When it comes to water quality in your home, you of course want to provide the best you possibly can for your family. Water filtration systems come in a range of options, from a simple water filter pitcher to a whole house system. However, you must make sure that you choose only NSF certified water filters if you want to be sure that you’re really going to get effective filtration.
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What is NSF Water Filter Certification?
NSF International (originally called the National Sanitation Foundation) is an organization with the stated mission of protecting human health worldwide. They accomplish this goal through the development of certifications and standards, and testing that ensures these standards are met.
NSF-certified water filters have passed this testing process, so you can be confident that they do what they’re supposed to do. When you see the NSF mark, it means the product was tested by an independent third party. It shows you that the product’s claims and labeling information have been reviewed and guidelines have been met.
You can review the NSF website right here to see more about their process and standards for water filter and other consumer products.
What Do Numbers Like NSF 53 Mean?
When you look at the NSF seal you can see numbers listed, such as NSF 53. NSF 53 is one of the most popular ratings for water filters used in homes. Here’s what that’s all about. In addition to NSF you’ll also see the letters ANSI in these ratings, which means American National Standards Institute.
NSF/ANSI 42: These filters will reduce aesthetic impurities. Removing chlorine taste and odor is a good example.
NSF/ANSI 53: This rating signifies a health effect gained from filtration of particles through filter media such as carbon or other absorbent material.
NSF/ANSI 44: This certifies that a water softener reduces water hardness by removing calcium and magnesium.
NSF/ANSI 55: I’m going to quote this right from the NSF website: “Ultraviolet treatment systems use ultraviolet light to inactivate or kill bacteria, viruses and cysts in contaminated water (Class A systems) or to reduce the amount of non-disease causing bacteria in disinfected drinking water (Class B).”
NSF/ANSI 58: This certification is for approved reverse osmosis filters.
NSF/ANSI 62: Heat-based filtration that uses boiling water and steam to reduce contaminants like heavy metals.
NSF/ANSI 177: This certification is for shower heads that are proven to reduce chlorine.
NSF P477: Removes toxins produced by blue-green algae that are known as microcystins.
There are other certifications that have to do with public water systems
How Do NSF Water Filters Work?
Filters work by passing water through filter media that is usually carbon, charcoal, or a blend of materials. There are some contaminants that are made up of particles that are large enough to become trapped in the filter media. Some contaminants are filtered by sticking to the media material. When these particles fill up the filter over time, there is simply no way for the filter to absorb any more contaminants and the filter must be replaced.
Trapped particles can make it noticeably difficult for water to pass through, but this is a result of only one of the filtration processes at work. With the particles that adhere to the surface, the surface can be full, but it won’t be as noticeable because the water can still pass through. It’s best to follow manufacturer guidelines to determine when to change water filters.
Here are some of the ways you can implement a good water filtration system into your home no matter what your budget looks like.
NSF Certified Water Filter Pitchers
These are inexpensive and they give you a way to make sure you’re drinking safe, clean water. These pitchers can be purchase for $20-40 dollars. Brita and PUR are two of the best-known brands.
NSF Certified Under Sink Water Filters
These under sink filters attach to your cold water line and are nice because they’re tucked away out of sight and they take care of all of your water filtration right out of the tap. There are a range of prices but here’s an excellent one with a price of about $45. It filters 99% of lead as well as microbial cysts, chlorine odor and taste, sediment, rust, and sand. Filter life is up to six months.
NSF Certified Whole House Water Filters
Whole house water filtration systems are a nice option for you if you want to spend a little more to have a convenient solution in place throughout your home. You can spend $200 to $1000 depending on the system.
When you’re looking for water filtration in your home, be sure you get a filter that carries the NSF seal. This indicates that rigorous third-party testing has been performed and the filter meets the established standards. NSF filters can be implemented in your home in a variety of ways to improve your water’s taste and purity.
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