Today’s homeowners are concerned about the quality of their drinking water. Whether you’ve got a well to serve your home or you are connected to a municipal water supply, it is very likely that the water flowing to your home contains contaminants.
Water from wells might harbor microbial cysts, bacteria, high levels of iron or sulfur, and a variety of other pollutants. Municipal water might contain cysts, chlorine, benzene, pharmaceuticals and many other contaminants. Therefore, filtering drinking water makes it much healthier. It is also a more cost-effective approach than relying on bottled water. This guide will outline the available options you have and which might be best for your home.
Types of House Water Filtration Systems
You’ve got four basic options for filtering water in your home. Each one has its pros and cons. Here’s a look at the four types and what they offer you.
Whole House Water Filtration Systems
These systems are connected to the main water line shortly after it enters your home and before the line splits for the water heater. These systems typically use multi-stage filtering that does a more thorough job than single-stage filters. They remove a long list of contaminants from the water. Most systems for the entire home use 3-5 replaceable filters.
Benefits of whole house water filter systems include cleaner water that tastes and smells better, greater longevity for your storage tank water heater and the reduction or elimination of rust stains and scale deposits in sinks and toilets. Systems designed for the entire home typically come with a 2-5 year warranty, depending on the manufacturer and product.
Faucet Drinking Water Filters for Home Use
Many homeowners save money by choosing a less expensive filter system to use on a dedicated faucet in the kitchen. Water for drinking and cooking can be easily obtained. They do a good job removing or reducing contaminants, chlorine and resulting odors. These systems use replaceable filters that last 3-6 months. One caveat, however. Running hot water through the filter will reduce its longevity. This is due to the fact that water heaters tend to collect sediment and will pass it along to the filter, clogging it prematurely.
Refrigerator Water Filters
Many refrigerators with a water dispenser now come with filters. They are designed to last 6-9 months. Most are located outside the refrigerator, but some are installed inside, slightly reducing storage capacity. They filter total dissolved solids than whole house systems. Refrigerator filters provide convenience and produce better-tasting water and ice. However, they are somewhat expensive relative to other types of filters, usually costing $25-$35 per filter.
Whole house water filtration systems eliminate the need for these. In such cases, the filter can simply be removed. This should not pose any problem for the water dispenser.
Countertop Water Filters with Pitchers
These systems use a filter inside a storage tank or carafe. You pour water from the tap into the filter and it passes into the tank. The capacity of these tanks is usually 1-2.5 gallons. A spigot at the front is used for dispensing water. The carafe or tank can sit on the countertop or be placed inside the refrigerator to chill the water before using it. A replaceable filter is used inside the storage tank.
These models are very portable, making them a popular choice to take camping, to picnics or anywhere you want to be assured of safe, healthy drinking water.
Which House Filtration Systems are Right for You?
If you plan to be in your current home for a long time, a whole house system is ideal. Using a whole house system eliminates the need for any other type. This kind of system should be installed by a professional. Faucet systems can be installed by anyone with basic home improvement skills.
If you plan to move in the next 5 years, choosing one of the other types makes the most sense. Faucet water filters are very convenient, but there is the risk of them being damaged by hot water. The best ones are reverse osmosis water filter systems. They can be installed fairly easily, and if you move, most facet-type filter systems can be taken with you.
The most affordable kind of water filtration systems for home use are the ones with a filter and a tank. The least expensive cost less than $40 with replacement filters running $6-$15.
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