Are home water filter systems worth the investment?

October 28, 2014

These days people are becoming more concerned about the quality of drinking water coming from the taps in their homes, and are turning to water filters. Given the many different types of water filters on the market, it can be difficult for the average homeowner to decide the pros and cons of each. So what are they? And are they worth the investment?

Are home water filter systems worth the investment?

Faucet-mounted water filters

The easiest water filter system for the house to install is the faucet-mounted type.

  • These small, portable devices do not require expert plumbing know-how or fancy tools. They connect directly to the sink’s faucet and can be used immediately.
  • They typically have a multi-layer cartridge to filter out the contaminants that must be replaced every few months.

Under-the-sink units

The other type of home water filter is an under-the-sink unit.

  • These systems require some basic tools and plumbing knowledge.
  • In addition, it's essential to obtain the right size of filter to match the diameter of pipes under the sink.
  • While these under-the-sink filters are more expensive, they last a lot longer than the faucet-mounted ones.

Whole-house water filtration systems

The last type is the whole house water filter, which attaches to the main water line and sends clean water to the entire home.

  • The latest technology is able to remove certain types of pollutants, including some metals and many man-made chemicals.
  • Most of these filters work by converting or trapping the contaminants where they can do no harm.
  • If there is concern for microorganisms, UV light can be used to sterilize the water.
  • There are also a range of membrane filters inserted into the system that are able to remove micro particles.

Ultimately, the installation of a whole house filter will require a plumber.

  • Although they're more costly to buy and install, in the long run you'll have to decide if the peace of mind is worth the price.
  • In some instances – for example, if you draw water from a well or live in a rural region with no treated water supply from the municipality – you may have to install a whole house system regardless.

Before you buy

Before buying a water filter system, there are some basic questions you should ask yourself (especially if you opt for a larger, costlier option) including:

  • What type of system do I want?
  • What kind of contaminants need to be filtered?
  • Will the filter affect my water pressure?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Will it be maintenance-free?
  • Will an indicator show when to replace the filter?
  • Does it come with a warranty? What's covered?

N.B.: If you do install a water filter at the main pipe, make sure you are offered a warranty, in case there is a problem later on. Today, most manufacturers of whole house water filters offer online assistance.

In the end, many factors will determine if you go with a water filtration system or not: your needs and budget being chief among them. With a little more research and by talking to an expert in water filtration systems, you'll quickly discover a solution that could suit your home.

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