Best Refrigerator Water Filter To Buy

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Concerns about our drinking water supply quality have increased frequency in recent years. While refrigerator water filters offer the convenience of chilled, filtered water in our kitchens, replacing the factory-model filter when it wears out can be perplexing. Since refrigerator manufacturers have proprietary filter designs, finding a replacement filter that fits cannot be easy. 

When locating a filter that fits your appliance, remember that not all filters are created equal. Others remove heavy metals, pesticides, and even pharmaceuticals, reducing chlorine and enhancing the flavor. This guide discusses the features consumers should consider when selecting the best refrigerator water filter for their needs. These water filters are among the best available and are compatible with most refrigerator brands. 

Our Top Picks 

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Last updated on June 29, 2022 10:07 am
 

What is Refrigerator Water Filter? 

A refrigerator water filter is a device installed in your fridge’s water line. It filters out impurities from the water, such as chlorine, lead, and other contaminants. This ensures that the water you and your family drink is clean and safe. Different types of filters are available on the market, so choosing one compatible with your fridge is essential. 

Installing a refrigerator water filter is a relatively straightforward process. First, locate the water line that runs to your fridge. Once you have found it, you will need to shut off the water supply. Next, you will need to disconnect the water line from the fridge. After that, you can proceed to install the filter. Once the filter is in place, reconnect the water line and turn on the water supply. 

It is essential to change your refrigerator water filter regularly. Depending on your filter type, it will need to be replaced every six months to 2 years. You can usually find replacement filters at your local home improvement store. 

If you have questions about installing a refrigerator water filter, please consult your fridge’s owner’s manual. 

How Does Refrigerator Water Filter Work? 

Refrigerator water filters are designed to remove impurities from your water supply, improving the taste and quality of your drinking water. But how do they work? 

Refrigerator water filters typically use adsorption to remove impurities from your water. Adsorption is when molecules of a substance (in this case, contaminants in your water) adhere to the surface of another substance (the filter material). This process happens because the molecules of the impurity are attracted to the molecules of the filter material. 

The most common type of filter material used in refrigerator water filters is activated carbon. Activated carbon is a type of charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open millions of tiny pores between its carbon atoms. This makes it highly porous, meaning it has a large surface area for adsorption. 

When water passes through an activated carbon filter, the impurities in the water are attracted to and absorbed by the surface of the filter material. The result is clean, filtered water that tastes great. 

Refrigerator water filters must be replaced every six months to ensure optimal performance. 

Benefits Of Using Refrigerator Water Filter 

A refrigerator water filter helps remove impurities from your water, making it healthier and safer to drink. It can also improve the taste of your water, making it more refreshing and enjoyable to drink. Here are some of the benefits of using a refrigerator water filter: 

  1. Remove impurities from your water

A refrigerator water filter helps to remove impurities such as chlorine, lead, and other chemicals from your water. This makes your water healthier and safer to drink. 

  1. Improve the taste of your water

A refrigerator water filter can also improve the taste of your water. This is because it removes impurities that can make your water taste bad. 

  1. Make your water more refreshing

A refrigerator water filter can also make your water more refreshing. This is because it removes impurities that can make your water taste stale or flat. 

  1. Save money

A refrigerator water filter can also save you money. This is because it filters out impurities that can clog up you’re plumbing and cause your water bill to increase. 

  1. Prolong the life of your appliances

A refrigerator water filter can also extend the life of your devices. This is because it removes impurities that can cause your devices to wear out prematurely. 

How To Choose The Best Refrigerator Water Filter 

Determining which water filter model is compatible with your refrigerator is only one step in the replacement filter selection process. In addition to the contaminants that a product removes and the filter’s lifespan, there are other important considerations. 

Appliance Compatibility 

The water filter must first be compatible with the refrigerator. Refrigerator filters are not universal. Due to the wide variety of refrigerator connection types, most filters are only compatible with one or two refrigerator brands. 

The simplest method for determining which filters are compatible with a refrigerator is to remove the old filter and check the model number. A quick review of the refrigerator’s user manual (or the manufacturer’s website) should provide the desired information. On the website of the water filter manufacturer, you should find a list of refrigerator brands and model numbers, as well as filters that are compatible with them. 

Those with older refrigerator models that lack built-in filtration systems are not required to use pitchers or a home water filtration system to filter their water. As effective as integrated filters, inline systems connecting the water dispenser’s water supply to the refrigerator are just as effective. 

Testing and Verification by NSF 

NSF International is a non-profit organization that tests and certifies consumer products to meet specific performance, safety, and quality requirements. One of their areas of expertise is testing water industry products, including refrigerator water filters. The organization certifies the capabilities of refrigerator water filters using a series of classifications. 

  • NSF 42: Any water filter worth its salt will have NSF 42 certification at a minimum. Filters with an NSF 42 rating will reduce impurities such as chlorine while enhancing the flavor and odor of the water. 
  • NSF 53: Filters with this rating can remove a broader range of contaminants that pose health risks, such as arsenic, mercury, radon, and asbestos, among others. 
  • NSF 401: Filters with an NSF 401 rating can remove certain harmful chemicals from drinking water, such as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbicides, pesticides, and detergents. 

Although these certifications aid in determining the effectiveness of filters, they are not flawless. A filter may have an NSF 53 rating, but the number and type of heavy metals it can remove may differ from another filter with the same rating. Before making a purchase, it is essential to research the filters thoroughly and determine which contaminants they do and do not remove. 

Further Certifications 

The last thing one wants is to purchase a water filter only to discover that it adds harmful chemicals to the filtered water. In addition to the certifications listed above, additional NSF certifications can be found on the labels of water filters. These certifications demonstrate that the filters themselves do not contain certain toxic materials. 

  • A filter-rated NSF 372 will not release lead into the water. 
  • A broader NSF 61 rating indicates that the filter will not leach toxic substances into the water. 

Installation 

Most refrigerator filters are simple to install and fit into a compartment inside the refrigerator. They either twist-lock into a receptacle, plug into a socket, and lock in place when the cover is closed. This simple installation design allows the user to easily replace the filter without leaving the refrigerator door open for an extended period. 

While changing the filter is simple, preparing it for use takes a little more time. The final step of installation for most filters involves passing at least 4 gallons of water through the filter before it is ready for use. This is done to remove any debris that may have become loose during shipping. This can be tedious, requiring multiple trips to the sink to drain water. 

Replacement Frequency 

Most refrigerator water filters have a six-month lifespan. This is between 200 and 300 gallons of filtered water for the average family of four. Although water filters can be pricey, many manufacturers sell them in bundles of two or more at lower unit costs. Purchasing water filters in bulk is an excellent way to save money while maintaining the quality of the water in the refrigerator. 

How We Evaluate 

The best refrigerator water filters provide clean-tasting water, are simple to install, and require replacement no more than twice per year. Our suggestions include products from the best brands on the market that stand out for their quality, durability, and compatibility. We ensured that our top picks had undergone rigorous NSF testing and verification, and a number of these filters have multiple certifications and ratings to ensure the highest possible water quality. 

In our research, we discovered that replacement frequency is an essential factor for consumers, so we included options for filters that last longer than the average 200 gallons—one of our top picks can last for 500 gallons—to reduce the number of times per year the filter must be replaced. 

Best Refrigerator Water Filter To Buy

Below is a list of some of the best water filters available for the most popular refrigerator brands. Due to their numerous NSF certifications, they can filter out various contaminants. These water filters will improve the water quality in a refrigerator’s water dispenser and ice maker. 

How To Clean And Maintain Refrigerator Water Filter

It’s essential to clean and maintain your refrigerator water filter to ensure it’s working correctly. Here are a few tips on how to do so: 

  1. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning recommendations.
  2. Rinse the filter with clean, cold water before installing it.
  3. Flush the filter for two minutes after you install it.
  4. Replace the filter every six months or as the manufacturer recommends.
  5. Clean the filter housing with a soft brush and warm, soapy water.
  6. Rinse the housing thoroughly and dry it before installing the new filter.

Following these simple tips, you can clean and maintain your refrigerator water filter and ensure it’s working correctly. 

Best Refrigerator Water Filter To Buy - FAQs

If you still have questions about refrigerator water filters, the following section answers some of the most frequently asked questions about these products. 

A distinction exists. Certified refrigerator water filters can filter out a variety of contaminants. While some water filters may only reduce chlorine and enhance flavor, others can also eliminate cysts, heavy metals, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. 

A water filter will accumulate the contaminants it removes over time and become clogged. If you observe that filling a glass with water takes longer than usual, it may be time to replace the filter. 

Most refrigerator water filters last between 200 and 300 gallons of water, or approximately six months, depending on how frequently the filter is used. 

Although water filters cannot be recycled through municipal recycling programs, numerous manufacturers and recyclers offer recycling programs for used filters. 

Yes, refrigerator water filters are very effective at removing harmful chemicals from the water that has been chemically treated. The certifications NSF 42 and 53 use mesh, activated carbon, and other technologies to trap particles and prevent them from entering the drinking water. Each year, millions of Americans suffer from waterborne illnesses; refrigerator water filters play a significant role in reducing these numbers. 

Our recommended products have a service life of either six months or 300 gallons, whichever comes first. Note that this is variable based on flow rate and usage. Larger households will need to replace their refrigerator water filters more often than smaller ones. 

Yes, old water filters can make you sick due to degraded activated carbon that does not protect as well against odor-causing chemicals as new filters. 

Conclusion

I have covered a great deal of information today, so to clarify everything discussed thus far, I will conclude our list by recommending a filter based on your and your family’s primary needs. 

Check a filter’s certifications to ensure it meets your family’s water quality requirements. 

If you are looking for a filter with superior filtration capabilities, I would recommend Every Drop by Whirlpool, the Samsung Water Filter, or the Frigidaire Pure Source, in that order. These filters have at least two NSF certifications, making them three of the most effective water filters currently available. 

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