Drinking healthy and contamination-free water is a must for kids and adults alike. Thankfully, in most developed countries, tap water is very much safe to drink directly from the tap, because of the intensive filtration and cleansing that it goes through before it reaches your home. Still, it has some drawbacks.
For one, the fluoride and chlorine that is still used for the cleansing of tap water in some developed countries can give it an unpleasant taste or odor. Not to mention that, even though said chemicals are used in acceptable quantities that are not damaging to your health, they are still concerning to a lot of people, especially when you consider that you also breathe them in with your shower vapor.
Add to that the fact that even in developed countries accidents happen sometimes and tap water can suddenly become undrinkable, so buying a water filter for your home becomes a very important purchase.
What filter should you get, though? There are so many types of water filtering systems out there that it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of all of them. Some filter the water in your entire home, some filter just the water from your kitchen sink. Some people prefer just using filtering water pitchers. And then, there are the refrigerator water filters.
Refrigerator water filters are unique in several different ways from all other types. For one thing, they are connected to your refrigerator. This means that your tap water still won’t be filtered and you won’t be able to drink directly from the faucet. However, you will have a faucet built-in directly in your fridge door and you will be able to drink cool, icy water from there. To see what we mean, take a look at our Samsung refrigerator water filter buying guide and review.
How Exactly Does A Refrigerator Water Filter Work?
Refrigerator water filters take their water supply from your home’s plumbing system and pass it through a series of filtration methods that happen inside the refrigerator itself. The first water filter typically removes any big particles like dirt, silt, sand and soil. The second filter is usually utilizing a mixture of zinc and copper that is intended to remove the chlorine from your water. The last stage typically involves a type of carbon filter that gets rid of all other microscopic contaminants and in doing so also improves the water’s taste and odor. Depending on the particular refrigerator filter, there could be other types of filtration, as well as improving the water’s qualities through the addition of minerals, etc.
But to take a more in depth look, let’s review all of the benefits you can reap from buying a refrigerator water filter.
Advantages of refrigerator water filters:
- They make your drinking water much tastier. By removing the fluoride and chlorine from tap water, as well as any other contaminants that it may have, refrigerator water filters significantly improve its taste and remove any unwanted smells. This drastically improves your comfort, but it also encourages you to drink more water as a whole – too many people don’t realize that they don’t drink nearly as much water as they need to, and that’s largely because tap water doesn’t taste very good and bottled water is way too expensive. Refrigerator water filters fix this problem easily.
- They reduce the health risks of drinking tap water. Tap water in developed countries is of a generally high quality, but even there it can sometimes contain unwanted contaminants. And in developing countries – there tap water often brings serious health risks with it. And refrigerator water filters, as well as other types of home water filters, do a great job at reducing the health risks of drinking contaminated tap water.
- They make your drinking water much healthier overall. By removing unwanted contaminants, as well as by sometimes mineralizing your water, refrigerator water filters make your drinking water much healthier in every possible way.
- They improve the physical development of your children. Especially in a household with children, having a high quality source of drinking water is a must for their proper physical development. Having contaminants in the water that your kids drink is one of the easiest ways to give them an incalculable amount of health problems and diseases. Not to mention that having bad tasting tap water can teach your kids to drink less water than they need to, which is a problem in and of itself.
- They are very efficient. A typical refrigerator water filter can filter hundreds or thousands of gallons of water before a single filter cartridge needs to be changed.
- They save a lot of money. Bottled water is on average up to 1000 times more expensive than tap water. And while a refrigerator isn’t free either, it makes tap water infinitely tastier and healthier, without significantly increasing its overall price per gallon.
- They are eco-friendly. By helping you cut down on bottled water, filters like most refrigerator water filters have a drastic positive impact on our ecology. The bottled water industry is one of the chief engines of both plastic contamination and oil usage.
- Your drinking water will always be pleasantly cold. A further benefit that distinguishes refrigerator water filters from other home water filters, is that with a refrigerator water filter your drinking water will always be not just filtered, but also pleasantly cold. This is especially nice in states or countries where the temperatures are often higher than we would like them to be.
- Refrigerator filters can also produce ice. As an added bonus, refrigerator water filters can usually make ice out of the water they have filtered. This is great for cocktail parties and any other even where ice is a consumable.
- They are always full with filtered water, so you don’t have to wait. Unlike all other home filters of tap water, refrigerator filters do their job while you aren’t using them and store the filtered water in a container. This way the water is always ready to drink and you don’t need to wait to get it filtered.
- Refrigerator water filters come directly installed with most new models of refrigerators. So, if you are looking for a new refrigerator as well, you can essentially get a 2 for 1 kind of deal.
Of course, these types of water filter aren’t perfect and they do have their fair share of disadvantages:
- They might reduce your fridge space. This is a significant problem for a lot of big families where fridge space is often much needed. Especially since refrigerator water filters are typically placed on the fridge’s door and the door is one of the “premium” space of a refrigerator. So, if you have a small fridge or a huge family, a refrigerator water filter can be kind of a nuisance as much as it is helping.
- The water is always cold, which can be a drawback if you need lukewarm or room temperature filtered water. It is indeed nice to have an endless supply of cool, filtered drinking water during the summer months, but in the winter you might prefer your water to be warmer. So, if a refrigerator water filter is the only way to get filtered drinking water in your home, you might run into the predicament of having to warm up the water the fridge has already cooled down for you.
- If your refrigerator breaks down in a particularly nasty way you might have to replace the entire fridge or go through an unpleasant repair. A lot of refrigerator water filters are integrated in your refrigerator in such a way that they are either very tricky to fix when they break down, or are more or less unfixable and have to be thrown out together with the rest of the otherwise functioning fridge. Of course, this is not a common occurrence, so it isn’t something that necessarily has to be taken into account, but it definitely isn’t something that happens with countertop water filters or under sink water filters.
- Refrigerator filters provide your home with only a single point of water filtration. Like countertop or under sink water filters, however, refrigerator water filters can only be used as a single source of filtered water. No other water source in your household will give you filtered water, neither in the kitchen, nor in the bathroom. If you want your shower water to be filtered, for example, you will need an entirely separate filter for that.
- Making use of a refrigerator water filter involves either buying a whole new refrigerator, or putting your old one through a bothersome installation process. Installing a refrigerator water filter isn’t exactly easy and usually involves simply getting an entire new fridge. And while this is great if you need a new fridge – as we said, most new fridge modes come with a water filter anyway – if you don’t need a fridge you might be better off going for another type of home water filtration system.
Phew! And there is our extensive breakdown of all the benefits and negatives of refrigerator based water filters. What do you think – is such a filter suitable for your home and family? Our opinion is that they provide a quick and convenient source of chilled, filtered drinking water that shouldn’t be overlooked.