Water Filters

Types of filtration systems
 
Water filters can improve the smell and taste of water by reducing sediment, pollutants and other contaminants. Adding a system to filter your water doesn't have to require a major renovation or big investment of time and money. There are many systems from which to choose, from economical pitcher filters to more comprehensive reverse osmosis units. This guide will explain the different types of systems available and how to determine which will meet your individual needs, so you can feel confident you're selecting the right filter system for your home.   
 

Types of Filtration Systems


Water filter devices can be installed in a number of ways. The most basic filters attach to a carafe or pitcher while more elaborate point-of use and whole house systems provide filtration for a greater volume of water. A household pre-filtration system is the simplest and most comprehensive solution for filtered water throughout your home. However, when this isn't feasible, various types of filtration systems can be used to create a cost effective solution. Consult the table below to learn more about options for filtration systems.
 

System

Description

Key Characteristics

Pitcher Uses a carbon filter to reduce contaminants from water. Sizes range from around 8 cups to a gallon. • Easily portable
• Economical and easy to maintain
• Take several minutes to filter water
Refrigerator and Icemaker Provides filtered water for icemakers and in-door water dispensers in refrigerators. • Some include an automatic shutoff valve
  for easy replacement
• Use charcoal filters
• Included in some new refrigerators
Faucet-Mounted Treats water as it passes through the faucet, improving it for drinking, cooking and washing. • Require no plumbing connections
• Economical and easy to install
• Take up little space
Under Sink and Reverse Osmosis Installs below the sink and filters water before it reaches the faucet. • Filters water going to a specific faucet
• Filter cartridges tend to last longer than
  faucet mounted
• May have multiple filter cartridges
  designed to remove specific types
  of contaminants
Household
Pre-Filtration
Connects to the main water supply line within the house and filters all water throughout, including faucets, showers, washing machines and dishwashers. • Available filter types include pleated,
  poly spun and carbon wrap
• Cost-effective method for filtering
  all water in the house
Shower Filtration Reduces the effect of chlorine on skin and hair. • Compact, flexible design installs easily
  in most showers

 

Match the System to Your Need 


While municipal water has been thoroughly cleaned and tested to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards, even water that meets government standards can have unpleasant smells, tastes, or trace amounts of bacteria, chemicals or gritty sediment. Well water may contain harmful chemicals, nitrates and coliform bacteria and have unpleasant tastes and odors.  

Identify the problems with your water you want to correct then select the system that provides the best solution by referring to the table below
 

I want to...

Consider This System or Combined Systems

Reduce chlorine taste and odor • Pitcher
• Faucet Mount
• Under Sink
• Refrigerator/Icemaker
• Reverse Osmosis
Reduce the effects of chlorine on my hair and skin • Shower Filter
Reduce lead and microbial cysts in my water • Pitcher
• Faucet Mount
• Refrigerator/Icemaker
• Under Sink
• Reverse Osmosis
Reduce rust and sediment in my water • Household Pre-Filtration
Reduce agricultural and industrial pollutants in my water • Refrigerator/Icemaker
• Under Sink
• Household Pre-Filtration
Bottled-water quality at a fraction of the cost • Reverse Osmosis

 

Features to Consider  


NSF Ratings


Filters with NSF/ANSI standard 53 certification have been independently tested to show that they can reduce levels of certain pollutants under specified conditions.
 

Ultraviolet Light


Kill viruses and bacteria in water, but they don't filter out chemicals. They can be used in conjunction with carbon filters.
 

Filter Change Indicator


Look for a water filter that has a flashing light or color-changing indicator that lets you know when it’s time for a new filter.