Choosing the right type of water filter
When looking for the right type of water filter for yourself, for your home, or even for your business, the best approach to take when finding a filter that’s best for you and your needs is by first determining:
- Application – Will this filter be used just for drinking? For protecting the appliances in your home? To treat bad city/ well water? Or for all the above?
- Your needs – What are you most concerned with in your water?
- Budget – How big of a system do you need? How clean do you want the water to be?
You may not know the answer to all of these questions, and that’s ok. But having an idea of at least one (two if possible) of any of the three points is advised to make an informed purchase.
The type of filter
Once you have your one or two points figured out, the next step is to get familiar with the different types of common filtration methods to help you find the right filter:
- Activated carbon – widely used in water filtration systems. Carbon is very effective at improving taste, removing chlorine and many other contaminants. Carbon based filters alone will NOT remove microbes, sodium, nitrates, fluoride, and/ or hardness in water.
- Water softening – Uses a concept called ion exchange, where “hard” ions found in your incoming water (i.e. Calcium, Magnesium) are exchanged for “softer” ions, in this case sodium chloride (salt) or potassium. Mainly for removing scale deposits you see on shower heads and faucets, and improves effectiveness of washing and laundry machines.
- Reverse osmosis – One of the most effective and inexpensive methods of removing upwards of 99% of all TDS (total dissolved solids). This method pushes water through a semipermeable membrane, which separates the water into two streams, one is the product stream, and the other is the waste stream. Although RO systems remove many contaminants found in water, they also remove beneficial minerals found in your water supply. RO systems for drinking are best used in conjunction with carbon filters and filters for adding essential minerals back into the water.
- Ultraviolet (UV) – This filtration method is used to disinfect your water from harmful bacteria. Opposed to killing bacteria in the water, UV disinfection actually deactivates the active site of the bacteria’s DNA, making it unable to reproduce. More commonly used for treating well water, and like an RO membrane, this method is best used when used in conjunction with other filtration processes.
Picking the filter
Once you have determined the application and type of filter you need, the next step is picking a system that can fit in your budget, and can meet your expectations.
Some points to consider with each type of system:
- Carbon based filters – Need to be changed regularly, mostly used for chlorine and odor issues, and can be a breeding ground for bacteria if not used/ changed out frequently. Be aware of retailers using very light weight carbon filters = lower quality = less filtration.
- Water softeners – Must be maintained regularly, requires refilling salt tank, does not filter chlorine or contaminants.
- RO systems – More involved process to set up, slower production of clean water, can remove all minerals in water, and needs other filters in conjunction for best drinking water quality.
- UV systems – Only treats bacteria/ viruses in water, can make water warmer as it runs through the UV light.
Look out for lower than average price points for these items. Most times retailers have lower price points because the filtration media they are using are of a lower quality, and will only work for a very short period of time, which will require more filter changeouts more frequently, and overall resulting in a lesser quality water on average.
Choosing the right filter for you, your home, or business can be a little uncertain – but if you follow these simple guidelines, you are sure to find a much more suitable and hopefully better overall filter for your needs.
We here at Flow Motion Water Systems are proud to offer high quality filtration systems that are guaranteed to give you the highest quality water for your money.
If you have any questions or hesitations about making the right choice of water filter, please reach out to us and we would be happy to help you find the right water filter that matches you and your needs.