Comparing Refrigerator Filtered Water to Reverse Osmosis

You probably know that bottled water is terrible for the environment, can contain harmful contaminants, and is a thousand times more expensive than tap water. Many homeowners have made the switch from bottled water to drinking filtered water from reusable water bottles, but not all home filtration systems are created equally.

 

Refrigerator Filtered Water

Many people who make the switch to filtered water simply rely on the built-in carbon filter inside their refrigerator. It seems like a good deal — buy a refrigerator and get a water filter for free.

Water filters inside refrigerators are usually activated carbon filters, which use absorption to trap contaminants in small pieces of carbon. The effectiveness of an activated carbon filter is dependent on the size of the filter and the amount of time the water is in contact with the filter media — with a larger surface area and longer contact time whole house carbon filters remove many contaminants.

However, the small size of refrigerator filters means fewer contaminants are absorbed. With less time spent in the filter, the water is not as pure. In addition, these filters must be regularly replaced. With dozens of items on their to-do list, most homeowners fail to replace refrigerator filters when needed. These filters also tend to be very expensive to replace. 

Small activated carbon filters do a decent job of removing chlorine, benzene, organic chemicals, man-made chemicals, and certain contaminants that affect taste and smell. However, they do not protect against many heavy metals and inorganic contaminants like:

  • Fluoride
  • Arsenic
  • Chromium
  • Mercury
  • Sulfates
  • Iron
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

 

Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Reverse osmosis water filters are among the most popular under-the-counter (also known as point-of-use, or POU) filtration options because of the amount of contaminants they remove.

Reverse osmosis filters contain multiple carbon filters and a sediment filter in addition to a semipermeable membrane that filters out microscopic contaminants and dissolved solids. Water is pushed through the membrane under pressure to separate it from any substances larger than water.

Reverse osmosis systems like those at Express Water are considerably larger than refrigerator carbon filters. This means the filters are more effective and have a longer lifespan before requiring a filter change.

Not all reverse osmosis systems have the same capabilities. For each brand or system, you are considering it is important to research filter replacement cost, support, and other factors.

Reverse osmosis filters from Express Water remove virtually all contaminants that you would be concerned about, including:

  • Heavy Metals
  • Lead
  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Nitrates
  • Arsenic
  • Mercury
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Radium
  • Chromium
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Are there any downsides to reverse osmosis systems? One difference is the cost — reverse osmosis systems use better filtration to be more effective and therefore more expensive than refrigerator water filters. Reverse Osmosis systems also reject anywhere between one and three gallons of water for every one gallon of water produced. However, when you shop at Express Water our systems are priced competitively and are designed to be an easy to install for a hassle-free solution to your water quality issues.

 

Choose the Right Water Filtration System for You

Some apartment renters are not allowed to install their own water filtration systems, and if this is the case you may be interested in a countertop RO system which is easy to install and remove. If you want more comprehensive filtration options, talk to a member of our customer service team today to choose the right filtered water system for your needs.

Our reverse osmosis systems provide all of the health benefits described above, and our whole house water filtration systems (point of entry POE systems) which utilize a sediment filter, Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filter, and an activated carbon block to filter major contaminants like chlorine, rust, and industrial solvents as your tap water enters your home.