Step 3: Consider how the filter fits your home, lifestyle, and budget.
Many different types of filters are available to consumers. Determining which type is most appropriate for you—or whether you need a filter at all—depends on what functions you want a filter to provide. No filter eliminates all contaminants, so understanding what filters do and do not do is important.
What does the filter remove?
Read the label to see if it is NSF-certified. If it is, you can search NSF’s databaseexternal icon to learn more about what a particular model is certified to protect you against. Labels on water filters also typically state the contaminants that are reduced, which can help to guide your choice. Be sure to read labels carefully yourself and verify the manufacturer’s claims with an independent source, as not all sales representatives will be familiar with your needs.
Keep in mind that most brands include many different types of filters. Sales people might be able to help you make an appropriate selection, but remember that they are sometimes paid to sell a particular brand. You should check claims and read the fine print on filter packaging for yourself and ensure that it will work for your purposes before purchasing.
Don’t assume that if the filter removes one contaminant, it also removes others. Filters that remove chemicals often do not effectively remove germs, and vice versa. Some water treatment devices that remove chemicals, such as reverse osmosis, ion exchange, or distillation systems, might also remove fluoride. Children who drink water with levels of fluoride <0.6 ppm might need a fluoride supplement. Check with your child’s pediatrician or dentist for specific recommendations.
How much does the system cost?
The prices of different filtration systems can vary widely, from simple systems that can cost …