We have already discussed many of these devices and systems in individual posts, but it would be helpful to have an overview of all of them in one post.
If you have spent some amount of time on this site, it’s most likely pretty clear to you that filtering your home drinking water is a good idea. This post will show you all the possibilities.
Faucet and Counter Top Filters
Generally the most affordable option, counter top and faucet filters are great for purifying your drinking water. They are, however, limited in some ways (can only use for one tap or a limited amount of water, unless you want to install them on multiple taps. Also, you can’t use them for your bathing or showering water).
For a comparison of faucet and pitcher filters, check out this post. Also, we endorse and recommend the PUR DS 1800z, which is a pitcher style dispenser.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse Osmosis systems are more expensive than the products in the previous category, but they are more effective and they can handle larger volumes of water. They use a series of fine filters to completely purify the water. One downside is that the water is often so purified, minerals are stripped right out of it. Thankfully, products like the Home Master remineralize the water and restore the pH.
Shower Water Filters
Many people don’t think of their shower water being harmful, but there is a lot of evidence that chlorine is damaging to our skin and breathing shower water vapor is not good for our lungs. There are number of products that can be installed on the shower tap to effectively filter out impurities as well as chlorine from the water.
One example is the Aquasana AQ 4100, which we have reviewed here on the site. This is an affordable product that could be used in conjunction with an RO system or a counter top filter to help you purify all the water you come in contact with.
Whole House Water Filtration Systems
The most expensive option of all those mentioned here, a whole house water system will also take care of all the water in your house (water from every tap, including the shower). There are several things to consider before installing such a system and we went over some of these in our post on pros and cons of whole house water systems. The best way to describe the installation of a whole house system would be “long-term investment.” At the same time, you will benefit decidedly because of how comprehensive it is.
There are other varieties of water purification for your home that I have not discussed above, mostly because they are far more expensive and in some cases impractical, for most people. As an example, UV light treatment is becoming a popular option for many people living in rural areas who are looking to purify their well water (or even municipal water). These systems are usually installed in an underground chamber and while they are effective, they are costly to install and they require significant labor.
The above list includes a variety of options, but they are distinguished by their relative low cost and their ease of installation and operation.
If you use any of the methods above to filter the water in your home, please share your thoughts in the comments. Also, be sure to mention any other specific product recommendations you may have if you don’t see something on this list.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/6233306398/