There are many types of water filters that can be installed to keep water safe and pleasant to drink. Water filters may use physical filters to eliminate pollutants or utilize a process to treat water and make it safe. Here are several types of water filters that are recommended for home and office use:
Activated Carbon Water Filters
Activated carbon is a type of charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to improve its adsorptive abilities. Activated carbon or charcoal is much more effective in eliminating gases, chemicals, and toxins in both air and water, hence the popularity of its use in water filters. Activated carbon filters work by pulling organic impurities from the water before it comes out of the faucet. Carbon or charcoal filters are excellent for removing chlorine molecules and other particles, including VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and sediments, thereby eliminating unpleasant odor and taste from the water.
Limitations: Activated charcoal water filters are not as effective in removing nitrates and sodium; they also stop working once the surface has been saturated. The filters, however, may be replaced.
Ceramic Water Filters
Ceramic is a porous material that allows the tiny particles of water to pass through. However, it effectively prevents larger particles of impurities from being ingested because these are kept outside or on the other side of the ceramic filter. Some types of ceramic filters are treated with silver, making them effective in preventing algae and mold growth, and in killing bacteria.
Limitations: Ceramic water filters are not effective in removing chemical contaminants such as chlorine on its own. This is why it is often designed with a built-in activated carbon block. Ceramic filters can also crack, which makes them less effective in blocking impurities.
Distillation is a highly efficient method to purify water. This method heats up water to produce steam. Steam is then allowed to cool down, forming condensation that is then collected and used. Distillation-type water filters are effective in killing bacteria and removing most impurities. It also helps improve the smell and taste of the water.
Limitations: The distillation process requires heat, which necessitates the use of electricity or fuel. The process is also time-consuming, often requiring many hours of heating water to produce enough condensation to collect for use. Distilling water also removes helpful minerals like calcium and magnesium from the water.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filters
Reverse osmosis or RO water filters utilize a method wherein water is pushed through a type of semi-permeable membrane. This membrane filters the water by allowing water molecules through but keeping any impurities away. The system is designed to flush away the water that contains pollutants.
RO water filters are very effective in eliminating harmful chemicals and heavy metals, hence significantly improving the taste, smell, and potability of the water.
Limitations: RO water filters tend to be bulky. They also require high levels of water pressure. These systems also use up plenty of water, producing only 1/4 to 1/3 of purified water while flushing away the rest.