There are many in-home water filtration system options to help purify your water including countertop, faucet-mounted, under-sink or whole-house systems. Costs vary substantially depending on the scope and technology used. If you have well water rather than municipal water, you are advised to have your well tested and look for a system to specifically meet your needs.
Filtration: Filtration systems trap unwanted impurities in the surface or pores of an absorbent medium, such as charcoal filters. If possible, choose a carbon block filter over a granulated activated carbon filter. For even more effectiveness, a Fibredyne carbon block filter is claimed to be the best.
The lowest-cost option is a pitcher with an activated charcoal filter. Faucet-mounted systems are also more economical. Your refrigerator water dispenser likely has a charcoal filter as well, and is an effective source of filtered drinking and cooking water.
Carbon filters typically improve taste and odor but they only reduce (not remove) lead, VOCs, mercury, PFAS & disinfection byproducts. They also can’t remove arsenic, fluoride, nitrate or perchlorate.
Reverse Osmosis: This pricier system uses both an activated carbon filter and a semipermeable membrane that removes impurities including arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrate, perchlorate & PFAS, BUT the major drawback is that it wastes 3-5 times the water it treats. Therefore, you may want to purchase an under-sink unit and limit use to drinking and cooking.
No matter what type of system you choose, be sure to look for brands with certifications from regulatory agencies like the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and NSF International. These agencies certify that home water purification systems meet or exceed national drinking water standards.
Lastly, home water purification systems must also be maintained properly. It’s important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for upkeep, including filter replacement, to ensure that your water is being properly purified.
20+ years of residential experience.