The Different Types of Residential Water Filters

Depending on what part of the country you live in, a water filter may be an excellent way to increase the quality of the water in your home. Problems with ground water vary greatly, so before buying anything you should always check with a professional in your area. You should also contact the local health department or even a public university in your area to find out what specific water problems you should address.

Once you know what problems your water has, a built in water filter will often correct the problem. Below are five main types of filters and what type of problems they are often used to correct.

Sediment

A sediment filter, like the name implies, is used to prevent excess sediment from entering the water in your home. Sediment filters can protect other appliances in your home from needing frequent cleanings, and as such are often a good investment if you have a sediment problem.

There are two types of sediment filters, both of which consist of a filter body, a reservoir, and a filter medium. A less expensive model will require that the filter be replaced often; how often will depend on your area. However, a more expensive model will have a screen that can be cleaned by flushing water through the filter.

Carbon

Organic or inorganic water contamination can often be treated by a carbon filter. A low volume carbon filter can be installed to cover a single appliance, such a faucet. A higher volume carbon filter is installed in a supply line but service the whole house.

Carbon filters do an excellent job if they are properly maintained. It’s hard to know when the filter is saturated and needs to be cleaned, so many carbon filters have timers to let you know. If you procrastinate on cleanings, it is possible that the unit will release dangerous levels of contaminates, so be sure to commit to cleaning if you use carbon.

Reverse osmosis units

Chemical contaminants such as nitrates are often addressed using a reverse osmosis unit. Although a reverse osmosis unit cannot be used in areas with hard water or remove biological contaminants, they do a good job of filtering the water.

Reverse osmosis units can only filter small amounts of water, so you normally find them under a sink. They come with a tank that is normally under five gallons and can be used with other filters such as sediment or carbon models to give you the best possible drinking water.

Disinfection units

Biological contaminants can be eliminated by disinfection units. Disinfection units typically use iodine, bromine or chlorine to kill any contaminants. However, the taste of the water that goes through these units can often be a deterrent. More expensive units use ozone or ultraviolet light to disinfect without altering the taste, and if you can afford one, is the best option.

Distillers

Distillers are great at removing most chemical and biological contaminants. They work by evaporating water into a chamber where it cools and can be used. All of the contaminants are left in the bottom chamber and are flushed from the system.

The problem with distillers are their high cost and low volume output. They also require a lot of electricity to run. Most distillers are available as countertop models and may be the best option if your drinking water has numerous quality issues.

Water filters are an excellent investment depending on the quality of water in your home. Keep in mind that most of these options should be installed by a professional and require some upkeep, so be sure to research your filter completely before buying one.

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