There are many reasons you may be looking for a water filter, and there are many options out there to choose from. Evaluating your options might seem a bit dizzying at first, but don’t get overwhelmed. It’s easier to find the best water filter than you think. It’s also easy to buy the wrong one.
The first step to finding the best water filter—not to be too basic—is clearly defining why you need one. Different water filtration systems by for instance https://cleanairpurewater.com/ do different things. For starters, one water filter might be better at removing lead or chlorine than another. If you aren’t sure what contaminants your water supply contains, don’t worry, it’s easy to find out. If you are not on well water, you can find a water quality report your city or town here, using the EPA Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) search tool. In addition, water reports are sent to consumers every year by July 1.
If you are on well water—or if you’re not, but want to make extra sure your water is safe for you and your loved ones—you have a lot of good options for testing how safe your water is. If you would rather handle things yourself, you can either send your water away for testing at one of these EPA-approved labs, or also buy home water test kits to help you determine the same thing. These at-home tests are more simplistic than sending your water away, and will not provide you detailed information about the volume of contaminants in your water, but they are easy and cheap to administer, and consist mostly of tests that change color if a certain contaminant is present in your water at all. However, these often aren’t enough for testing needs, given that if there are any contaminants, you end up having to pay for more testing anyway, which can be time-consuming. An even more simplistic test for water is also, simply, using your senses—if water is cloudy, contains particles, or smells or tastes off, that’s a good indication you need to do more digging to determine whether it’s safe for you and whether you need to get a water filter to help filter it before your use.
Common contaminants in water that filters can help control include lead, chlorine, disinfection byproducts, microorganisms and viruses. Each contaminant has its own unique dangers. While it might seem that you’d be more likely to find contaminants in unfiltered well water, the truth is that many of these contaminants are actually more common in municipal water supplies, although there are federal and state standards for water quality for municipalities, which you can learn more about here if you’re interested. Lead, as is well known and well documented, can cause severe adverse health effects, particularly in pregnant women and young children. Generally, it enters the water system by leaching from the lead in old pipes in your water system, so this might be particularly important to watch out more if you live in a city with an aging water supply network. Chlorine typically enters water during a city’s water treatment process, and while it might not be as life-threatening as other possible contaminants, it can still cause unpleasant side effects like itchy skin. Iron, like chlorine, might not generally be life-threatening as a contaminant, but high levels of it can stain your bathtub and other household items, or might even stain clothes washed in it. Filtering out iron with a whole house filtration system can be a good investment in that it reduces the risk of your possessions being permanently damaged from continued use and water exposure. Microorganisms and Viruses can come from a variety of different sources, often waste products, and can cause severe illness; not all bacteria are harmful, but when they are harmful, they can be deadly.
When choosing your water filter, you should make sure to choose one based off of its specifications and the specific contaminants your water contains.
In addition, there are different types of water filters for different types and volumes of water. If you are looking to only filter your kitchen water, for example, an under sink water filter might be enough for your water filtration needs. These filters can be attached under the sink and might also be good if you’re looking to filter your water without a large investment, particularly if the overall level of contaminants in your water supply isn’t particularly high. Similarly, there are also shower-mounted shower water filters, which can easily filter the water you bathe in; if your main contaminant is chlorine and your main reasoning in filtering your water is protecting your skin from itching. Shower filters do not remove carcinogenic byproducts of chlorination, so in many ways they only get you “halfway there.” What you really need for healthy shower water is a whole house water filter.
If you want to filter all your water, not just a source or two, a whole house water filter might help you do just that. Like the name suggests, a whole house water filter is designed to filter all the water entering your home. If you are on city water, it can remove chlorine or chloramine as well as the trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, which are known carcinogens. If you’re on well water, which often isn’t up to the same standards as a carefully monitored city water system, a whole house water filter can be very useful in ensuring healthy water quality across the board for all of your uses and needs. It may not, however, be all you need—for example, in LA and in many other places you often need a whole house filter and a kitchen filter to fully filter your water—but in other locations it may do the whole job for you.
One step above that, you find commercial water filters. As the name suggests, this type of water filtration system is typically used by businesses or municipalities to filter very large volumes of water at once. If you’re an individual consumer, this type of water filter might be overkill, but if (for example) you own a hotel or Bed and Breakfast and are looking to provide carefully filtered water for all your guests, this might be a good option.
This article is really just scratching the surface of this very complex topic, and if you’re looking to learn more, guides like this one can help you dig further into the topic. All in all, if you’re looking for a quality water filtration system, there is some research you should do beforehand to determine exactly what you need to filter out of your water, and once you figure it out, there are many different options available to you. No matter what your problem, there is a water filter out there that can help you solve it.