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5 Things To Look For In Your Water Filter

5 Things To Look For In Your Water Filter

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

Sight – Visual Stimulation

The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

1. Maximize your exposure to light.

Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

3. Take note of your environment.

Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

4. Engage in conversation.

Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

5. Listen to upbeat music.

Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

6. Work your nose.

Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

7. Have a good breakfast.

Start off with the most important meal of the day.

Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

8. Drink lots of water.

Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

Touch – Tactile Stimulation

Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

10. Splash cold water on your face.

Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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11. Use acupressure.

Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

12. Get moving.

Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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