Where Do I Start in Choosing the Right Water Filter for my Family?
1. You must evaluate your specific water filtration needs. Are you interested in only a drinking water filter or do you need a shower filter? Determine what your family needs.
2. Decide if you want to target any specific contaminants when filtering your drinking water. If you receive water from a public water system, it likely has chlorine added to disinfect your drinking water. In addition to chlorine, there may be added fluoride that you may want to remove. You will want to find a water filter that is certified to remove chlorine AND Trihalomethanes (a carcinogenic by-product of chlorination) as well as fluoride.
3. Do your own research on water filters. Find out what exactly a water filter does. In order to understand certification claims, you will need to know a little about the process of water filtration.
4. Choose a brand of water filter that removes the most contaminants. In this way, you KNOW you are covered for anything that will come out your pipe! Most manufacturers offer a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product.
5. Check to see what the cost of cartridge replacements. What may seem like a cheap costing filter may end up costing you hundreds in maintenance!
6. Check out the manufacturer…How long have they been in business? Will they be there for the long run to service you and support the product?
The Popular Filters
Basically, water filters fall into two categories — point-of-use and point-of-entry. Point of use, such as pitchers, faucet-mounted, or shower filters are the most popular because they are the least expensive. Point-of-entry is a whole-house filter that filters the water before it even makes zero water vs berkey it into your pipes.
Here are the most popular methods and how they work.
Carafes or Pitchers. Carafes/Pitchers filter small quantities of drinking water inexpensively and can reduce up to 99 percent of chlorine, require no installation and are inexpensive. Priced from about $15 to $60. Some carafes/pitchers can filter up to 2,000 gallons of water on a single filter.
Faucet-mounted. These filter drinking and cooking water with easy installation and allow switching between filtered and unfiltered water. They range in price from $20 to $60.
Countertop. These filter large amounts of water without plumbing modification. The filters get water from the faucet by replacing the standard aerator (the part where the water comes out of the faucet) with a diverter valve. Pulling the knob on the diverter valve sends water through the filter for drinking. Diverter valves won’t fit faucets with the pull-out vegetable sprayer. They are less likely to clog than carafes or faucet mounts, but they can clutter countertops. Prices range from $50 to $300.