By Megan Vick
Over the years, we've gotten a lot of questions about water and air filters over the phone, through email, and through social media. Most of these questions are common, so we've compiled a list of them for you.
1. Do I have a filter? How do I tell?
You most definitely have a filter somewhere in your home. Most homes have an air filter for the air conditioning unit. Depending on the type of refrigerator you have, you may have a built in filter for your ice and water dispenser.
The easiest way to tell if you have a refrigerator filter is to take a look around your fridge.
If you can't find the filter by looking, you can also search your refrigerator's model number in our database.
2. What needs a filter?
Many things need filters- ice makers, faucets, showers, and air handlers. You can also find filters for your pool and spa, aquarium, car (both oil and air), coffee maker, vacuums, and lots of other things too. The important thing to remember is if you are dealing with water or air, there is probably a filter for it. Many refrigerators have now included air filters inside the fridge to remove any smells or odors caused by food.
3. Why does it need a filter?
Filters are needed when you want to remove something from the air or water. Your fridge needs a water filter to remove particulates, chemicals, and/or bacteria from the water coming into your home. Water is often treated with chlorine, which can cause a very noticiable smell in the water. A carbon water filter can easily remove up to 99% of the chlorine in the water and mostly (if not entirely) eliminate the smell.
Other items need a filter to remove dirt, bacteria, and particulates from the air. The air circulated in your home can contain dust, mites, bacteria, pet dander, skin, and many other microscopic ickies. High quality air filters can remove much of that from the air, so you and your family can breathe comfortably.
4. Why is an old filter bad? What happens if you don't change the filter?
If you don't change your water filter, it will eventually stop catching the things you want removed. With carbon based water filters, you'll want to change them approximately every 4-6 months. Because carbon collects things like bacteria, the bacteria can begin to collect and multiply over time. If you go for too long (8 months or longer), the filter may have grown a little (or big) colony of nasty stuff. When water goes through the old filter, the bacteria can be deposited back into your drinking water.
If you go too long without changing your air filter, your air flow throughout your home may diminsh. This can cause an increase in energy bills because the unit is working harder to get air through the house. Also, if an air filter goes too long without being changed, there is an increased chance mold or fungi can grow and enter the circulating air. Breathing in things like that can cause respiratory infections, headaches, bronchitis, and escalate asthsma symptoms. Regularly changing your filter will help keep your energy costs low and it will help keep the air clean for you and your family.
5. What are all the benefits of changing filters? Will I be healthier?
There are many benefits of changing your filters. The most imporant benefit you'll get is better health. When you keep the nasties out of your water and your air, your health can, and will, improve. When you cook, shower, brush your teeth with filtered water, there are fewer contaminants going into your body. When your body doesn't have to spend time removing unnecessary contaminants, it can spend time giving you energy, focus, and health.