As we are all too aware, the quality of the water we drink is sometimes suspect. Often there are contaminants in tap water. These can also be found in well water. While efforts are normally made to ensure the water that we drink is pure, often you will find traces of nasty ingredients such as heavy metals, industrial chemicals and contaminants such as PCB’s.
Other nasty things in our water include fluorides, chlorine, pesticides and pharmaceutical residues.
The solution to clean water is sometimes right under our noses and can be as simple as installing some type of water filter.
A good water filter system will improve the smell and taste of your water as well as work to remove the impurities. A filter will not make the water acidic.
There are several different types of water filters for the home.
- Water jug filters
- Tap carbon filters
- MWF filters
- Reverse osmosis filters
- Under sink filters
- Countertop filters
- Whole house filters
There are pros and cons for every type of water filter. What you install in your home is entirely your choice and should fit in with your lifestyle and available space. Some countertop filters take up a large amount of space, while others simply work on purifying the water in a jug.
Modern fridges will often already have the best MWF water filter as a standard option and while you may pay a little more for them, they are well worth considering.
One of the advantages of getting a fridge with an MWF is far cheaper than other methods of filtration. There is also the bonus that your water is cold.
Even if you don’t have a fridge with a filter, they can easily be installed as they do not need any plumbing work. Additionally, having the water right in the fridge means that the lifespan of the filter is longer that those you would use in a jug type.
What to look for in an MWF filter
- Not all filters are the same, some work better than others. Filters that are installed in fridges are often your best option, although there are still some things you should keep in mind.
- Maintain and replace the filter. If this is not done, then dust and dirt will build up. Pollutants will build up in the system and eventually the water will start to taste funny. Additionally, dust and dirt build-up will mean that the life of the appliance will be compromised.
- Keep an eye on the indicator light. This is the only way you can be sure that the filter is working as it is supposed to. Most modern fridges come with replacement indicator lights, should they stop working. However, if the light stops working you should see if the filter needs to be replaced first.
- If you have an older fridge where there is not an indicator light, then you need to make a note of the day you replaced the filter. Write it down to remind you when it needs replacing. Filters should ideally be replaced every six months.
- Watch the dispenser speed. This is another sign that your filter needs replacing. It is common for filters to get clogged with materials and pollutants so if the water is not dispensing quickly enough you may want to check and replace the filter.
- Check the ice. If you use your filtered water to make ice cubes, then be sure to check them frequently. If your ice has a strange smell or they do not look crystal clear, then you need to replace the filter.
- Taste the water. Does the water have an odd smell and taste? If so, you need to replace the filters.
Before you buy
Any filter system you buy should come with a warranty. If a company does not stand by their products, then you may want to look elsewhere.
How to check your water
If you think that your water supply is not as clean as it should be you should have it checked.
The best place to do this is at the local water company office. They will normally have issued a report on the water quality in various areas and if you are classed as being in their jurisdiction you should be able to see how the water rates there. There water reports are available to the public at no charge.
If you cannot find this out, then you can also Google the name of your city and search for the ‘water quality report.’
To sum up
Before you buy a filter system for your home, you should know what is in the water and which chemicals you want to remove. This will dictate the type of filter system you purchase.
Very basic water filter systems will take out such elements as Chlorine, while more sophisticated filters will remove heavy metals and other pollutants.
Decide where you can place the filter system before you buy it. Some are ideal for using on the countertop while others need more space. If you want to get a filter system for the fridge then be aware that you may lose some internal space.
Never buy a home filter system unless there is a warranty with it. You should also be able to get replacement filters easily. If you cannot get hold of them, your filter will not work well – if at all.