Water can become contaminated both naturally and from normal human activity. That’s the bad news. The good news is that once you know the contaminants, you are able to treat the water efficiently. At that point, you can start comparing different water filters to see which one best fits your needs. You can get a Consumer Confidence Report directly from your utility company. This report will list all contaminants that are found in your town’s supply.

However, it’s important to note that this is not necessarily going to match your own tap since pipes can also add contaminants. That said, it gives you a good starting point.

Here are 5 facts that you must know before you start looking for water filters.

1. There are Different Types of Filters

clear waterDifferent filters will eliminate specific contaminants, so it’s important that you find the right one. In order to assure that a filter removes a specific contaminant, you can look on the package to ensure that it meets the NSF-certification for that specific substance. NSF is a non-profit lab that tests filters and develops that standards used by manufacturers. There are also third-party labs that certify filters – CSA, UL, and WQA.

2. If You Don’t Regularly Change Filters, Then It’s Like Not Having One

All filtering systems must be replaced on a regular schedule or else they become ineffective. All water purification systems work in the same way. Water passes through a cartridge that can be removed. They will eventually become clogged and will not be effective, so it’s essential that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for replace them. Some filters come equipped with a light that will tell you when it’s time to replace the cartridge. Either way, it’s important that you regularly replace these filters to ensure your drinking water is safe.

3. Always Figure in the Cost of Filters

When you are looking to install a water filtration system, you will need to factor in the cost of replacing filters. Some models will be cheap but when you look at how much the filters cost, then you’ll actually be paying more money in the long-term. Filters can cost anywhere from $30 to $180, which is a substantial difference. You are almost always better off to pay more for the system as long as filters are affordable.

4. You Must Know How Much Water you Use Before Buying a Filter

One of those Brita water filter jugs might work if you live by yourself but if you have a whole family under your roof, then chances are that it is not going to be the ideal choice. You need to factor in the amount of water your household consumes before buying the filter. Don’t forget to consider water you cook with.

5. Filtering Water Runs Slower in Some Cases

Finally, you have to consider that filtered water will need time to make its way through the cartridge, so it is usually going to run slower. This is a factor that you should consider when buying a water filter. Filters are rated based on how freely the water flows.