If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between water filters and reverse osmosis (RO) is, you have come to the right place! Both a water filter and reverse osmosis system, serves to reduce the number of contaminants in water, they function quite differently.

Both reverse osmosis and water filters offer advantages that make them suitable for specific applications. However, you might discover that you want the benefits of both systems for your home water filtration. In which case, you may choose to invest in a system that combines both filtration methods. Here’s a rundown of how a water filter differs from an RO water system.


What is a Water Filter?

While various types of water filters are available, the most common type of filtration media found in most all water filters is activated carbon. Activated carbon is used because it has the ability to remove or reduce a large number of contaminants in the shortest amount of time. This makes it especially useful for whole home filters. Activated carbon works by adsorbing (not absorbing) impurities and contaminants from liquids or gasses through its highly porous surface area. This process involves trapping molecules of the impurities and contaminants onto the surface of the activated carbon. This effectively removes or reduces them from the surrounding environment.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis (RO) systems dramatically decrease the number of contaminants in water using the reverse osmosis process. In reverse osmosis, an external force greater than the osmotic pressure is required to force a solvent across a membrane. In an RO water system, you start with water that contains a high number of contaminants. By applying external pressure greater than the osmotic pressure, you can push water through a semipermeable membrane that selectively allows the solvent (water) to pass through while blocking other contaminants or solutes present in the initial solution. Through this process, it becomes possible to remove a higher amount of contaminants compared to water filtration. As a result, the water is purified to a greater extent.

Which is better?

The most suitable water treatment system depends on the specific application. For those seeking a drinking water system for their kitchen sink, reverse osmosis is highly recommended. This is because it can effectively eliminate contaminants for safe drinking and cooking purposes. On the other hand, if you are looking for a solution for your whole house, a whole house reverse osmosis system may not be the best option. Unfortunately, due to its high cost, space requirements, and water waste. Instead, a more practical and economical alternative is a whole house filter with activated carbon. A whole house filter can remove and reduce a wide range of contaminants and provide cleaner, safer water for the entire household. In addition, it is better for bathing and showering. It is also common to combine both systems by using a whole house filter and a reverse osmosis system for drinking and cooking water.

If you’re still unsure about the best option for your needs, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.