While many of us would love to have access to pure, clean and great-tasting water straight from our faucets, the reality is that tap water can often contain contaminants and impurities. Rather than buying bottled water or dealing with clunky pitchers, an excellent option is to invest in an under-sink filter system. These filters purify the water directly from your tap by removing harmful substances such as bacteria, viruses, sediments and heavy metals. To guide you through your decision-making process for purchasing an under-sink filter system, this article will discuss the best under sink water filters and various factors and models available on the market.
Why should you consider an under-sink filter system?
Before diving into different models available on the market, understanding the benefits of investing in an under-sink filtration system is crucial. Here are a few key reasons:
Better tasting drinking water
An under-sink filtering process improves the taste of your drinking water by removing chlorine taste caused due to municipal disinfection processes as well as reducing unpleasant odors resulting from organic matter found in tap water.
Filtration targets specific contaminants
Homes located in areas with older infrastructure may deal with a higher presence of lead due to outdated plumbing systems. Certain filter systems can target specific contaminants like lead within your tap water supply.
Ease of use and installation
These systems are relatively easy to install and maintain compared to other filtering options. Changing filters is typically a straightforward process, and manufacturers provide detailed instructions for replacing old cartridges.
Types of under-sink filtration systems
There are two primary types of under-sink filters available – standard multi-stage filters and reverse osmosis (RO) filters.
Standard multi-stage filters
A standard multi-stage system typically includes a combination of sediment pre-filters and carbon post-filters, designed to remove various contaminants from the water. These systems work well if your primary goal is improving water taste by removing chlorine or addressing concerns like lead contamination. Standard installations will require minimum space under your sink, which benefits those with limited storage.
Reverse osmosis (RO) filters
An RO filtration system employs an additional layer of technology through a semi-permeable membrane that prevents smaller impurities such as salts, minerals or heavy metals from passing through. It effectively removes even the most minute contaminants in the water supply and drastically improves the overall taste compared to standard intake systems; however, it requires a much larger space for installation due to its larger size and associated components like storage tanks and drain connections.
Considerations before buying an under-sink filter
Here are some essential factors to consider while shopping for an under-sink filter:
Identify your specific needs
You need first to establish which type of contaminants you want to target; understanding your local water quality will help determine this. In some cases, you may want simply to improve taste by filtering out chlorine while in other critical situations addressing higher levels of lead or other potentially harmful substances found in the source might be necessary.
Different brands and models of water filters have varying lifespans for their cartridges. When comparing brands, consider not just the initial cost but how often you will need to replace cartridges and the associated replacement costs as well.
Filter performance certifications
Prioritize purchasing a filter system that has been certified by reputable organizations like NSF International or the Water Quality Association (WQA). This certification will ensure that the product effectively removes specific contaminants as indicated on their labeling.
Noise and water waste
Though rare, some under-sink systems may produce noise during operation. In certain scenarios like reverse osmosis filtering systems, they can generate wastewater. So, choose a system considering these two factors if it is essential to you.
All in all, investing in high-quality under-sink filtration systems can yield substantial benefits when it comes to protecting your health and improving the taste and quality of your drinking water. By keeping this buyers guide in mind, you will be well prepared to make an informed decision while shopping for an under-sink filter that caters specifically to your needs.