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Understanding the Differences Between Water Filters and How They Work

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When shopping for a water filter for your home, you might get a little overwhelmed with the choices and options you have and may be tempted to just pick the cheapest model that will fit under your sink. No doubt any water filter you choose will help to make your water cleaner, but understanding how these different filters work can help you make a better decision overall. This will ensure you get a filter that works for the type of water you have in your home and that is easy to maintain over the years.


Carbon filters are probably the most common types of filters, as the filter itself is relatively affordable. Activated carbon attracts sediment and silt from water so it gets trapped in the filter as the water goes through. It can make the water taste better and even smell better and may be the right choice if you notice a muddy or dirty smell from your taps. However, a carbon filter is relatively basic and may not trap all the contaminants that can be found in your water.

Alkaline ionizers

Alkaline ionizers actually work with a type of electrical charge in the filter; this separates water into two different streams, both acidic and alkaline. By adding this electrical charge to the water, minerals are removed and trapped in the filter. This is one of the best choices for hard water that leaves spots and stains on the sink and tub, and which may dry your skin as the minerals sit on the skin's surface.

Infrared filters

An infrared filter will use heat and light to remove the minerals found in hard water. By giving the water a negative charge similar to how an ionizer works, this also separates those minerals and causes them to be trapped in the water. Your water may feel better after going through an infrared filter as it may be the strongest to soften the water and remove those tough mineral deposits.

UV filter

Using ultraviolet light, this type of filter actually destroys the most amounts of contaminants including bacteria, algae, and the like. It's also a very environmentally safe type of filter as it doesn't use chemicals or heat to kill those contaminants so there is no chemical residue left in the filter. For those with health concerns who need the cleanest water possible for drinking, or for use when making baby formula, try an ultraviolet filter.