There is nothing better on a hot summer day than the perfect glass of cold water, but many of us live in areas that don’t allow us to have that pleasure straight from the tap. Bottled water is not only an expensive alternative that creates unnecessary waste, but its’ quality has also come in to question.
Container Filters – These can be left on a countertop or put into your refrigerator. Brita and other types of container filters use a similar type of drip method that a coffee pot does, to remove sediment, copper, lead, mercury and other impurities from tap water. The filter cartridges can be replaced (usually after two months or 40 gallons) and are relatively inexpensive. The actual containers or pitchers run $20-45 for most countertop-to-fridge models.
Faucet Mounted Filters – These systems connect directly to your faucet and usually require no additional plumbing. Brita, Omni, and PUR all have models under $40. The filters use an ion-exchange resin and activated carbon to remove harmful elements and impurities from tap water. Filter cartridges should be changed every 2-3 months, or after 100 gallons.
Under-the-Sink Filters – These may be a good alternative to the faucet mount if you prefer your equipment to be hidden away. Many have multi-unit chambers allowing several different types of materials to be filtered out of your family’s tap water. The filters need only be replaced every six months. Under sink filters may require professional installation. Models from Kenmore and Culligan are under $100.
Whole Home Filtration Systems – These are placed at the main water line area and help to remove rust and other particles for all your home water including lines that go to your shower, tub, or appliances. While they are appealing for preventing dirt, scale, rust, and sediment from infiltrating your home water pipes, they don’t get as high marks for removing bad odor and taste. You may want to consider adding a secondary faucet filter for that. Whirlpool has a model that is self-cleaning and requires no filter change. Prices vary – for the Whirlpool model, the range is $425-450. For the Aquasana Rhino model, the price is estimated at $800.