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Quality water is key to a healthy home. And while there’s endless filtration options available, some systems add chemicals or alter the taste of your water. The best carbon filters do the opposite, creating a deliciously pure flavor without the additives.
So, how do carbon water filters work?
This technology uses activated carbon to absorb contaminants in the water. The finer the grain of the carbon, the more absorbent the filter. This is measured in microns. Filters with a low micron level will typically have a slower flow rate, so the water spend more time in the filter. So, contaminants are more likely to be absorbed.
Depending on how often you use it, a typical carbon filter can last from three months to several years. However, this will differ with each product. You’ll generally need to change your carbon filter every three to six months, so it might be worth buying your filters in a multipack.
We’ve rounded up some of the best carbon water filters for your home below.
1. Activated Carbon Block Water Filters
Using five micron carbon block technology, this product’s filtration system is laboratory-verified. This filter removes substances like sediments, industrial solvents, pesticides and chlorine, so your home’s water can taste and smell better. You can buy between one and 50 filters at a time, depending on how much you want to stock up. The product fits most 10-inch filter housing units.
Pros: The filter can last up to a year, depending on the starting quality of your water. You will likely notice a significant improvement in taste.
Cons: They only fit 10-inch filter housings, so be sure to check the sizing. The end caps might come loose with use.
2. DuPont Universal Carbon Wrap Cartridge
This product is available in a pack of two and fits in most filtration systems. The carbon technology removes sediment, rust and silt, while improving taste and smell. This system filters up to 15,000 gallons of water during average use, and you’ll need to change it about every three months. This carbon water filter fits more 10-inch housings, but you can look up your system’s brand to check compatibility before you buy.
Pros: This filter features five micron filtration. The product is easy to install.
Cons: You might need to change the filter more than every three months, depending on your water quality. The product might not remove certain odors completely.
3. Ronaqua Activated Carbon Water Filters
This carbon water filter is compatible with most 10-inch housings, and the company provides a list of well-matched models. The product meets National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards and has a five micron level. You can enjoy a better taste and smell from your water, as the filer can remove substances like chlorine, pesticides, hydrogen sulfide, iron and manganese. Depending on the quality of your water, you’ll need to replace the filter two to three times per year.
Pros: This filter can last longer than some other models. You’ll receive a set of six with your order.
Cons: This product may work better with smaller water systems. The filter might not remove the smell from well water.
4. PUREPLUS Whole House Carbon Water Filter
This water filter has a micron rating of five, removing up to 95% of impurities through multi-layer technology. The product can filter up to 30,000 gallons of water on certain systems, lasting an average of 30% longer than some other options. However, you’ll likely need to replace it about every six months or less. It effectively removes impurities like sand, rust and sediments.
Pros: This product features three filtration layers. The product is especially effective at removing rust.
Cons: Odors may come back after several weeks of use, depending on the quality of your water.
5. GE Whole Home Filter Set
This whole home carbon filter removes impurities like soil, sand and rust. You may also notice a reduction in chlorine taste. The product fits most 10-inch filter housings and filters 700-1,200 gallons when filtering sediment. You’ll need to replace this product about every three months for best results. This filter comes in a pack of two.
Pros: This filter keeps sulfur smells and tastes out of the water. It’s effective at removing sediment.
Cons: The product will likely last less then three months with well water. This filter may clog easily.