What to Look For
Water is important for overall general health, and having a water filter in your home helps to eliminate bacteria that is swimming around in your tap water, thereby creating cleaner and clearer drinking water. The key feature in a water filter is how many stages of filtration it has; the more stages it has, the more your water is filtered. Most tap water filters have anywhere between one and nine stages; a one-stage filter contains a deionization stage, and a nine-stage filter has three reverse osmosis membranes, three deionization cartridges, a sediment filter, a carbon filter and a booster pump, creating enhanced cleanliness in your water.
Some water filters remove fluoride from drinking water, which is not good for the health of your teeth. Both children and adults need their teeth to come into contact with a certain amount of fluoride, as it helps fight cavities and tooth decay. If your water filter has this ability, purchase a tube of fluoride from your local drugstore or grocery store for use after brushing your teeth.
Where to Buy
Super stores such as Walmart, Sears and Target, as well as electronic and hardware stores, such as Ace Hardware and Best Buy, have the largest inventory of water filters on the market. If you want to buy your water filter directly from the distributing company, look online at Brita's website, as they offer many different products from which to choose, as well as reminders on how often you should change your replacement filters.
You can buy many different kinds of filters, such as those for faucets, refrigerators and pitchers, so there is a vast range in the cost. Faucet filters typically range from $18 to $40, refrigerator filters range from $30 to $50 and pitchers with built-in filters range from $10 to $30. Size and added features will usually determine how much a particular filter will cost you.
With a capacity for 10 glasses, 8 oz. size, the Brita Pacifica Water Filter Pitcher is priced at just under $30 and comes with an electronic indicator that alerts you when it's time to change out the filter.
With the ability to install on your faucet with just one click, and zero tools, the PUR 3 Stage Horizontal or Vertical Faucet Filter is available for purchase at around $35. Each filter will cleanse 100 gallons of water, which typically last a common household around three months. This faucet filter comes with an electronic indicator that will alert you when it is time to replace the filter.
Priced at around $30, the PUR Refrigerator Water Filter fits all refrigerators with Push Button In-Grille water filters. Programmed to last around six months before it needs to be changed, it provides you with clean, fresh, ice cold water.
To add flavor to your filtered water, PUR offers cartridges that fit directly inside of your filter. You choose the flavors that you want, and with the flip of a switch, you get an added boost of flavor to your drinking water. The flavors available are grape, strawberry, raspberry and lemon, each costing around $7, and are made to last up to 75 servings.
If your water filter is leaking, don't panic. Check the hoses, valves and fittings, and if any are loose, simply tighten them with a wrench. If it is not any of these things, check the filter to see if it is leaking. If so, simply change the water filter, and that should resolve the problem right away.