Sediment, chemicals, and minerals will build up in water filters over time, making them less effective. To ensure clean drinking water in every glass, change your water filters every six months or when your system indicates a new filter is needed (e.g., a red light or change filter alert). Depending on your refrigerator model, replacement water filters start at $15. Faucet filtration systems can range from $15 to $100, while under-the-sink filters can cost you between $100 and $600. With pallets of bottled water starting at $275, getting a filter will save a lot of money for clean drinking water over six months (and also minimize waste).

What to Do

Replace the filters in your fridge and/or kitchen faucet to ensure clean drinking water.

What You’ll Need

The Basics

  •  New water filter
  •  Gloves
  •  Trash receptacle

The Works

  •  Wrench
  •  Replacement O-rings
  •  Mild cleaner
  •  Paper towels or sponge

How to Do It

First, determine the specific water filter needed (e.g., make and model), then purchase the replacement filter.

For Refrigerators

Turn off the water supply and locate the water filter compartment. Remove the old water filter and discard. Wipe down compartment to remove any residue. On the new filter, remove any seals or caps (if applicable), then place the new filter into its designated space. Restore the water supply.

For Kitchen Sinks

For faucets, open the filter chamber and remove the old filter. Wipe down compartment area (if possible). Replace with the new filter and close the compartment. Dispose the used filter.

For under-the-sink filters, turn off the water supply, then turn on the faucet to relieve any pressure. Under the sink, remove the filter compartment, taking care not to spill any accumulated water. Remove all ancillary hardware and the old filter cartridge. Note whether O-rings show signs of buildup or decay; clean or replace as needed. Clean the compartment to remove all residue and grime. Add new filter cartridge and replace all hardware. Discard the old filter.

Regardless of the system, once your water filter has been replaced be sure to run the taps for a few minutes to get filters up and running properly.

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The opinions expressed in this post are for informational purposes only. To determine the best financing for your personal circumstances and goals, consult with a licensed advisor.