5 Steps To Find The Best Water Filter System For Your Home in the UAE
As health enthusiasts, we like to do whatever we can to ensure that everything we do is in the best interests of our family and their health. We check labels for ingredients, avoid where possible pesticides in products and other GMO products.
We always try to use long lasting utensils in our homes to avoid any plastic contamination and we try, where possible to use cleaning products that are based on natural products only.
Funnily enough, we don’t think enough about the water that we drink. Most of us here in the UAE know that we should avoid where possible tap water, but thinking that bottled water is the answer is not necessarily correct. A water filter should be the thing we think of when it comes to getting access to fresh, clean water at home.
Those homes that do use water filters typically only use a filter for drinking water. Most of the time, the filter is not sufficient enough to remove fluoride and other pharmaceutical chemicals that are added to the water. Even more surprising is the fact that most people still bath and shower in unfiltered water. Research has shown links to this with medical conditions such as hair loss and if consumed, a reduction on beneficial gut microflora which could lead to digestion problems later.
Water is the most used substance in the kitchen. With the huge and ever increasing amount of contaminants leaking into water systems, it is essential to show the same level of concern when planning meals as our drinking water.
Water quality is being impacted both here in the UAE and across the globe every day. Contaminants and other harmful substances make their way into the water supply either accidentally, indirectly or on purpose. These chemicals include substances such as pesticides, heavy metals and commercial solvents. None of these are meant to be made for human consumption, yet unknowingly we could be ingesting it every day.
With the ever increasing number of chemicals found in the water supply, a water filter for your home is a wise investment, but which is the right one for you?
How to select the right water filter?
Selecting the best water filter system for your home is not always as straight forwards as it may seem. There are a wide variety on offer and this step-by-step guide will help you to navigate the market and understand which option is best for you.
#1: What’s in your water?
Understanding what is in your water is the first step to being able to identify a filter for your home. Whilst this may seem like a simple step, many people don’t even bother which means they could be buying the wrong one for them.
Basic home testing kits can help to identify what your water make-up is. Once you have this info you will be better armed to make the correct decision that will give you the right protection you need.
In most cities across the world, water is delivered through underground pipes, which is chemically treated before it reaches our homes. Most of the time it does not go through any filtering process at all. Even though disinfectants such as chlorine are added, there is not guarantee that all of the harmful pathogens will be removed before it reaches your tap. Even if they do, there is still the potential for unwanted chemical residue in the water you may be drinking.
Chlorine reacts with natural and inorganic matter found in the water which could combine to create harmful disinfection by-products. As a result of this, other chemicals are added to counteract this, so the result is that there are potentially more chemicals in the water to leave harmful residue.
Testing your water before will allow you to understand exactly what is in the water and then which filter is required to remove what you find in it.
Should you be lucky enough to have your water provided from a well water system, chemical issues are not usually something you have to worry about. Homes that get well water have another challenge: bacteria and other microorganisms. Hydrogen sulfide, manganese, iron and arsenic can also be found in this type of water. There is also the potential of fertilizer runoff, pharmaceutical reside, extreme hardness in water and industrial pollution to be found, depending on where you live.
Whilst hard water is not all that bad and is usually a byproduct of location, minerals in the water cause a buildup that leave limescale and residue on your appliances. This damages them and will cost you money to replace them. Knowing that you have hard water beforehand will save you lots of money in the long run!
#2: Create water goals for you and your family
When you have the info back from testing your water, you will be able to make a decision about what you want to achieve from having a water filter installed in your home. You may want to ensure you always have clean drinking and cooking water, remove toxins from the water that you wash in, or simply that you want to reduce the strain on your plumbing.
There typically is no right or wrong here. Everyone’s goals are different, as are their budgets and homes. As a rule, there are two types of filters that people use:
Point-of-Use (POU) water filtration
A Point-Of-Use water system are stand-alone filters that can be placed in separate rooms through the house. In the kitchen, they will be placed in an easy access position like a counter top or even in the fridge.
You can find POU’s as items as well. These can be seen in shower heads to remove chlorine from the water. These could be beneficial to small children, the elderly and pregnant women as they are more at risk from infection that most.
When making a selection of this type of filter it is important to know that not all filters are designed to remove the full range of chemicals and substances that Stefani filters are. Many simply remove the chlorine taste and will have a limited lifetime.
Larger filters, such as under-counter options that can be plumbed into your water system will be able to remove a wider range of contaminants. They are much hardier and can turn over more water that the smaller versions. They will often take cartridges that can help to resolve specific problems you want to address in the water. Either way, both of these options represent good opportunities to filter water in multiple places around the home, providing safe, clean water for any option.
Point-of-Entry (POE) water systems
Point-Of-Entry water systems are usually whole-house solutions. They are installed at the point of entry of water within your house. These solutions are not really suitable for people who live in flats or apartments, due to limited access to the plumbing. Whole-house solutions tend to be great investments for people who are looking to resolve multiple concerns at several water access points in their home.
These types of solutions are quite expensive to install though. They will usually be low maintenance and be long lasting which will mean that the system pays itself back in a few years. However, they are difficult to remove and most people who install them, should they move, have to leave them behind, meaning their investment is gone.
A POE system will improve the water quality throughout the house but there is no substitute for a dedicated filter for drinking water. The reason being is that just because the water is being filtered as it enters the house, it doesn’t mean your household pipes are free from contaminants.
#3: Selecting the best water filter system for your needs
A lot of the time, people who are looking for water filters at home have to sift through a lot of options and variations. It can be confusing to know which technology is the best water filter system for your situation.
The terminology can vary between options which further adds to confusion. Terms like ‘water filter’ and ‘water purifier’ can often mean the same thing. This is not the case as the two are completely different.
Filters vs Purifiers
It is important to be able to know the difference between a purifier and a filter. A filter contains porous media, such as carbon, in cartridges that will remove tastes and odours, as well as reducing the level of chemicals found in the water. Media such as carbon have large internal surface areas which helps to attract and trap contaminants. It is important to note that carbon has to be carefully selected and prepared in order to effectively remove unwanted substances. Usually a blend will be created to provide the widest range of protection for you possible.
Unfortunately, these aren’t always able to remove all of the toxins that can be found in the water, so multiple stage filtration may be required to remove everything.
Most water purifiers on the market are larger systems that need to be plugged into the plumbing of the house. They will have what is know as a reverse osmosis membrane or a deionisation cartridge. You will remember what osmosis is from your days at school and the process is no different in the technology used in purifying water. Water passes through the membrane, trapping unwanted substances and allowing the water to pass through, leaving it free from contaminants.
Some reverse osmosis products will combine both the membrane and deionizing cartridges so that they can offer multistage purification. This would then allow the system to remineralise the water and even add in substances that you would like to have in your drinking water.
Avoid Water Distillation!
Distillation systems should be avoided at all costs! Distilled water has no dissolved minerals and if consumed on a regular basis can cause serious health issues.
#4: Finding the right water filter system for your home
You should have a rough idea of how much water your family is consuming on a daily and weekly basis. Not only is this good for health in general, but it will give you an indication of what size filtration system you need at home.
Each system has a specific volume of water that it can filter at any given time and a time frame in which it can do it. This capacity should slightly exceed your usage so that you can always ensure that you have enough clean drinking water when needed.
If you don’t know how much water you are consuming, here are some questions that can help you to work it out.
Questions for Sizing the Best Water Filter
- How big is your home?
- How many bathrooms are there?
- How many adults and children are living there?
- What other activities require water use at home?
With this info, you should be able to speak with a water professional and get the right info so that you can select the best water filter system for your home.
Discover how properly filtered, and mineralised water can benefit you and your family. Download our guide now to learn how you can drink highly beneficial water at home.