Water filters are available in a huge and sometimes confusing range of types and prices. The technical terms used are sometimes confusing and before making a major purchase you should satisfy yourself that the water filter has a large enough capacity to handle all your drinking water needs.
Home Water Filters vary from simple jug or bottle filters with a basic charcoal filter up to serious water processing filters that will produce crystal clear water of far higher quality than municipal tap water.
Cost is important and home water filters have the best, affordable value for filtered water.
Here is a breakdown of the different kinds of water filters:
Jug type water filters - common the most popular and is a good choice as it comes with a good filter cartridge. There are counter top models which has a larger reservoir for filtered water and these water filters last around 2 months.
Refrigerator Filters - these are plumbed into a refrigerator.This is an easy to use filter that needs to be change every 6 months. Main advantage is that cold drinking water is always available on tap
Under sink water filters - These are plumbed in to your kitchen faucet and provide clean water on tap. They have the disadvantage of not removing micro-organisms. Should be changed every 2 or 3 months, Cost around $30 for new cartridge. Some units have a charcoal and a ceramic cartridge and the charcoal cartridge needs changing regularly. The Ceramic cartridge needs cleaning and can normally be reused.
Multi stage water filters - These are usually a multi part filter system which may have three different filters. These are usually pumped systems so they need an electricity supply. Sand or gravel filter that removes organic matter, then a charcoal filter cleans larger particles as well as taste and odor, and another filter that removes micro-organisms. A refinement to this type of filter is a UV (Ultra Violet) filter that kills microbiological organisms.
Whole House Water filter systems are much larger but work on the same basis as multi stage water filters. They are correspondingly more expensive and many whole house water systems are designed for different house sizes. These whole house water filter replacements will treat all water coming into your house.