Even if you live in an area where the tap water is considered “high quality,” you’ll benefit from filtering it before drinking. Trace amounts of chemicals like chlorine and E. coli have a way of sneaking into water supplies. Use this guide to choose the right setup for your home.
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Research your water supply. Different locations and suppliers have different water quality records. Check your zip code in the Environmental Working Group's database and get a history of past test results. Tip: If your location isn’t in their database, contact your water supplier directly and ask for a report.
Choose a water filter system. The three most common types of water filtration systems are pitcher dispensers (like a Brita), under-sink and whole house filters. Cost and maintenance can vary dramatically between these types. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, basic filter, pitcher-style is the way to go. If you found a lot of chemicals in step #1, or your household drinks more than two gallons of water a day meaning you’ll go through pitchers quickly, it may be worth exploring higher quality options. To compare different brands, check out Guide 2 Water Filters chart. Note: Whichever brand you choose, make sure it’s certified by NSF International.
Maintain your water filter system. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation and usage instructions carefully. Also, be sure to change your filter regularly to avoid bacteria growth in your filter (which kind of defeats the purpose). Note: If your fridge has a water dispenser, be sure to change the water filter every six months!