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.
Jug type water filters – These are designed to fit into a refrigerator door. Lids on this type of filter are sometimes fragile.
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 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. First is a sand or gravel filter that removes organic matter next is a charcoal filter which cleans larger particles and is followed by a ceramic filter that filters out many micro-organisms.
A refinement to this type of filter is a UV filter that kills microbiological creatures like Giardia and Cryptosporidium which are the two main causes of stomach upsets from the water supply. Multi stage filters are basically similar to the filters used to filter water in aquariums for tropical fish but are on a larger scale. They can also be fitted as under counter units.
A further advanced filter is called the reverse osmosis filter. Although this filter produces excellent quality water, but the process is rather slow and can take a time to process enough for a large family.
Whole House Water filters 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 will filter all water coming into your house and can also be incorporated with a rainwater collection system to cut down your water costs and needs. Think about how many bathrooms, toilets and water dependent machines you own when making your decision.