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Posted on Aug 9, 2010

What is the Difference Between a Water Filter and a Water Purifier?

It’s very common for people to use the terms “purifier” and “filter” interchangeably.  However, they are two different items. While each can play a part in providing your home with contaminant-free water and both come in different forms, the process they use is what sets them apart the most. It is the items left in the water that makes the difference

Simply said, filters remove particles, contaminants, and impurities from your drinking water as it flows out. The water flows through a filter cartridge that keeps them from leaving. Filters work like a strainer in that the water flows through before you use it, whether it be just your kitchen sink, shower head, or a whole house filter.

However, purification systems not only remove what filters do, they also remove all minerals from the water. This is done in two ways, reverse osmosis (RO) and distillation. Reverse osmosis works partially like a filter in that water goes through a strainer-like part, except the holes are smaller. The water must be forced through, removing everything from the water. Distillation is when water is boiled and the steam is captured. The steam that is collected will be purified.

While at first glance it would appear that a purification system would be superior, it actually strips the water of minerals that your body needs. Nature gives you water that contains theses minerals because they are needed in your body. The water then becomes contaminated in one way or another. The contaminants need to be removed but the minerals must remain. Since nowhere can we find a fresh water source without minerals, it is safe to assume they are meant to be there.

Moreover, the many studies, reports, and books written about minerals in drinking water have all come to the same conclusion: you need minerals to be healthy. In fact, only consuming water without minerals can be dangerous to your health and will cause you to have mineral deficiencies. The World Health Organization stated in its 2005 report, Nutrients in Drinking Water, that “drinking water should contain minimum levels of certain essential minerals.”

There are two ways that only drinking demineralized water can harm you. First, this water will have more acidic properties. When you consume an acidic substance, your body is forced to pull minerals you carry in your bones and teeth to allow the formation of bicarbonates that will neutralize the acid. Second, when the fluids in your body contain more acid than alkaline, more free radicals are produced and cancer risks increase. Cancer cells have been shown to be more productive in acid environments. This is supported in the reality that the places where people lead the longest, most disease-free lives are where the water has a high mineral content but no contaminants.

Purification is a process best left to the science lab and in industry, where certain processes require purified water. In your home, you will want to use a filter. Aquasana has many great, affordable options for filtering your home’s water. Their multi-process filtration systems will remove the negative contaminants you do not want while leaving the healthy minerals that you do want.


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