How to Filter Water at Home

Published 14.12.2023

Water filtering has risen in popularity and has become so easy to do from the comfort of your home. If you’re looking to purchase a water filtering system at home, Cool Water Company has got you covered. Read on for a simple step-by-step guide to filtering water and enjoy clean, fresh water from your tap everyday! 

The Need for Water Filtration

Tap water often includes common contaminants such as chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria, parasites and a high level of minerals. 

This can come from old pipes and elements that aren’t fully removed during the municipal water treatment. If you consume a lot of these contaminants daily, you could end up with gastrointestinal illnesses, increased cancer risks, and developmental issues in children.

The signs of your water needing to be filtered include an odd taste or odour, visible impurities and discolouration. In areas with inconsistent water quality, we recommend a water filter at home. 

Types of Water Filters

Various types of water filters are available for your home. These include:

1. Jug filters

Jug filters are pitcher-like containers that have a built-in filtration system. 

These are portable and easy to use, and they can be easily stored in the fridge for constant clean and fresh water.

2. Faucet-mounted filters

These attach to the spout of your tap to provide clean, filtered water straight from your tap. 

These are easy to install and a quick and easy solution for filtered cooking and drinking water.

3. Under-sink filters

These filters are installed under the sink to filter the water before it reaches the faucet. 

This is great for filtering a larger amount of water, saving you time, and it is more effective at removing a wider range of contaminants.

4. Whole-house filtration systems

Whole-house filtration systems are installed where water enters a home. This provides more widespread filtration for your home, including showers and appliances. 

This includes a multi-stage filtration process to reduce any contaminants that can affect appliances in your home.

5. Reverse Osmosis Systems

These systems use a semi-permeable membrane to remove any impurities from your water supply. 

This includes the removal of dissolved salts and minerals, which other filters may not be effective at removing. With reverse osmosis filtration, your water will remain odourless and tasty. 

6. UV water purifiers

UV water purifiers use ultraviolet technology to kill bacteria and viruses in your water. 

This is extremely effective at disinfecting water and removing bacterial contaminants for chemical-free drinking. This is also a great eco-friendly alternative. 

7. Inline water filters

This filtration system is installed directly in your home’s water line for direct use of appliances such as fridges and ice makers. 

These are easy to install and maintain for everyday use.

How to Choose the Right Water Filter

Various factors contribute to whether a certain filtration system is the right fit for your home. These include: 

Water Quality

Begin by testing the quality of your water at home. You can use an at-home test kit or schedule a professional assessment. Look for common issues like heavy metals, chlorine, bacteria, nitrates and pesticides. 

Also, check if your water has any discolouration, odour, or alarming taste, which could indicate chlorine, compounds, or bacteria growth.

Filtration Needs

If you use tap water frequently for drinking and cooking, you may benefit more from a point-of-use system such as a reverse osmosis unit or faucet filter.

Consider a whole-house filtration system for widespread use, including laundry, bathing, and home appliances. 

Choosing the Right Type of Filter

Each filter comes with its own benefits for various areas. This includes:

  • Activated Carbon Filters: This efficiently removes organic compounds and chlorine for improved taste and odour. 
  • Reverse Osmosis: Effective against various contaminants, including dissolved inorganics.
  • UV Filters: Ideal for disinfecting water from biological contaminants.
  • Ceramic Filters: This is Effective for removing particulates and pathogen reduction.
  • Ion Exchange Filters: Mostly used to soften water in hard water areas and remove heavy metals.

Filter Capacity and Maintenance

Consider a water filter with a higher capacity for a more durable filtration system. This will prevent you from needing to replace or repair your system often, saving you money in the long term.

If you want a filter requiring minimal maintenance, opt for a longer-lasting cartilage system.

Certifications and Standards

Look for certified filter systems from recognised organisations like NSF International or the Water Quality Association. 

This will indicate whether the filter meets specific standards for contaminant reduction. Additionally, ensure your filter meets the international standards for water filtration for an effective system.

Installation and Space Requirements

Certain filters, such as jug and faucet, don’t require professional installation, whereas more complex designs like under-the-sink and whole-house systems do. 

If you have a small space to work with, opt for a portable faucet system for better home efficiency. 

Budget Considerations

Compare the filter’s upfront cost with its repair and replacement cost. 

A more expensive filter may save you money in the long term as it requires little maintenance and upkeep compared to cheaper options. 

The Maintenance of Water Filters

Often, filters become clogged and lose their ability to filter your water efficiently. To avoid this, regularly clean and sanitise your filter to extend its lifespan. 

Certain types will need replacing every few months, such as carbon filters, which require replacement every 3-6 months and every 2 years for reverse osmosis membranes. Besides the filters themselves, faucets, pipes, and storage tanks may also need occasional replacement. 

Regularly inspect your filter for leaks, cracks, and other signs of wear and tear and address them immediately to prevent contaminated water.