Clean drinking water is vital for the health of you and your family, including your pets. A water filter removes specific contaminants from your tap water. However, there are several different types of home water filters to choose from, and making the right decision isn’t always easy.
First, determine what your specific concerns are; do you want to filter out chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride from city water? Do you live in a rural area, and need to filter out bacteria and protozoa? Once you learn what you need to filter out, choosing the right type of home water filter will be much easier.
Types of Home Water Filters
You can find several different types of home water filters that are commonly available. You may need to choose more than one type of filter to achieve your goal.
Activated Charcoal Water Filters
Activated carbon or charcoal filters are among the most common and affordable types of home water filters. Activated carbon is widely used to remove chlorine, agricultural pesticides, and organic compounds from water. You’ll find activated charcoal in most pitcher filters and in the filter elements of larger whole-house filtration systems.
Carbon filters often act as pre-filters for other types of water filters, capturing larger particles like silt and sediment. An activated charcoal filter will also remove odors from your water, making it taste much better. This is because activated charcoal absorbs chlorine and other contamination.
Activated Alumina Water Filters
Activated alumina is manufactured out of aluminum oxide. Activated alumina is very effective at removing arsenic, fluoride, and selenium from your drinking water. In fact, the activated alumina can reduce up to 99% of the fluoride in your drinking water. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health discovered that childhood exposure to high levels of fluoride corresponded with a lower IQ.
Ceramic Water Filters
Ceramic filters have many tiny pores that filter out contaminants that are larger than the pores. Ceramic water filters treated with silver are effective at killing bacteria and protozoa. Silver infused ceramic filters also prevent algae and mold from growing in the water. Ceramic filters can last for years and are a popular choice for off-grid applications.
Reverse Osmosis Filter
Reverse osmosis forces the water through a membrane with tiny pores. The pores let water pass through, but filters out contaminants. A reverse osmosis system is typically bulky, with a pre-filter, the reverse osmosis membrane, and a post-filter. Also, a reverse osmosis system can be a big investment. Reverse osmosis filters are highly effective for removing heavy metals and a variety of harmful chemicals.
Water distillation involves boiling the water, and as the steam condenses and turns back into a liquid, it is collected as pure water in a container. Countertop water distillers are often used to purify water. Distilling also removes all of the minerals from the water, which some people don’t like because it takes away flavor.
Choosing among the different types of home water filters is easier once you have your water tested to find out which contaminants it contains.