4 Filtration Options to Consider When Choosing Home Water Filters
Consuming impure water can be disastrous to our health. Besides, presence of certain undesired content in the water can also damage your water supply system rendering it useless. So deploying domestic water filters is not only important but unavoidable.
Choosing Water Filters Today
Different types of domestic filters are available on the market. But, buying any water filter will not fulfill the purpose. You would need a different filter for water that you intend to use for household work and bathing, and a more advanced filter for your drinking water needs. The choice of filter would also depend on the quality of water that you want to filter.
Other factors that would impact your decision include capital cost, operating cost, and size as well as the efficiency of a filter. So you need to do some spade work before you move on to buying a filter for your needs. As a first step, get your water checked to know the contaminants that are present in your water supply.
Let us look at the various filtration options available and also learn the advantages and disadvantages of each. This information will help you buy the right filter.
1. Carbon Filters
These are available in various formats like faucet-mounted models, under-sink models and countertop pitchers. These are also commonly deployed as a permanent connection to the source of your drinking water. Under sink models are preferred by those who want their kitchen to look tidy, but the drawback is that you need more efforts to install it than a faucet-mounted model.
As water passes through the carbon filter, it absorbs the impurities to deliver pure water. Obviously it does not remove all the contaminants, but it does make the water much safer for consumption than it is otherwise. Carbon filters are able to remove lead, chlorine (generally added by water suppliers as a disinfectant), certain parasites, some organic compounds and bacteria. A lot of people install a carbon filter right at the point from where they receive their water supply.
The limitation with carbon filter is that they need to be changed after regular intervals. When used with hot water, carbon filters deteriorate much faster requiring frequent replacements.
2. Reverse-osmosis Systems
In Reverse Osmosis, dissolved inorganic solids in water are isolated from water by applying pressure that pushes the tap water through a semi permeable membrane. The special membrane lets only water to pass through, preventing the entry of impurities or any contaminants.
RO systems are considered to be the safer than carbon filters as they use two filtration technologies in sequence. A semi-permeable membrane is used to filter water in series with carbon filter. In the first phase, water passes through the carbon filter and then it is pushed into the semi-permeable membrane. The semi-permeable membrane will remove a lot of contaminants that a carbon filter would miss: perchlorate, sulfates, fluoride, industrial chemicals and heavy metals.
The drawback with RO systems is that they waste a lot of water. For every litre of water filtered about 2 to 3 litres of water is wasted.
3. Ultraviolet Light
It is a cost-effective technology that is being widely used in water filters today. It has the ability to kill upto 99.9% of the microorganisms present in water. The key advantage of UV technology is that disinfection is achieved without adding any chemicals.
Ultraviolet filters can be used in conjunction with carbon filters to remove harmful chemicals in the water too. UV filters do not alter the odor or taste of water which is another important benefit of these filters. The limitation with UV system is that they are not very effective if water that has high tannin content or has high level of TDS.
This one is the most fundamental filtration technology and is inspired by nature. It involves boiling water, followed by condensing it to obtain pure water. The energy costs are typically high with distillers, and maintenance requires significant efforts.
Distillers can remove heavy metals, dissolved solids, microbes, lead, mercury and other harmful contaminants. Distillers cannot remove volatile organic chemicals and chlorine or chlorine compounds.
As you can see, every filtration method and device has its benefits and limitations. If you are unable to make a decision, it may be a good idea to call a water equipment supply company and ask for a consultation.