This article is the first of three in a series discussing the best options in water filtering ideas available for your home. There are many water filters you could choose from in a variety of price ranges. Let’s break these options down into three different pricing levels, low middle and high. The filters readily available are the low price leaders in the category. Anyone can easily purchase them at your average big box retailer or home improvement website.
1) Refrigerator Filter – Ranging in price from $20 to $100 or more. These filters are necessary if your appliance has an ice maker or water dispenser built-in. If you want to save yourself some time during installation read the manual. I didn’t and I had water all over the floor with my wife and kids laughing over my shoulder. The hardest part is finding the exact match for your refrigerator filter. You will need to be armed with your make and model number before you start looking. You may have to make a few phone calls before you find a store that carries your brand in their regular stock. There are also many good websites which offer an easy way to match your filter. Amazon.com is one such website that carries a wide variety of refrigerator filters. There are two different kinds available for your home.
- a. Inline carbon filter – This filter does not go in your refrigerator, but is placed ‘inline’ to your water line leading to your appliance. It is easy to install as long as you are not leery of cutting your water line. Please just make sure your water is turned off before you slice.
- b. Brand specific for your appliance – This option is much less messy, but can be more expensive as you are buying an exclusive filter for your fridge. Usually berkey vs brita with a quarter turn on the cap, a quick tug on the filter and you are ready to have fresh water again. Finding this elusive filter can be a challenge. I’m not sure the engineers who design these are the same ones using them. My refrigerator filter is conveniently located in the bottom kick plate and very easy to install. Just a reminder from one who’s been there. Turn off your water source first.
2) Pitcher Filters – Range in price from $20 to $50+. These filters are very convenient as they offer chilled water with the other beverages in your refrigerator. This filter type also gives the family an alternative to drinking sodas and other sugar drinks which are not good for you and tend to be much more expensive. If you want to know how much you are saving you need to calculate the cost by taking two factors into consideration. You must consider how many gallons the replacement unit can filter and how much the cartridge costs. For instance, the Brita Slim Pitcher uses filters sold in a triple pack for around $17. That is $5.66 per filter. Each filter has a capacity of 40 gallons. This comes out to a little over 14 cents per gallon cost. That is a fantastic return if you consider $1 or more per 20 oz. bottle of water.