The Pros and Cons of Various Filter Technologies
A water filter comparison can be done in various ways. One is to compare the various methods used to purify water; like reverse osmosis, ultra violet filtering, distillation etc.
Another way a water filter comparison can be done is to evaluate the main types of water filtration systems such as the carafe/pitcher, faucet, under sink and whole house filters.
One can also do a water filter filter comparison by looking at the types of water filter media used in the filter cartridge, such as the ceramic and activated carbon media.
A more general way is to do a water filter comparison is to look at where a water filter is located.
Location depends on whether its a point of entry filtration system (POE) or a point of use system (POU). This is the comparison that will done here.
Which of these two systems should you use? Before this can be answered, you need to know what these systems are as well as their pros and cons.
Point of Use Water Filters (POU)
These type of units filter water in batches, just before it enters your tap. Examples of this type of system are pitcher, countertop, under sink and faucet mounted filters.
Faucet + Shower Water Filters
Counter Top Drinking Water Filter
* Less costly than point of entry systems
* Improves the quality of water after it leaves your plumbing. It is suitable for human consumption – drinking, cooking etc.
* Its great for removing bad odor, biological contaminants, chlorine, lead, heavy metals, organic and inorganic chemicals.
* Filters a smaller amount of water in comparison to point of entry
* If you have multiple point of use systems, it could be a hassle to remember to change all of them when they expire
Point of Entry Water Filters (POE)
These are installed after your water meter, where your municipal water enter enters your home but before you water reaches your tap. Two of the most prominent examples of POE systems are whole house filtration systems and water softeners.
Whole House Water Filtration System
* One unit serves the entire house
* Generally easier to install than point of entry systems
* Improves water quality for general usage like bathing, washing dishes and the laundry
* Will do a good job in removing dirt bad taste, smells, rust, turbidity and chlorine.
Please note. Documentation available from the manufacturershould indicated to what NSF standard the particular water filtration system is certified. This tells you which contaminants the filter is scientifically capable of removing.
* More costly
* Needs professional installation
* Point of entry systems filters are typically not certified to the same standard as point of use systems – and with good reason. After the point-of-entry unit filters your water, lead contamination may be reintroduced as the water passes through your plumbing and out of your tap. Read on for the solution this problem.
Should You Use One System or Both
It all depends on what the filters are capable of removing and the filtering capacity.
Take for example the point of entry system like a whole house water filter (pictured above).
It is certified to NSF/ANSI 42, and is capable of removing drinking water contaminants for aesthetic purposes. That is, it can remove bad smells and taste, chlorine, hardness and rust from water, throughout your entire house.
Because of its large filtering capacity, some see it as being very cost effective in the long term.
It however is not certified to remove chemical contaminants or lead. For this, it is better to go with a point of use system certified to NSF/ANSI 53, like these quality countertop water filter and under counter water filter.
These however, can only filter atone tap and hence have a lower filtration capacity.
For the cleanest, healthiest water, you can install both systems. The whole house water filtration system pre-filters your water by removing a lot of dirt and chlorine so as not to over load your point of use filter. Then the point of entry filter takes over and removes the chemicals just before the water comes out of your tap.