A water filter comparison can be done in various ways. One is to compare the various methods used to filter the water; like reverse osmosis, ultra violet filtering, distillation etc.
Another way a water filter comparison can be done is to evaluate the main types of water filtration systems such as the carafe/pitcher, faucet, under sink filters etc.
One can also compare the types of water filter media such as the ceramic and activated carbon media.
A final way, is to evaluate where a water filter is located. Location depends on whether its a point of entry filtration system (POE) or a point of use system (POU). This is the comparison that will done here.
Which of these two systems should you use? Before this can be answered, you need to know what these systems are as well as their pros and cons.
A point of use system:
These type of units filter water in batches, just before it enters your tap. Examples of this type of system are pitcher, countertop, under sink and faucet mounted filters.
- Less costly than point of entry systems
- Improves the quality of water after it leaves your plumbing. It is suitable for human consumption – drinking, cooking etc.
- Its great for removing bad odor, biological contaminants, chlorine, heavy metals, organic and inorganic chemicals.
- Filters a smaller amount of water in comparison to point of entry
- If you have multiple point of use systems, it could be a hassle to remember to change all of them when they expire
These are installed after your water meter, where your municipal water enter enters your home but before your water reaches your tap. Two of the most prominent examples of POE systems are whole house filtration systems and water softeners.
- One unit serves the entire house
- Generally easier to install than point of entry systems
- Improves water quality for general usage like bathing, washing dishes and the laundry
- Will do a good job in removing smells, turbidity, chlorine herbicides, pesticides, industrial solvents and other contaminants.
Please note. Documentation available from the manufacturer should indicate to what NSF standard the particular water filtration system is certified. This tells you which contaminants the filter is scientifically capable of removing.
- More costly
- Needs professional installation
- Point of entry systems filters are typically not certified to the same standard as point of use systems – and with good reason. After the unit filters your water, lead contamination may be reintroduced as the water passes through the plumbing and out of your taps.
Should You Use One System or Both
There are arguments supporting both sides.
A point of entry system like a whole house water filter is great for aesthetics purposes. So if you are simply concerned removing hardness or chlorine from your water, go with this system.
If however, you are deeply concerned about water contamination and want a more thorough removal of contaminants, go with a point of use system like quality countertop filter. For the healthiest water, you can even install both in your home.
Some whole house sales companies will install a under sink water filter when you purchase a whole hose system from them.