Water quality is an issue that’s raised more than a few concerns over the past few decades. Despite the continuing efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency and state and local water agencies, chances are very good that the water you use every day for drinking, cooking and bathing is far from pure
. If your water is supplied by a well, it could be affected by contaminants in the ground water – and no one is treating it for those contaminants but you. Even if your water is supplied through a municipal water treatment facility, there are many contaminants that may slip through. Some aren’t considered harmful
– they only do things like stain your teeth, or give your water an unpleasant odor, taste or appearance. To complicate things still further, the very chemicals that we put in our water to kill harmful bacteria leave traces in the water, and make it unhealthy or unpleasant for bathing or drinking. A home water filter may be one of the best and most important investments that you ever make.
The type of home water filter you choose depends on a number of different factors:
- What’s wrong with your water?
If you suspect that your water is contaminated, have it tested or test it yourself to determine what contaminants are present. They’ll determine what sort of filtering you need.
If your water is unsafe to drink, you’ll need a filter for drinking and cooking water. A point of use water filter may be all that you need.
If your water is hard and doesn’t lather easily or clean things properly, it isn’t practical to install point of use filters on every water line. A whole house water filter system might be a better choice.
If your water has objectionable smells or tastes, or contains high levels of heavy metals, a point of use may be practical and more affordable, but may only take care of part of the problem.
If your water contains a high level of chlorine, it can affect your skin, hair and even your health if you use it for showering and bathing. A shower filter can remove the chlorine and other contaminants from the water in which you bathe.
See water filtration methods for which treatment options are best for the specific types of contamination your need to control.
- Where does your water come from?
If you get your water from a well, a whole house filter system is a must, because your water isn’t treated at all before it comes into your house.
If your water comes from a municipal water facility, you might consider point of use filters like faucet filters, inline filters or countertop filters as well as a shower filter to remove impurities that are left behind in the water treatment plant.
- Do you Own your Home?
Obviously, if you own your home, you have a lot more liberty when it comes to choosing a water filter. If you live in a rented home and are concerned about water quality, hard water, water purity or just hate the taste, smell or feel of your water, there are many water filter systems that you can install without making permanent changes to the plumbing system.
As you might have guessed from the descriptions above, there are two main types of water filter systems for your home. Point of use
water filters are installed where the water is to be used and only filter the water at that one point. Point of use water filters include:
countertop water filters
Continued: Types of Home Water Filters»
Last Updated: May 16th, 2013