There are a few things homeowners should know when considering replacing their home’s water filtration system. Unlike simply replacing a filter, replacing an entire filtration system will take a bit more research.
Local and Home Water Quality
Homeowners should check out the Consumer Confidence Report from their municipality to understand the levels and types of contaminants present in local water. A home’s tap water should also be tested to see what kinds of chemicals are coming into the home’s water system. A few things to look out for include:
- Bacterial contamination
- Strange taste or smell
- Floating particles and/or cloudy appearance
Armed with this knowledge, homeowners will have a better idea of what to look for in a new home water filtration system.
What’s in a Water Filtration System?
Also called Point of Entry (POE) systems, whole house water filters are installed to filter water before it reaches the heater, bringing filtered water to every faucet in the home. Each system has multiple filters with unique qualities and functions.
The first filter, a sediment pre-filter, will remove rust, sand, debris, silt, and sediment.
The next filter is typically an activated carbon filter and is responsible for removing contaminants through a process called adsorption.
A copper-zinc and mineral filter removes additional contaminants such as chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria and microorganisms.
One optional step in the water filtration process is a water softener or descaler that uses ion-exchange technology to make water softer.
A post-filter is responsible for filtering out particles as small as 0.35 microns, depending on the size of the mesh holes.
And finally, a UV filter can kill remaining microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria that may have slipped past the previous filters.
Key Characteristics of a POE System
When considering a whole house water filtration system, homeowners need to consider the following:
Each system produces a different volume of filtered water per minute. It’s important to measure a home’s water needs during busy times, like mornings and late evenings, to make sure the water filtration system can produce enough water when needed.
Type of filter
As mentioned in the previous section, the number and types of filters in each POE system will vary, so homeowners need to know their home’s requirements and personal preferences.
Typically the more gallons a system can filter before it needs to be replaced, the higher the cost. One benefit of a whole house filtration system is lower maintenance requirements, which can make an investment into a high-capacity POE system worthwhile.
The highest quality filters will block particles as small as 0.35 microns and are useful for highly contaminated water. Filters blocking particles larger than 1 micron, however, are the standard.
What Homeowners Should Know About POE Systems
POE systems vary widely in price, volume of water filtered per minute, and lifespan. Homeowners should take into consideration the following:
- No water filtration system can eliminate every contaminant, that’s why homeowners need to check every filter for a list of contaminants it helps remove.
- Each filtration system should be NSF-certified and follow strict standards and procedures for quality set forth by NSF International, a global provider of public health and safety-based risk management solutions.
- Understand the maintenance costs of the POE system and calculate the number of times you’ll need to replace filters.
- Some POE systems may require professional installation and maintenance — decide in advance if these additional costs are worth it for you.
When it’s time to search for a POE system, reach out to the 4 Eco Services team for eco-friendly suggestions and advice from experienced professionals.