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Why It’s Important To Change Your Water Filters

How often should you change your water filters? Our NSF experts tell you why it’s vital to change filters regularly and how to know when it’s the right time.

Just for a second, think about the last time you changed your heater and air conditioning filter. Does it make you cringe to remember the gray dirt and gunky stuff? Imagine what kind of gunk could be built up in your water filter. The same principle for the furnace applies to your fridge: Change the water filter regularly, or it won’t work correctly and may not protect your health.

If you don’t change the filters in your water treatment systems, you will lose the benefits of filtration. You’ll be using filters that no longer treat the contaminants that may exist in your water; instead, the filters become hosts for bacteria and other microorganisms that can be dangerous and harmful to your health. Yuck.

One of the secrets to drinking fresh water daily is to make sure you change your water filters regularly so they can do their job effectively. NSF water experts recommend these tips when switching out your filters.

  • Understand the why. Many filtration systems use activated carbon or a blend of filter materials to help catch the impurities in water. These systems generally do this in one of two ways.
    • Some contaminants are filtered mechanically, meaning that the filter catches them based on their size. In mechanical filtration, the filter’s pores become so clogged with debris that water cannot move through them effectively.
    • Another method is that contaminants stick to the surface of the filter media. Eventually, this surface gets filled up, so no more contaminants can be trapped.
    • Sometimes, this may be easy to catch since the water coming out of the faucet or tap may be slower than usual. However, it’s not as easy to tell when the media in a filter is full and needs to be changed.
  • Pay attention to flashing lights. The recommended filter cycle varies from product to product. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s directions. Some filters have indicator lights, while others may have instructions on their packaging. Don’t ignore these warnings.

It’s also a good idea when looking for a filter to see how many gallons it can go through before you must change it and how much a replacement filter costs.

So, pay attention when that red light appears on your fridge or faucet filter. Our simple guidelines will help you get the maximum benefit from your water filters and keep yourself and your family safer and free from any contaminants that may lurk in your drinking water.

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