The water coming into your home may not be as clean as you think. Municipal water sometimes contains bacteria, minerals, heavy metals, and chemicals. Removing these contaminants is important for keeping your tap water clean and healthy. Let’s look at a few different types of home water filters and what they can do.
4 Types of Home Water Filters
Before you choose a water filter for your home, request a copy of your utilities company’s water report. This will help you understand what containments to filter out.
1. Activated Carbon Filters
Activated carbon comes from a number of materials including wood, coal, coconuts, and peat, which are dried in a furnace. Activated carbon attracts and absorbs various contaminants when water is filtered through it. These filters absorb volatile organic compounds, chlorine, and sediment. They effectively remove unpleasant tastes and odors.
Activated carbon filters do not remove salts, minerals, or inorganic substances. Some minerals that naturally occur in water are healthy, so in some cases, it is best to leave them in. These filters are inexpensive, simple to maintain, and in easy-to-use forms like a pitcher or built-in refrigerator filter.
2. Reverse Osmosis
Reverse osmosis works by using osmotic pressure to push tap water through a semipermeable barrier. The pores in the barrier filter out contaminants from the water. The reverse osmosis system removes a number of contaminants including detergents, fluoride, heavy metals, nitrates, and sulfates. The small pore size of the membrane can also filter out some bacteria and viruses.
Reverse osmosis systems are often combined with an activated carbon filter to remove chlorine. These home water filters remove up to 95% of dissolved solids. On the downside, the membrane can get clogged and requires routine maintenance to continue working effectively. The filtering process works slowly and wastes a lot of water as it operates.
3. UV Filters
Ultraviolet light, specifically UV-C, effectively kills nearly all microorganisms and prevents them from replicating. UV light does not remove contaminants like heavy metals, VOCs, and chlorine, so these types of home water filters are best used in conjunction with other types of home water filters.
4. Water Distillers
Water distillation works by boiling water to convert it into steam. The system diverts the steam into a separate container where it condenses back into water. Because most contaminants don’t travel with the steam, they get left behind.
Some pollutants have a similar boiling point to water, like certain pesticides and VOCs, and cannot be effectively removed through distillation. Water distillation is more costly to operate than some other types of water filters, and it takes more time to produce purified water.
More Types of Home Water Filters
There are more home water filters on the market than those described above. Take the time to identify the contaminants in your tap water and research filter options so you can make an informed choice about the best filter for your household.
The first step in shopping for a home water filter is to have your water tested. AWP Home Inspections provides water testing to West Central and Central Indiana. Contact us to schedule an appointment.