In shopping for a water filter, make sure the type of filter you choose is effective for the contaminants specific to your water. Request a water report from your utility company to better understand the condition of the water. This guide to the types of home water filters will help you choose the right filter for your needs.

Activated Carbon is One of the Types of Home Water Filters

Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, refers to carbon that has been made more porous with oxygen. Activated carbon filters reduce contaminants in water through chemical absorption. In the absorption process, contaminants bond to pores on the carbon’s surface. Eventually, the filter reaches capacity and has to be replaced.

Activated carbon filters can reduce sediment, chlorine, certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and metals like lead and copper. Bacteria, nitrates, and dissolved minerals are not removed by activated carbon filters. Among the types of home water filters, activated carbon filters improve the taste and smell of water.

Reverse Osmosis Filters

With reverse osmosis filtering, water passes through a semi-permeable membrane to remove contaminants. Reverse osmosis filters are considered more effective than activated carbon filters. The CDC reports that reverse osmosis filters effectively remove bacteria, viruses, and parasites like cryptosporidium and giardia. The chemical contaminants that reverse osmosis filters remove include chloride, lead, copper, and sodium.

Water Ionizer System

Unlike other types of home water filters, water ionizers are not designed to get rid of germs and chemicals. Water ionizer filters use electrolysis to divide water into alkaline and acidic streams. The alkaline component is the ionized water for drinking and cooking. Ionized water has a higher pH level than natural water. While there have been many claims about the health benefits of drinking water with an elevated pH level, there’s little scientific evidence to support those claims.

When Researching Types of Home Water Filters Consider Ultraviolet Light

Ultraviolet light filters, also known as UV filters, kill microorganisms that remain in tap water after it has been treated by your municipality. Microorganisms include parasites, bacteria, and viruses. UV filters are highly effective at killing germs, but they don’t remove chemical contaminants such as metals.

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