Water filter systems - what are your choices?

Water Filter
Using water filter systems is a necessity given the levels of contamination in tap water. Filters can remove many types of bacterial, chemical and other pollutants that make tap water unsafe to drink. Studies show that even bottled water often lacks the required level of purity.

With many different types of water filter systems available on the market, making a choice that is right for you can seem difficult. Some of the options include whole house water filters, pitcher filters, under the sink filters and faucet mounted filters.

Having a broad idea of how each of these water filter systems work and some of their features can help you decide which one would be best for you and your family. One of the main things you should consider is how much water you need to filter - this will help narrow down your choices.

As can be inferred from the name, whole house water filters are installed at the source of the water supply to your house. In some areas, the level of contamination in the water supply is quite high. Many people in this situation prefer to have all their water filtered, not just the water meant for drinking or cooking. If that is so, a whole house water filter makes perfect sense. One of its biggest plus points is that it eliminates the need for separate filters at water faucets.

Installing this type of water filter can be more expensive compared to other filters, in part because it must be professionally installed. Once installed however, these filters are quite economical. The filter needs to be replaced only around once in six months or so at a cost of ranging from $15 - $25. Some models made by Kenmore are highly recommended by many reviewers. They give an excellent water throughput and can provide filtered water for all residential purposes.

At the other end are pitcher filters, which are portable and can be used just about anywhere. Water is added to the top of the pitcher. It passes through internal filters and trickles down to the bottom portion. The biggest drawback of this type of filter is that it takes a while for the water to filter though and accumulate in the bottom portion. Therefore, this filter is useful only for those who have an occasional need for filtered water. Pitcher filters are economical - a typical filter may handle up to 40 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced. The replacement cost can range from $10 to $20.

Under the sink water filter systems provide clean water for a single sink outlet. They usually require professional installation, although dedicated do-it-yourselfers are known to install these filters themselves. Unlike pitcher filters, the water flow rate with under-sink filters is very good and it can provide a steady stream of filtered water. Filters typically need to be replaced every six months or so and the replacement costs only around $20. This is a popular option with many homeowners and there are several good models available to choose from.

Faucet mounted water filters are designed to filter water straight from the tap. They are simple and easy to install - even the technically challenged do it themselves. You get a steady flow of filtered water, so this type of filtering has a much greater throughput as compared to pitcher filters, which only fill up very slowly. Faucet mounted filters are inexpensive and the filters can last from two to four months. Many models allow you to get an output of unfiltered water when you need it (for example, for doing dishes). This way, you don't use up the filter unnecessarily.

One or a combination of these water filter systems is likely to be the right choice for you. Thinking through your needs should help you zero in on the right water filter for your home.

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