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Glass of water in front of stack of water filters

Why You Should Change Your Water Filter

Learn more about water filter capabilities and how they benefit you and your refrigerator system. Once you read this article, you'll understand why you need to change your water filter regularly and how to do it yourself at home.
hand changing water filter inside a white refrigerator

Getting Started

If your refrigerator features a built-in water dispenser or ice maker, this means your appliance also has a water filter. Unfortunately, these filters do not last forever and maintaining their performance means knowing when it's time for a replacement. But why is it recommended to change your water filter regularly? While this small accessory is the sole reason your water stays clean and safe to drink, this is not the only reason to switch your old for new. A working water filter is extremely important to your refrigeration system, so keep reading to learn why you need to change it.

Increased Filter Lifespan and Performance

A water filter's ability to eliminate toxic impurities is limited over a period of time, so when your filter reaches its maximum capacity, it can begin to break down or get blocked. Changing your water filter regularly will prevent this. When a blockage happens, your filter has no way of catching and removing contaminants, forcing you to ingest dirty water. While a blocked filter decreases the water pressure and slows down the output from your dispenser, the blockage also increases pressure on the filtration system overall. This can damage certain components in your system and ultimately shorten the lifespan of your filter. Changing your water filter regularly prevents all blockage, increases filter lifespan and allows it to keep running at maximum performance.

Elimination of Harmful Chemicals & Organisms

If your water filter lives too long inside your refrigerator, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria, picking up toxic impurities, dangerous pollutants, or waterborne illnesses that can greatly affect your health. In contrast, replacing your filter guarantees the removal of a variety of these chemicals. Looking to understand the health benefits of eliminating contaminants? Here's what your filter is built to combat and why extraction is so vital:
  • Removal of chlorine: Reduces the risk of gastrointestinal disease and some cancers like bladder cancer, colon cancer and rectal cancer
  • Removal of zinc: Reduces the risk of intestinal irritation like nausea, stomach cramps and vomiting
  • Removal of lead: Reduces the risk of increased blood pressure, hypertension, reproductive problems and decreased kidney function
  • Removal of copper: Reduces the risk of short-term gastrointestinal issues and long-term liver problems, kidney problems and anemia
  • Removal of cadmium: Reduces the risk of disrupted bone composition and decreased bone density
  • Removal of mercury: Reduces the risk of impaired vision, hearing and speech, corroded skin, involuntary muscle movement and difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Removal of pesticides: Reduces the risk of skin irritations like dry skin or rashing, cancer, nervous system malfunction and hormone/endocrine changes
  • Removal of heavy metals: Reduces the risk of cancer, autoimmune disorders and brain, nervous system and organ damage
While any average water filter will promote health by preventing the effects of these contaminants, you can also go the extra mile by investing in more advanced models like UV filters, activated carbon filters, infrared filters, reverse osmosis filters and alkaline water ionizers for additional protection.
Person filling glass of water from refrigerator water dispenser

Improved Water Taste

The water with the best flavor can most often be accredited to purity. Filtered water is the purest and cleanest of its kind, especially because many filters incorporate beneficial minerals into your water for additional crispness. Changing your water filter regularly maintains the health and quality of your water and provides peak flavor. Each sip is guaranteed to be more refreshing than the next.

How Often Replacements Are Needed

Many sources suggest changing your water filter at least every six months. However, different water filters have different lifespans that are most likely specified in the manuals that accompany them. The most foolproof way to ensure you're replacing your water filter as needed is by monitoring its performance. If your filter is struggling to do its job, there are definite indicators to look for that will make it apparent it's time to invest in a new one.

Signs That Should Change Your Water Filter

A Change In Odor Or Taste

Everyone enjoys a sip of crisp, clean water, but if the flavor is not as fresh as expected, this may hint at an old water filter. Unfiltered water often tastes sulfuric or metallic, which can be caught quickly.

A Change In Water Pressure

Have you noticed the water flow in your refrigerator dispenser has slowed down? That's one of the most common signs of an old water filter. This happens most often with filters that contain activated carbon, as they are designed to collect contaminants and sediments over time. Skip standing at your dispenser waiting for your cup to fill and replace your filter instead.

Do A Visual Inspection

In certain refrigerator models, water filters are stored in clear containers or transparent housing, making it easier than ever to check your filter cartridge for impurities. If you notice your filter is dirty, discolored or showing signs of mold, it's time to invest in a replacement.

How To Change Your Water Filter And More

Now that you're a water filter expert, you might be wondering about next steps. How do you find and purchase the right filter for your refrigerator? How do you locate your old filter so you can move forward with replacing it? Abt provides all the resources you need to get the job done. Input your specific refrigerator model into our water filter finder and we'll not only tell you the exact filter replacement you need, but we'll also provide a step-by-step guide to installing it in your fridge. If you don't feel confident enough to try this at home, Abt also offers water filter replacement installation services to all our local customers.