heavy metals like arsenic and lead in tap water.
So, to select a filter get your water tested properly in a certified lab to check what contaminants may be present and then decide which filter suits you the best. Most of the filters remove around 40 contaminants, while some can filter as many as 60 and others remove just about 25 contaminants. If your water contains more contaminants get a filter that removes them.
Activated Carbon filters can expel organic compounds, chlorine and THMs and most of the parasites from water; but for nitrates, sulfates, arsenic and heavy metals you will need to get reverse osmosis or UV filter systems.
2. Filtration rate
It’s very likely that most people will not care much about the maximum daily filtration rate when they are looking for a filter. But a wise buyer should pay attention to it. Maximum filtration rate is the amount of filtered water a filter can produce each day. So, if your daily water consumption outweighs the maximum gallons of water produced by your filter, the filter is not right for you.
Different filters available in the market differ significantly in their maximum filtration rate. It is essential to get one that meets or exceeds your usage slightly. On the other hand, you should also avoid buying filters that filter far more water than you actually consume because they are usually more expensive.
So first get a good idea of how much filtered water you need daily and select your filter accordingly.
3. Quality of water
Your filter should not just remove contaminants but improve the overall quality of water. This includes getting rid of foul taste and pungent smell and maintaining proper pH balance but preserving natural minerals that are healthy for you.
Filters employing reverse osmosis may seem to be the ultimate solution in your quest for finding healthy water but it is not always the case. While it removes several unwanted impurities, it also eliminates minerals that are healthy.
In fact, it removes several natural minerals that are necessary for our body like calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, fluoride etc. Deficiency of these minerals may cause gastrointestinal problems, bone density issues, joint conditions, and cardiovascular disease. The lack of minerals also makes water tasteless and increase acidity.
In case your water does not contain very harmful contaminants in non-negligible amount, you might want to go with active carbon filters that preserve minerals. Alternatively you can get filters with remineralization elements that add necessary minerals to your water after completing the filtration process.
4. Installation and operating cost
Your budget will have a significant influence on the type of water filter you buy. The cost of a filter is determined by many factors including the number of stages applied to process water, filtration rate, storage capacity etc. Similarly if a filter has a remineralization cartridge, it will cost you more.
Besides the money you pay upfront, there are additional costs that come with having a filter. You will have to change your cartridges so make sure how much they cost. Calculate how much electricity your filter uses. Keep in mind that filters that may appear expensive when you first buy them, but might prove to be cheaper in the long run.
You do not need to have the most expensive and complex system to enjoy healthy water. Determine what type of contaminants you have to eliminate from your tap water, your daily water use to find out what best suits you. Do not spend your hard earned money on something you do not need. And, do not hesitate to go a little over budget if the situation calls for it.
5. Ease in maintenance
Usually water filter cartridges need replacing after some time. You’ll have to consult your water filter guide to determine how often you need to replace your cartridges and always replace them in time. You might want to avoid filters that require frequent cartridge change.
Depending upon their types, water filters have different maintenance requirements. Some level of monitoring is necessary for all filters but more complex systems demand more of your time and expenses.
For instance: A 6 phase Reverse Osmosis Filter may require changing several cartridges that too at different intervals. In such filters, pretreatment of feed water is mandatory for durability of the filter. In case the feed water is hard, water softener is indispensable to avoid severe scaling of membranes due to magnesium and calcium deposits in filter parts.
To ensure that your filter keeps working efficiently, you will need to take proper care of it. Keeping your filter in excellent working condition is essential to ensure you get pure, healthy water.
Getting a water filter is a serious task because your health is on the line. Therefore it must take considerable amount of research before you install one. Failing to consider other factors apart from the fundamental function of making water pure and healthy in search of a perfect water filter, might make you regret your choice later.