It’s hard to gauge the effectiveness of a water filter based on pricing alone. It’s also difficult to tell if a more expensive filter is always better than a less expensive one.
Our customers often ask us whether they should buy a more expensive water filter instead of a moderately priced filter. Or will the cheapest filter do just fine?
In our experience, pricing shouldn’t be the first thing to consider when choosing a water filter system for your home or business.
Instead, what we advise our customers is to focus on the filtration technology or technologies offered by the filter system in question.
In this article, we examine how filtration technologies used in a filter system are the most telling of quality and how some of these technologies do indeed shape the price of a filter system.
Not All Filters are Made The Same
Although there is a limited number of filtration technologies on the market, the make-up of water filter systems can vary greatly from brand to brand, hence the variation in pricing that often confuse customers.
Any water filter expert worth their salt will tell you — water filter price is not always a mark of quality. This is not to say that high-end or brand-name filters aren’t good, but their effectiveness might be comparable to generic filters that don’t come with the same price tag as brand-name units.
So, if pricing isn’t always a good aspect to guide yourself after when choosing a filter, what are the features you should look for instead?
Features Telling of Quality
Focusing on the actual make-up of the filter system (i.e. the individual filter components) is more telling of quality and effectiveness than price alone will ever be.
Here are the things you should focus on in selecting a water filter for your home or office:
As one of the most widely used and readily available filter media out there, activated carbon filters are probably used in every home filtration system.
The reason? They’re inexpensive, sustainable and efficient against chlorine, VOCs and other compounds that interact with activated carbon.
But even though they’re so great, carbon filters alone aren’t enough to purify your water of all the things that might be wrong with it.
This is the reason why most home filtration systems use a combination of technologies and not a single filter media or technology on its own.
The way they choose to combine these technologies as well as any “tweaks” these technologies will have will shape their effectiveness, usability, durability and pricing.
For example, carbon filters can be infused with antibacterial nanoparticles that can increase their durability.
Likewise, reverse osmosis filters may be designed to offer direct filtration (so-called tankless reverse osmosis filters), or they may offer UV filtration as well.
Number and Variety of Filters
In theory, the more technologies are combined within the same system, the more efficient they are.
Of course, the technological complexity of a filter and added features (LED display, smart system capabilities, etc.) will drive up the costs of these units.
But more technologies chained one to another, while desirable, aren’t always necessary for your particular needs, and minor water quality issues can be easily solved with affordable filters.
Usability (Installation and Maintenance)
The usability of a filter is another thing to consider, although usability itself doesn’t influence filtration efficiency, it does have an effect on maintenance (e.g. how likely are users to replace filters on time?).
The easier a filter is to maintain, the lower the chances of filter failure due to unreplaced cartridges.
Installation itself can also be easy or difficult, depending on the type of technology used. While most homeowners are looking for easy-to-install filters, filters that require a little bit more plumbing skills shouldn’t be dismissed either as they can be installed by a specialized plumber.
Focusing on maintenance is more important since inadequately maintained filters can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your tap water.
Pressure Drop and Filtered Water Output
All filters will cause a certain amount of pressure drop, and the more filter cartridges are chained together in a system, the higher the chances of a drop in water pressure. Therefore, more filter cartridges in a system are going to influence your water pressure.
Another important aspect to consider is the filtered water output of your system. That is, does the filter process enough water per day to meet your drinking water needs?
As you can see, price alone doesn’t tell you very much about the capabilities of a given filter system, but the filtration technologies and other components related to usability and water processing tell a greater story.
Therefore, when buying a filter, don’t base your decision solely on price, and remember — an expensive filter isn’t always what you need. What you need is a filter that removes the contamination issues you’re having with your water and meet your daily drinking water needs.