Finishing Your Basement

Is A Reverse Osmosis Filter Actually Worth It For Your Home?

Clean water is an essential part of living a healthy life. While water that comes in from the city is safe to drink, that doesn't mean that you have to settle. Adding an additional in-home filter can remove even more contaminants to create water that is not just safe, but also tastes better and is easier on your appliances. Reverse osmosis filters give you almost completely pure water, but are they worth the hassle?

How Do Reverse Osmosis Filters Actually Work?

While you may have heard that reverse osmosis produces some of the cleanest water that can come out of your tap, do you really know how this process actually works? Understanding the answer to this question can help you make sense of why more people do not put these filters in their homes.

In case you've forgotten some of your high school chemistry, osmosis is a process of equalizations. Particles in the water tend to even out over time. Reverse osmosis does the exact opposite of that. Rather that equalizing the minerals and other chemicals in the water on both sides of the filter, a reverse osmosis filter allows all the particulate to collect on one side, leaving the other extra clean for your use. While this all sounds good, the problems start when you consider what the cost of this type of filter is. 

Is This Type Of Filter Right For Your Home?

There are two problems with putting a reverse osmosis filter in your home—these filters are expensive and they are slow. That means that you will need to limit your water usage from any item that is connected to the filter. In most homes, purchasing a filter that can handle the entire daily usage for the home is simply not practical.

That being said, there are situations where this type of filter is still worthwhile. For those with certain medical issues, the clean water may assist in controlling symptoms, or even prevent some secondary illnesses. While city water supplies usually conform to high standards, you may wish to hold your home to a higher standard. If you live in a rural area, then this type of filter may be a vital part of ensuring that your water is safe to drink. If you aren't sure how clean your water is, it is relatively easy these days to have it tested. Of course, if you live within a municipal system, then the water quality records should be public record.

What Are Some Other Options?

If you like the idea of a reverse osmosis filter but don't need to filter all the water in your house, consider a small under-sink unit. This way you can use the cleaner water for cooking and drinking, while using less expensive water for things like washing clothes and showering. Another option is to use a more common carbon filter. Depending on the quality of the filter, you can get very close to the same filtering power, but carbon filters are less expensive to use and don't waste nearly as much water.

Other options include UV filters, carbon block, or distilling. Of these three, only distilled water really comes out substantially cleaner. Distilled water is actually cleaner than reverse osmosis, but the time and energy spent boiling and collecting the water makes it impractical for most home uses.

Reverse osmosis filters create some of the purest water possible, but they do have an associated cost. Make sure that you take all your options into account when determining whether or not to install a reverse osmosis filter in your home. There are ways to enjoy this super clean water when you need it without wasting as much money or water. For more information, contact a plumbing professional in your area.