This Week our Product Pick is Refrigerator Water Filters. There are a few main types of water filters out there, and all of them work a little differently. Today we’re going to go over what water filters do and how they work, as well as provide you with a few helpful tips to ensure that you’re water is as clean and refreshing as it should be.
So what does a water filter do?
Although most water supplied to our homes is treated, it’s recommended to filter it again to remove anything that may have been left behind. This could be things like tiny sediment deposits and other impurities that you may not necessarily be able to see just by looking at your water.
There are two main types of filtration; Physical Filtration and Chemical Filtration. Most household filters use some combination of the two.
Physical Filtration is when some type of screen or membrane is used to remove large particles from the water. You can think of this like a sieve in a sandbox, but on a much smaller scale. Chemical Filtration is when the water passes through some type of material to chemically remove impurities.
There are different types of Water Filters?
Yup, there are a number of different types of Water Filters out there all with slightly different uses and effectiveness levels. We’ll go over some of the more common ones.
This is by far the most common type of household filters, including Refrigerator Water Filters and even some pitcher filters. The way these filters work is that water passes through what are called active carbon granules, which are usually charcoal based. Charcoal is a very porous and absorbent form of carbon, full of little nooks and crannies to attract and trap impurities.
Activated Carbon or Charcoal filters are perfectly fine for removing common impurities and sediments, but they are limited. They can’t really help with water hardness or the removal of microbes/bacteria or certain heavy metals unless specified.
They also will eventually clog and need to be replaced. Most filters will specify a lifespan either in months or gallons of water. With normal use, most refrigerator Water Filters will last around six months. You can find more Water Filter tips here: Water Filter Blogs.
Reverse Osmosis filters are a bit different. Water normally wants to travel from a less concentrated area to a more concentrated one until there is balance. Reverse Osmosis occurs when water is forced through a membrane in the opposite direction it would normally go.
Using an electrical pump, the water is passed through a membrane to remove the impurities. These filters are usually more effective than Activated Carbon filters, but they also produce quite a bit of waste water.
Ion Exchange Filters are often used to remedy hard water. The process is a bit complex, but essentially the filter separates “good” ions from “bad” ions (like magnesium and calcium) by passing them through resin beads.
The good ions continue on while the bad ions are replaced with sodium ions. People with high sodium levels should avoid Ion Exchange filters for this reason. These filters will remove some dissolved particles, but again not all. There is also some upkeep involved, requiring “recharging” with special salts.
Do I really need to change my filter that often?
Again, the answer is yes. Filters need to be changed regularly to ensure effectiveness. If you go too long without changing your filter, it can become so saturated that it actually starts to release what it originally filtered out back into your water. Yuck!
For best results, follow the manufacturer recommendations or change when your indicator light comes on (whichever comes first). It’s also good to get into the habit of deep cleaning your dispenser when you change your filter to prevent mold/bacteria.
If you need a replacement water filter for your refrigerator, you can find Water Filters for almost every make and model on our website, including twist in filters, in-line filters, and more here: Refrigerator Parts | Water Filters.
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Written By: Sarah Walker