The selection process of a home water filter should take many different factors into consideration, from the type of water you are dealing with to the volume you need to purify. Home water filters can be installed either at the point of entry (POE) or point of use (POU), so the first decision you need to make is which of these to choose. If you have hard water, or are concerned about certain types of contaminants, then a point of entry filter will provide you with clean water throughout the house. You also need to decide on a type of home water filtration technology, such as reverse osmosis or activated carbon, which is a choice that should be based on the types of contaminants that need to be removed.
Before you start shopping for a new home water filter, you should do some water quality research. If you get your water from a utility, then you can start by contacting them and asking for a water report. You can also order your own report, which is typically necessary if you have well water. After you have that information on hand, you should be able to determine what characteristics to look for in a filter.
There are a number of different home water filter technologies, each of which can remove certain types of contaminants. The simplest designs are mechanical filters, or screens, which can remove particulate matter, but cannot deal with chemical contaminants. Activated carbon filters can deal with volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), chlorine, and typically improve the flavor of water as well. If you are concerned about chemicals such as fluoride, arsenic, and chromium in your water, then a reverse osmosis filter is an option you should consider.
The next step in selecting a home water filter is to decide between a point of entry system and a point of use device. Point of entry filters are installed at the junction where the water enters your house, and they can provide filtered water to every faucet in the building. If you have hard water, then a point of entry filtration and softening system can help prevent deposits from forming in locations such as your hot water heater.
Point of use filters come in a wide variety of configurations, and they are typically designed to provide drinking water. The best point of use home water filter to choose can depend on how much water you need each day. A simple water bottle filter will typically provide enough clean drinking water for a single person, but if there are a lot of people in your household you should look at other filter styles. Fridge water filters can provide a convenient source of chilled water, and pour-through pitcher filters are very simple to use. In-line sink filters do require some installation work, though they can typically provide a large volume of water very quickly.