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If you want to be sure the water you’re drinking is free of contaminants, there’s no better way to guarantee this than by getting a water filter.

But what sort of water filter should you be getting? And do you need every water outlet in your home?

Not to worry, read don below for our full guide on how to choose a water filter for your home!

Table Of Content:

Are Water Filters Worth it?

Absolutely. Water filters are especially useful for removing contaminants that the basic water treatment service can not.

With a water filter, you’re getting cleaner, healthier water for you and your loved ones, which is a pretty good investment all things considered.

The Human Body Is 60 Percent Water
The Human Body Is 60 Percent Water – Photo credits to Lisa (Pexels)

How Do I Choose A Water Filter?

Choosing a water filter is mostly dependant on personal factors, such as living situation, budget, and how thoroughly filtered you’d like your water to be.

We’ll go a bit more in-depth further down the article, but for a quick overview of what you should be looking for, have a look at the video below:

1. What Types Of Water Filters Are There?

1.1. Mechanical Filters

Mechanical filters range from simple meshes that filter out larger-sized contaminants such as dirt/sediment, or porous ceramic filters that can remove small organisms.

Mechanical filters are usually based on a micron rating; the lower the number, the better it is for filtering out smaller particles.

You can find out more about micron ratings in this article here.

Some Contaminants In Water Cannot Be Seen
Some Contaminants In Water Cannot Be Seen – Photo credits to Manuel Darío Fuentes Hernández (Pixabay)

1.2. Adsorption/Activated Carbon Filters

These filters work through adsorption; as water-borne contaminants are especially attracted to the various nooks and crannies found on the surface of activated carbon.

Activated carbon also works to alter the chemical composition of certain contaminants, such as chlorine and other inorganic materials, often leading to better-tasting water.

Activated Carbon Filter Units
Activated Carbon Filter Units – Photo credits to Eco Green (flickr)

1.3. Ion Exchange

Ion exchange filters reduce the hardness of water, which they do by exchanging calcium or magnesium atoms with sodium ions.

You should consider investing in an exchange filter if you find your water to be harder than usual, such as leaving stains on clothes and dishes.

It can also prevent the build-up of limescale in your pipes, which affects water pressure in the long run.

Note: While great at reducing the hardness of water, ion exchange filters don’t do much else, which is why they’re often found in tandem with mechanical or activated carbon filters.

1.4. Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse Osmosis (RO) filters are some of the best water filters market, as they’re able to remove a large majority of contaminants in the water.

It’s also one of the few water filters able to remove water-soluble contaminants, including chlorine and chromium.

However, the RO system has its downsides, such as excessive water usage and potentially lower water pressures.

As such, RO systems are mostly found in Point-Of-Use filters, as installing a RO system at a POE is both inefficient and pricy.

For more information on the reverse osmosis water filtration system, have a look at the article linked here.

Some Drinking Fountains Have Built In Water Filters
Some Drinking Fountains Have Built In Water Filters – Photo credits to Jason Gillman (Pixabay)

1.5. Ultraviolet (UV)

Ultraviolet light filters promise an environmentally-friendly option of removing bacteria and viruses for sanitized drinking water.

As UV filters only work on bacteria and viruses, they should be used in conjunction with other filters to remove contaminants such as chlorine, dirt, or lead for safe, cleaning drinking water.

2. What Contaminants Are In Your Water?

While most water entering your home has gone through some form of water treatment, they

  • Physical: These contaminants alter the physical or visual aspect of water, such as rust, dirt, sediment, or organic materials,
  • Chemical: Elements or compounds that can drastically the taste and safety of the water, with examples such as chlorine, ammonia, and heavy metals.
  • Biological: Waterborne organisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasites.

3. What Type Of Water Filtration System Should I Get?

Depending on the amount of water you use and how much filter water coverage you’d like in your house, you have the following options:

3.1. Point-of-entry (POE) system

These are outdoor filters installed at your incoming water supply. Either at your water meter or the water storage tank and guarantee full-filtered water coverage to your entire house.

If you’d like to know more about POE filters, check out our article on the types of outdoor water filters available!

WATERBORN W-300Z Stainless Steel Outdoor Filter
Outdoor Water Filter / POE system

3.2. Point-of-use (POU) system

Point-of-use systems make more sense in an apartment, rented homes, or offices; these are fixed at water outlet points in your home, such as the sink or shower (like a tankless water heater).

BACFREE Indoor Water Filter & Water Purifier BS3A
Portable Indoor Water Filter / POU system

Note: You can always use a POE System in-tandem with a POU System, if there are specific areas in the house where the water has to be thoroughly filtered, such as the kitchen.

4. Does Water Filter Size Matter?

Yes, as it determines how frequently the filter material or filter cartridge should be changed,

Smaller filters tend to wear out quicker than their larger counterparts, which will lead to a higher recurring cost.

Water filter size is also important based on your living conditions; larger houses can afford full-scale outdoor water filters, while apartments may only have the space for smaller ones.

5. Other Things To Look Out For

5.1. NSF Certification

This is an American standard for quality, performance, and safety for food/consumption-based products, such as water filters.

An NSF certification will guarantee that your water filter will be made of high-quality materials, and is completely food-safe.

The most common NSF certifications for water filters (which you can find here) are NSF 42,53, 401, and P473.

5.2. Flow Rate

Indicated as either Liters Per Minutes (LPM) or Liters Per Hour (LPH), the higher the flow rate of your water filter, the better!

Water Filters Can Affect The Flow Rate In Your Home
Water Filters Can Affect The Flow Rate In Your Home – Photo credits to Steve Johnson (Pexels)

5.3. Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs, such as basic maintenance or filter replacements, should be considered before purchasing a water filter.

Replacement filters especially make up a large chunk of recurring costs, especially for smaller indoor filters.

5.4. Size

Whether outdoor or indoor, there are a variety of water filter sizes available for just about any situation.

As water filters often give their exact measurements, make sure you have the appropriate space before purchasing one!

5.6. Ease of Installation

You’ll most likely need professional help when installing an outdoor, POE water filter, mainly due to how bulky and complicated the water filters can get.

As for indoor water filters, most are relatively easy to install by yourself.

But you can always request professional assistance if you want to be sure everything is installed correctly.

5.7. Post-Purchase Servicing

Whether it’s maintenance work or a sudden issue, good post-purchase service is key to ensuring your water filters work the way they’re supposed to.

Be sure to do the appropriate research on the company you’re purchasing your water filter from, as well as read plenty of reviews regarding their customer service.

Conclusion

And there you have it, an all-inclusive guide on what to look out for when getting a water filter for your home!

Now that you have this handy guide, check out our list of the best water filters in Malaysia to start your search!

Guan Hong

Guan Hong is the tech writer for BestBuyGet.com. He grew up loving stories so much he did a degree in English. Currently works as a content writer and has written far more listicles than he’d like to admit. His interests include tech, music, video games, and animation.