Water is essential for survival, and it is important to make sure we are consuming clean water. One way we can do this is by investing in a water filter for your refrigerator, but several things can affect the longevity of a water filter. These include the general amount of contaminants that are in your water and where you live.
If you have hard water, which has more minerals in it, this can build up and clog your water filter. If your water usage is above average, you may also need to change out your water filter sooner.
Contaminated and hard water can affect your health, including your skin and hair. Water filters are, arguably, the best way to soften your water to improve your life and health, so they are well worth the expense.
Once you install a water filter, however, it is also important to change it periodically. Everyone enjoys the convenience of having water and ice readily available in the fridge, but dirty, unfiltered water can harbor some nasty stuff.
It is important to understand what affects the lifespan of your water filter. Here are the warning signs for when it’s time to change your water filter:
The Indicator Light
Most new fridges feature an icon that lights up and notifies you when it may be time to change your water filter. Many of them are set to turn on after a certain amount of time; however, some newer models know how to check the actual status of the filter and only turn on when the filter is dirty.
Check the Calendar
The consensus between most refrigerator manufactures is that you should change your water filter every six months—similar to regularly changing the oil in your car after a certain period.
Some refrigerators even come with a sticker where you can write down the date you installed the current filter and include what date you should change it. Of course, fridges that are used more regularly may need the water filter changed out more often, so this may not be an accurate timeline.
Clogged up? If your water is coming out slower than it should, there may be mineral deposits building up in your water filter. This indicates your filter is doing its job and preventing contaminants from getting into your water.
Your ice may also alert you that you may have a clogged filter. If your ice cubes are becoming smaller and your dispenser begins working slower, this may indicate the water filter has reached its useful lifespan.
Nasty taste and/or texture? An old water filter can cause your water to taste different, so, if you notice a change in taste, consider installing a new filter. You may have a funny grainy texture, too, which indicates the sediment has built up over time and can no longer be filtered out.
Are your ice and water discolored? Dark, cloudy ice is a clear sign your water filter may need to be replaced. If your filter needs to be changed, you may also tell by looking at the color of the water that comes out because it may be cloudy, too.
Notice an Odor
Does your water and/or ice smell bad? It may be your water filter. Smells can range from sour, to sweet, to fishy, and it can be either mild or pretty bad. This could be due to the buildup of minerals, sediment, and bacteria that are no longer filtered out.
A not-so-subtle warning sign that your water filter may be working overtime and need a change is a louder-than-normal sound. If you can hear your fridge being louder than it usually is, it may be that your water filter is struggling and should be changed.
Conduct a Test
If you are concerned your water filter may not be functioning properly, a simple test may give you the answer. Leave some filtered water in a glass for a while and, if your water filter is ready to be changed, sediment will appear either at the top or bottom of the glass.
Safe, clean water protects your well-being and, overall, it just tastes, looks, and smells better than unfiltered water.
Contaminants can build up and cause your water and ice to become unappealing. There are all kinds of filters and accessories for your everyday needs to keep you and your family safe and healthy.