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Unbiased Guide to best Water Filters for your home

2023: Ultimate and Unbiased Guide To The Best Water Filters For Your Home


How Do You Pick the Best Water Filter?

Researching the best water filter can be hard. Water quality content is usually written by filtration companies or government agencies. For various reasons, this can make it difficult to get the unbiased information and advice you’re looking for.

That’s why we’ve prepared this Ultimate Guide to help you make smart decisions on which water filtration to choose. In fact, after reading this guide, you might discover you don’t even need a filter in the first place.

When choosing a water filtration or treatment system for your home:

  1. Determine what’s actually in your water 
  2. Determine which treatment technology you really need
  3. Choose a brand with certified filtration products
  4. Consider your water usage and personal requirements
  5. Find a certified professional if you can’t install the system yourself 
  6. Follow the instructions!

Determine What’s Actually in Your Water

One of the first and most important parts of picking a good water filter is evaluating what your water filter will need to filter out. 

Water Quality Data

The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates public water system drinking water quality. The EPA’s main list of health risks in tap water includes more than 100 contaminants. Some of the most common drinking water risks include:

    To determine what’s in your water, you need to do a water quality test.

    Essential Home Water Test
    54 Analytes Tested
    $ 195.00
    Advanced Home Water Test
    114 Analytes Tested
    $ 285.00

    Note: DIY home test strips are inadequate for comprehensive water quality testing. Find a certified lab through a service like Tap Score or call a lab facility directly.

    If you want to skip paying for a water test, then you can try to guess based upon publicly available data. This can be tricky because without a water sample that has passed through your neighborhood distribution network and your home’s plumbing system, the best data available still won't represent your actual tap water.

    For general information on last year’s water quality in your area, take a look at:

      Determine What Treatment Technology You Really Need

      Tap water and well water can contain many different types of contaminants. Different contaminants require different treatment technologies. No technology can remove everything (despite what companies may claim on their websites). 

      Water Treatment Technologies

      There are more than 20 core water treatment technologies. It’s important to choose the right one to address your home’s water quality issues. Here is a list of the most common technologies for home and apartment water filtration and treatment.

        • Activated Carbon
        • Reverse Osmosis
        • Anion or Cation Exchange
        • UV disinfection
        • Chlorination
        • Oxidation and Filtration
        • Microfiltration
        • Ultrafiltration
        • Nanofiltration
        • Aeration

          If we're biased about anything, it’s that we love our water quality testing kits. We designed them to include analysis of all the chemicals you need to test for at home in order to choose the best water filtration technology. In fact, after you get your results back, we may even tell you that you don't need a filter at all. Tap Score does NOT sell any water filtration products or systems. Being unbiased is critical to our mission.

          Read more unbiased reviews about some of the most popular home water filtration brands:

            Choose Your Water Filtration Brand and Product

            Now that you have the information you need to purchase the right water filtration system, you need to look for a brand that sells (and maybe installs) certified products with the technology you need (e.g. reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, ion exchange, aeration, UV, etc.).

            Organizations like the Water Quality Association keep record of product certifications (others listed below). If you need help picking between brands and products with the right certifications, you can contact your Tap Score project manager.

              Contact Tap Score for Unbiased Advice

              Consider a System that Meets Your Personal Requirements

              Choosing the right product technology and brand is not complete without thinking about you personal needs and requirements. Do you live in a small apartment or do you have a giant garage? Do you need to treat ALL your water or just the drinking water? Choosing the right installation location is really important. 

                For example, lead was commonly used in household plumbing networks, so if you remove it at the entrance to your home, your water still might get re-contaminated as it passes through your home’s pipes. In this case, you’d want a point-of-use solution (i.e. a counter-top, under-sink, or pitcher unit) .

                Find a Certified Professional If You Need Installation Help

                If you purchase a product that requires substantial installation then you may need professional help. This is particularly true for point-of-entry filtration systems. These are often larger, more expensive systems and require more expertise with plumbing and mechanics.

                The Water Quality Association keeps a robust record of Master and Certified water filtration installation personnel across the USA. Consult the WQA Find a Member directory and be sure your product is properly installed. IAPMO maintains a similar director but it’s a bit broader than just water filtration installers.

                Follow the Instructions!

                No engineered product works properly unless the instructions are followed. It would be a shame to buy a water filter that doesn’t work because it isn’t installed properly—or properly maintained! Usually this is really simple to do if you read the instructions and keep track of the months between filter changes.

                The leading cause of filter failure is people forgetting to change the filter on time.

                Ask our experts questions about water quality

                Why Trust Tap Score?

                We know how confusing it can be to find advice on water quality and treatment you can trust. That’s part of the reason we made Tap Score—to help improve the way you test and treat your drinking water.

                • No affiliate links: Unlike most sites revolving around water quality, we do not take a cut from sales on filtration systems.
                • Unbiased advice: Our blog is independently researched by our team of water scientists and designed to provide clarity on water quality, not to sell treatment products.
                • Independent laboratory testing: Tap Score test results come from SimpleLab's third-party network of certified laboratories; in other words, accredited labs provide the data without conflicts of interest.
                • Continuously updated: Science never rests. That’s why our content always reflects the latest developments in scientific research and regulatory standards.
                • Always available: Our customer service team is the best in the industry and available anytime via chat to answer all your water quality questions.


                About The Author
                Jorgen Stovne, CREATIVE DIRECTOR

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