If you’re worried about your drinking water’s quality, buying a water filter is one of the most innovative steps you can take. Even if your local water supply provides you with safe drinking water, a high-quality water filter is an investment into your health that you won’t regret making.
But how can you pick the right one for your needs when there are so many fantastic options out there?
To help you make the best purchasing decision, we’ve compiled a list of several key steps you should take to narrow down the list of products. Let’s dive in.
Consider Which Contaminants You Want to Remove
The first thing to keep in mind is that water filters don’t remove all the drinking water contaminants. They can eliminate most of them, including lead, mercury, chlorine, pharmaceuticals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like pesticides and herbicides.
However, some can remove only a few dozen contaminants, while others can eliminate as many as 60.
Find an expert to test your water supply to find out what contaminants might be making their way into your system. Once you know which you want to get rid of, you’ll know which products to look for.
Pick the Right Type of Filter
Healthy Kitchen 101 shares some of the most popular types of water filters including:
- Reverse osmosis water filters
- Activated carbon water filters
- UV water purifiers
You can choose from faucet-mounted, countertop, and under sink filters as well.
If you want to filter out most heavy metals, arsenic, nitrates, and sulfates, you can consider a reverse osmosis filter. Keep in mind that it doesn’t remove all solvents, pesticides, and VOCs. For instance, it can’t remove radon and chlorine.
If you want to remove chlorine, organic compounds, VOCs, odors, and most bacteria, then an activated carbon filter might be your way to go.
A UV water purifier can destroy harmful pathogens and microorganisms to prevent bacteria from entering your drinking water. It can’t remove chemicals or change your water’s odor and taste.
Do your due diligence and learn everything about various filters to select the right type for your needs.
Look Into the Maximum Filtration Rate
Many consumers think a higher filtration rate means the filter will provide cleaner water, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
The maximum filtration rate refers to the maximum gallons of water that go through a particular filter per day. That’s why it’s also referred to as the flow rate. It shows how much filtered water you can get daily.
Many buyers ignore this factor, but you wouldn’t want to end up without filtered water during the day, would you?
Determine how much water you consume daily and find a filter that can produce just a bit more. Don’t go overboard because higher filtration rates typically translate to higher price tags.
Consider Your Water’s Hardness Level
You know that water is harder in certain regions, but do you know why? It’s because of a high mineral content, particularly calcium and magnesium.
If the water in your area is hard, you might want to think about getting a water softener. It will soften your water by exchanging calcium, magnesium, and other minerals for potassium and sodium. That’s why water softeners are often referred to as ion exchange units.
Even hybrid water filters like WHESFC include a water softener, thus improving your water-using appliances’ performance and extending their lifespan say the experts at ecopurehome.com.
Think About Water Remineralization
Most water filters remove most, if not all, essential minerals together with various contaminants. That can negatively affect your tap water’s taste and increase its acidity. Needless to say, your body needs all the essential minerals it can get to stay strong and healthy.
Now, there aren’t any settings for you to choose when using a water filter to keep the important minerals in your drinking water.
That’s where water remineralization comes in. It improves your water quality by adding in natural minerals after the filtration process.
Reverse osmosis water filters remove all the minerals, while their activated carbon counterparts preserve them.
Some reverse osmosis systems have an integrated remineralization stage. If you use one without it, you can remineralize your water with an alkaline water filter or add trace mineral drops in your filtered water.
When buying a water filter, you’ll certainly consider the price as well, but don’t let it be the deciding factor. It’s far more critical to look at the contaminants it filters out.
Keep in mind the ease of maintenance, too, because you’ll need to replace your water filter cartridge regularly. They can last from several months up to a year, depending on the type, household usage, and local water conditions.