The quest to find the best filter on the market is not over. Before you buy any type of water filter, you also want to look into the tech specs and additional features.
Measured in gallons per minute (GPM), the average flow rate of a home is around 10-15 GPM. Some filtration technologies and products will likely lower the flow rate in your home. Reverse osmosis filters, some ACB/GAC water filters, and even some water softeners may have an impact on the flow rate of your home.
Our advice is to look for the filtration system that has a minimal effect on the flow rate. If you need a specific filtration system or combination of filters (especially if you live in a large house and need to satisfy the needs of a large family), you can talk to a plumber.
Filter Life and Capacity
These are key features to look for in any filtration unit, no matter its type or technology. The filter life and capacity of a unit tells you how often you need to replace the filter.This is usually measured in gallons or months/years whole house water filter can clean hundreds and thousands of gallons of water before you need to replace their filters. Some ACB/CAG or reverse osmosis filters have lifespans of 3-5 years before they require any intervention from your part.
On the other hand, smaller sized filters like water filter pitchers, countertop filters,faucet filter, and portable water filters have lower or even short lifespans. Some can filter hundreds of gallons before they need replacement, others last for a few tens of gallons.
As we have mentioned, few commercial filters are coming with only one stage of filtration. Even water filter pitchers can sport 2-3 filtration technologies and stages. The best water filters on the market come with combination technologies and multiple filtration steps. The more screens, mediums, and membranes your water passes by, the cleaner it will be. Remember that the more complex and advanced a filtration system is, the more money it may cost.
We mentioned above that a sediment filter could remove particles larger than 5 microns. On the other hand, reverse osmosis systems remove particles that are as small as 0.0001 microns. UF units eliminate contaminants ranging between 0.01 and 0.5 microns. Before you buy a water filter, make sure you read its tech specs and understand what to expect from it when it comes to contaminant removal.
Filtering the water in your home saves the planet from thousands of plastic bottles a year. Still, the conversation about the eco-friendliness of water filters is a bit longer. Some filtration technologies waste water to make clean water.Water softeners and some reverse osmosis filters are not as eco-friendly as you might think. Look for the tech specs and watch out for the following:
- Wastewater vs. clean water ratio in RO systems. Ideally, 1:1 is the best, but 3:1 works as well. The best thing about RO systems’ wastewater is that you can collect it. You can then use it for washing the car, the yard, and even tools.
- Quantity of brine flushed by the water softeners. In some cases, you can also collect this water for a carwash, building exterior wash, and similar activities.
- Look for water filter pitchers made of glass instead of plastic;
- Look for units whose filters are recyclable or compostable.
Tools and Accessories
Like most home appliances, there are additional tools and accessories you can buy in order to enhance performance. A water softener or awhole house water filter usually includes a bypass valve and some installation tools. You can even find that some reverse osmosis filters integrate with UV filters, and most water filter pitchers coming with extra replacement filters.
Before you buy any water filtration product, read the description carefully. Make sure you already have the tools available. It’s best to lay out all tools and parts in order to make sure that your unit is complete.
You always want to check the warranty and return policies for your unit. This not only applies to water filters but also for any appliance for your home. Some manufacturers offer 5 years, 10 years, or lifetime warranty for their products. Of course, the more extended the warranty, the better for you.
Units such as whole house filters, water softeners, and reverse osmosis filters generally have generous warranties because of their price range. Basic filtration devices (countertop, faucet, pitchers, etc.) have warranty policies ranging from 1 month to 1 year.