HomeUncategorizedReverse Osmosis System or a Fridge Filter?

Reverse Osmosis System or a Fridge Filter?

When it comes to drinking water, we are always concerned first about its quality. Secondly, our focus is on convenience that drinking water is easily available in our faucets or drinking water dispensers. Unfortunately, the quality of our tap water is not somewhat directly potable. There are many possible reasons of it one is you don’t like the smell or taste or another reason is that it is contaminated with a number of unwanted and harmful substances. Due to non-reliance on tap water people started buying bottled water many decades ago. But plastic bottled water is not a healthy and sustainable drinking water source. Now a reverse trend is ongoing where plastic bottled water use is highly discouraged globally as well as on a local level due to its thorough harmful impacts on the environment and individuals health.

Advancements in the water filtration industry are making progress and many different techniques are prevailing in the market to filter drinking water. Two most popular options people are opting nowadays for getting pure and healthy drinking water is either a fridge filter or a reverse osmosis system. Both methods ameliorate the quality of water and make it drinkable. But which method is better to use need to be identified. On the basis of quality of water produced and convenience we need to differentiate between the two options how a fridge filter or a reverse osmosis system works.

Reverse Osmosis System Vs Fridge filter

Both of these filters use two different filtration techniques. First let’s understand the basic principle on which they work.

Filtration in fridge filter

A fridge filter or inbuilt fridge dispenser woks on carbon filtration. This basic filtration comes by default nowadays in modern refrigerators, water dispensers and ice makers as well. Carbon filtration is based on a carbon filter that removes chorine from the water. The activated carbon in the carbon filter adsorbs all chlorine and filter out the smell of chlorine in the water hence enhancing its taste and drinkability. This filter also removes harmful pesticides and other chemicals. But carbon filtration does not remove all kinds of contaminants such as heavy metals and other dissolved solids due to which some odors and flavors still remain in water. Carbon filter can filter particles up to 5 microns but do not remove particles whose size is less than 5 microns. Hence carbon filtration is not that much efficient from which you expect to remove all kinds of impurities.

Another important aspect of these fridge filters is that they come in-built in a fridge as an added advantage. This carbon filter has been added by the fridge companies as a competitive advantage and as an extra feature. Hence filtration is secondary purpose that they serve not the main purpose that the product caters. These filters do not have a long life and their filtration capacity is also not very efficient. Many of the claims made are not backed by evidence and these filters just remove chlorine some herbicides and certain chemicals but nothing else. These filters can be useful where the water quality is very good and people just need to remove the smell of chlorine from water.

So, they do bring some improvement in the quality of water at your home but these fridge filters are not the ultimate means to water filtration. The advantage these filters have over reverse osmosis systems is that they serve you chilled and chlorine filtered water through a reverse osmosis system serves you filtered water free from all impurities at room temperature.

Filtration in Reverse osmosis system

A reverse osmosis system works on the idea of a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane has a filtration capacity of .0001 micron that means it has a pore size of .0001 micron so it doesn’t let many particles, dissolved solids, chemicals even the bacteria and viruses to let through it. Once the water is allowed to pass through it removes everything and makes water 99% pure.

A drinking water reverse osmosis system additionally contains many pre-filters and post filters. Usually, a pre carbon filter removes chlorine and chloramines from water and carbon block filter removes all kinds of inorganic minerals, pesticides, herbicides and bigger particles. Further reverse osmosis membrane removes everything from the water even the essential minerals which are added back to the water through a post mineralization membrane.

In terms of efficiency, a drinking water reverse osmosis system provides pure and clean water after filtration and these systems are purposefully designed to filter impure and unclean water. These systems are usually designed to be fitted under the sink along with storage tanks and a separate faucet to fill water. There are compact water dispensers as well that have an inbuilt reverse osmosis system with storage tank. These reverse osmosis water dispensers supply chilled reverse osmosis water.

Reverse osmosis systems also come as a whole home reverse osmosis system. These systems have bigger storage capacity and provide more water. But usually, a whole home reverse osmosis system is unlikely to be recommended because just carbon filtration is enough for cleaning, washing and laundry rather than a whole home reverse osmosis system. It is more costly as well in terms of advantage delivered so for whole house usually a whole house in line carbon filter is recommended than a whole home reverse osmosis system.

Cost effectiveness and Maintenance

After studying the working and basic principle of both the filters we can sum up that a reverse osmosis system offers more beneficial efficiency as a filter. The quality of water delivered in case of a reverse osmosis system is far more superior to a fridge filter.

When the cost and advantage offered by a fridge filter is compared usually you need to pay little extra than a standard fridge. Additional feature comes with additional cost and though effectiveness is not wholly delivered. Secondly these filters get blocked very quickly and dispenser fitted in refrigerator is not of very good quality. It costs a lot on repair.  Thirdly these refrigerators occupy a lot of space sometimes you don’t even need that much bigger refrigerators according to space dimensions and restrictions you have. A reverse osmosis system is worth buying separately as there are lots of models and varieties available in market. These are not very expensive and are readily available. These systems deliver 100-150 liters of water on an average daily so you can use it in cooking, for improving the taste of your beverages as well as for your ice cubes.

Both fridge filter and reverse osmosis system needs proper maintenance. This maintenance has certain cost. Usually, carbon filters need replacement every 6-12 months. So, a fridge filter needs to be replaced every 6 to 12 months depending on the usage whereas a reverse osmosis membrane should be replacing every 5 years depending upon the usage. Pre-filters are usually serviced in the system biannually.


From the discussion above it is evident that fridge filters can serve to remove chorine and chloramines from water but cannot fully filter everything while on the other hand a reverse osmosis system is far better in terms of its efficiency, effectiveness, cost and maintenance.


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