water filter
Written By: Andrew Miles
Written By: Andrew Miles

30-year licensed plumber out of NYC. Specializing in Water Filteration and Softening Systems. Now, retired and enjoy sharing my industry knowledge here. See my bio.

Being a health-conscious individual, I often worry about the things I eat and drink – and water isn’t an exception. Whether it’s private wells or municipal ones, these water sources contain contaminants.

water filter

Would installing a filter at my faucet deliver safer water, or should I settle for a whole house water filtration system? Would it be smarter to opt for an activated carbon filter or just go for a UV treatment?

With lots of filtration devices out there, it’s a bit challenging to find the best water purification system for you. Thus, I’ve done some research, and this article will help you understand the type of water filter for your home and how to make the right choice.

Water Filter Types Directory:

Water is an important substance for a host of applications, including food processing, heating, transportation, medical, science, agriculture, washing, and most importantly, drinking.

Most people’s source of drinking water is from a municipal supply, which has already been treated to ensure it’s safe to drink for everyone, including your pets. However, it sometimes features odors and unpleasant tastes due to chlorine and other chemicals used to eliminate bacteria and germs for pure water.

Another issue with this water supply is its limescale deposits, which can spell trouble depending on where you live. This limescale formation can damage appliances and block pipes. These issues, among a plethora of water problems, are best solved by water filters.

But how do water filters actually work?

Activated Alumina

This type of water uses a highly adsorptive porous aluminum oxide called activated alumina to remove thallium, selenium, arsenic, and fluoride in water. This water filter is often used at home for treating fluoridated water supply.

When the tap flows through the activated alumina, the surface of the filter absorbs the fluorides. The amount of contaminants removed depends on how long the tap water and the water filter remained in contact.

Activated Carbon

The activated carbon features a fine carbon powder and a binding agent to ensure it stays static and together. It’s best to remove chlorine odor and taste and reduce contaminants like microscopic cysts, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and lead in water.

As water flows through the activated carbon block’s tiny pores, large impurities are mechanically trapped and accumulated on the surface. Further, the activated carbon block is positively charged, allowing it to attract negatively charged chemicals such as chlorine.

Thus, making this water filter a great recommendation for people wondering what kind of water filter I need to get rid of bad odor and taste.

Ceramic Filters

Ceramic is another filter with a host of minute pores that helps keep impurities much bigger than its tiny pores outside. Ceramic filter is an inexpensive way of purifying your water since it does not require electricity.

However, this type of water filter should be treated with silver to prevent algae and mold in the water as well as kill bacteria for safe drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis

This process involves water molecules passing through a semipermeable membrane with a pore size of about 0.0001 microns, which guarantees up to 99% contaminants removal, including cysts, bacteria and other microorganisms.

What’s impressive about the RO system is its ability to flush away the accumulated impurities on the membrane surface as brine. This feature keeps the reverse osmosis membrane clean and assures long-lasting performance.

This water filter offers the cleanest and purest drinking water. Plus, RO systems have a longer lifespan. Sadly, it’s pricey and filters water relatively slowly.

Ultraviolet Light

This water filtration system relies on the UV ray energy from the ultraviolet lamp section to damage, kill or deactivate the microorganism cells. However, you might need a more powerful UV lamp for the sterilization of thicker cell microorganisms.

Furthermore, it’s important to filter out contaminants and sediment in water before passing it through the UV light to prevent scattering or blocking of the straight UV rays. This helps ensure no microorganism survives. Therefore, it’s best used as the last part of your water purification system.


One of the oldest methods of water purification is distillation. While it might not be widely used like the RO filter and activated carbon block, it’s an excellent means of purifying your water.

This system has a simple process. The distiller heats the water to the boiling point, captures and condensed the steam into a liquid form called pure distilled water.

This process leaves the contaminants and essential minerals, except VOCs, which have a lower boiling point than water. The main drawback with this water filtration process is its time consuming, and the yield is small. Thus, limiting its application for residential purposes.

Type of water filter for Residential Use

Water Filter Pitcher

The water filter pitchers are portable and inexpensive, making them the most commonly used type of water filter for residential use. It is an easy and quick way to improve the quality and taste of your water.

This product price ranges from $20 to $100. It has a filter containing mainly activated carbon to eliminate chlorines, copper, mercury, pesticides, organic compounds and many more.

Faucet Water Filter

As the name implies, the faucet water filter is installed directly onto the kitchen sink faucet.

This filter has a switch to allow you to activate the filtration process for pure water. This type is appropriate for people looking to get an unlimited supply of pure water.

It’s best for removing heavy metals, dirt, rust, bacteria, lead and chemicals such as chlorine. These faucet filters come with a price tag between $100 – $200.

Showerhead Filter

This device is similar to faucet water filters. The only difference is you install it on your shower head. Some products include a showerhead itself.

The shower head filter is best used in areas where the water supply contains a high amount of fluoride and chlorine results in skin irritation, dryness and hair loss. It cost anywhere between $25 to $250.

Countertop Water Filter

If you hate to fill a jug constantly, then the countertop water filter can be your best bet. These devices are installed on your faucet to purify water as the tap is turned on.

They cost about $30 – $100. The countertop filters are great at eliminating chemicals, heavy metals and microorganisms.

Under Sink Water Filter

The under-sink water filter removes pollutants and bacteria and purifies a large amount of water in a fraction of the time. This bulky device is installed under your kitchen sink, and it costs around $50 – $250.

Whole House Water Filter System

This is an expensive water filtration system, which is usually installed at the water tank to purify the water from the main pipe before distributing it to different areas in the house.

It’s perfect for removing chlorine, lead, fluorine, bacteria, and many more. It’s priced from $80 – $400. This device is best used for homes without tap water.


Regardless of your water source, your water will always include some contaminants. Therefore, it’s best to settle for the right type of water filter to ensure a constant supply of purified, great-tasting water to protect you and your family from toxic materials daily.

Written By: Andrew Miles
Written By: Andrew Miles

30-year licensed plumber out of NYC. Specializing in Water Filteration and Softening Systems. Now, retired and enjoy sharing my industry knowledge here. See my bio.

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