What Type of Water Filter Does Your Home Need?
There are almost as many water filter types on the market as there are different types of homes. From sophisticated pitcher filters to whole home water filtration systems, the different types of water filters are each designed to fit a specific type of lifestyle, and a different type of water.
Types of Water Filters
For every unique water problem, there’s a targeted water filter that can typically address it. For example, if your water is hard and mineral rich, a water softener is likely to be the best water filter for your home. If, on the other hand, your water has an unpleasant taste or odor, a filter with activated carbon or a Reverse Osmosis filtration system can give you fresher, better-tasting water right from your tap. There are also filters that can ionize water, change its pH, and some even use infrared technology to neutralize contaminants. The first step to choosing the right water filter for your home and your individual water needs starts with identifying a few key objectives:
Determine your Lifestyle and Budget
One of the most important questions you can ask to determine what type of water filter might be right for you is to identify how you use water at home, and what kind of benefits you’d like to see from a water filter. For example, the right water filter for someone who simply needs better tasting water from their kitchen sink will be quite different from the homeowner who needs to improve their hot water heater or washing machine’s efficiency, while reducing wear and tear on plumbing and fixtures.
A point-of-use drinking water filter (like a kitchen sink filter) is much easier to install, typically requires less alterations to plumbing, and is also generally more affordable than larger, whole-home filtration systems. So if your budget is modest, but you’d still like to treat your water for a better taste at home, a drinking water system would be a great choice. If, on the other hand, you’re ready to invest in your home and its water quality, installing a whole home water filter can not only improve water taste and quality, it can add benefits all over the home from reducing utility bills to prolong the useful life of some of your major appliances.
The Right Water Filter for Where You Live
The next step in determining your ideal water filter type is to identify you water quality.
- Is water hard?
- Does it have an unpleasant taste or odor?
- Does it leave behind aggravating residue or staining?
Knowing where your water comes from, and what’s in it, will go a long way to helping you narrow down your water filter choices. In areas where surface water is the primary source, like lakes and rivers, you’ll be looking at different contaminants than areas where groundwater is the primary source. In either case, your local Culligan Man can test your water for free and go over the results with you so you can better understand the makeup of your water, and what you need to filter out of it to get the desired results at home. If you already know you have a certain type of contaminant, like bacteria or chlorine, you’ll be one step closer to finding the right type of water filter:
- Bacterial contaminants are best solved with UV water filtration like that in Culligan UV Disinfection Systems.
- Treatment chemicals like chlorine or fluoride are best addressed through whole home filtration, like the Culligan’s Gold Series Water Filters.
- Need to treat water for lead, arsenic, or E.coli? Reverse Osmosis filtration is the most reliable method to ensure water is contaminant free.
- Looking for better tasting, better smelling water? A drinking water system like our Aqua-Cleer® Advanced Under Sink Water Filter provides multiple layers of filtration for the best tasting water, right from your kitchen sink.
Local Water Infrastructure and Home Construction Details
Understanding your home’s plumbing, and your local municipality’s distribution system is another key component to the water quality of your home. For example, your community may use UV filtration to remove contaminants before the water even reaches your home. In other areas, water may be treated with aesthetic chlorine, or fluoride may be added at the city level, so you may be encountering potentially undesirable treatment chemicals in your water you’d prefer to eliminate. If you access water from a well, you probably already know that regularly testing your water is key to maintaining safe, delicious drinking water at home.
In other situations, your plumbing may be an issue. Especially in older homes, where lead piping or fixtures was common, you may be dealing with water leaching chemicals or minerals from the pipes themselves. Your local Culligan Man can help you understand this in greater detail after a home water test, and your local water bureau’s website should be able to give you a pretty clear picture of both your area’s water source(s) and the treatment methods used to ensure it’s safe for drinking and using at home.