The Dangers of Not Changing Your Refrigerator Water Filter
Although we hardly ever think about it, the refrigerator water filter is one of the kitchen’s hardest workers. It takes tap water and purifies it down to the tiniest particle, ensuring that every sip you take is clean, tasty and free of any harmful substances. But are there dangers of not changing your refrigerator water filter regularly? Though probably not life-threatening, failing to swap your filter out on occasion may cause some adverse effects that you want to keep in mind.
Luckily, keeping your water safe and potable is fairly easy as long as you remember to occasionally change the filter according to the instructions provided by the refrigerator manufacturer. If you have a hard time finding your filter, knowing where to install it or replacing on time, check out our Water Filter Finder.
What Happens When You Don’t Change the Filter?
- You May Consume Harmful Chemicals—The No. 1 reason to keep your filter fresh is because it removes 99 percent of harmful chemicals and contaminants from your drinking water, including lead, asbestos, mercury, cysts, pesticides and harmful bacteria. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), nearly 77 million Americans drink water from systems that do not meet federal standards designed to protect their health. Some common contaminants include:
- Lead—Lead, which tends to seep into the water supply via old lead pipes, can cause neurological, behavioral and health problems in children and adults. Water filters can significantly reduce the amount of lead in your drinking water.
- Asbestos—The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that asbestos—a material found primarily in construction materials and insulation—gets into our water through a variety of channels, including industrial waste, atmospheric pollution and the erosion of piping. Health hazards associated with asbestos include serious respiratory issues, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.
- Mercury—High levels of mercury have been shown to damage the brain, kidneys and developing fetus in pregnant women. Generally, mercury levels in drinking water are not high enough to cause serious health problems, but a filter will eliminate it almost entirely.
- Pathogens—Yep, you can be exposed to bacteria, parasites and viruses without even leaving your home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), waterborne disease outbreaks resulted in nearly 300 cases of illness, over 100 hospitalizations and 17 deaths between 2013 and 2014.
- Waste—Did you know that chemical waste, byproducts and even radioactive contaminants can wind up in your drinking water? The NRDC reports that, due to leaks or improper waste storage, water can be tinged with radioactive material from the production of nuclear weapons and energy. Additionally, medical and pharmaceutical waste has been tested in drinking water.
- Your Refrigerator Ages Faster—In the same way that these harmful chemicals can affect our bodies, they can also affect our refrigerators. Failing to change your fridge’s water filter can cause scaling and deposit buildup in the water and ice machine, which can seriously damage your fridge. This buildup tends to slow down the system, causing low flow, and negatively affects the flavor of your water.
- Your Water Tastes Bad—Let’s not forget the fact that an old filter fails to properly eliminate gross-tasting particles in your water, making it taste metallic, sulfuric or all-around bad. The best way to ensure that you have high-quality, great-tasting H2O is to select a good water filter and make sure you swap it out at the proper intervals. Having water that tastes and smells good will help make it more appealing so you drink your daily recommended amount!
How Often Should You Change the Filter?
How often you need to change your water filter depends on a few factors, including the make and model of your fridge, the quality of your existing tap water and how often you use the water and ice features on the appliance. Additionally, different fridge manufacturers have different recommendations. For example, some Samsung and GE replacement water filters should be changed every six months, while other manufacturers recommend replacement every three months.
If you’re looking for a versatile replacement water filter, we suggest browsing EveryDrop water filters. Many of the EveryDrop water filters are compatible with leading refrigerator brands such as Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid and more.
Looking for a replacement water filter for your home fridge that is also trusted by commercial kitchens? Consider purchasing an Everypure water filter. With a reputation of high-quality products that are long-lasting, Everypure water filters are a great option for both residential and commercial kitchen alike.
For kitchens that use reverse osmosis water systems, look to APEC water filtration systems whenever you need a replacement. As a top reverse osmosis manufacturer, the APEC brand is a go-to choice that will not disappoint.
The good news is that if you have a relatively modern refrigerator, there’s a good chance it will let you know exactly when it’s time to change the filter. By using built-in sensors, the fridge is able to detect when it’s time for an update, and it will alert the user via an indicator light on the front of the fridge. Once you know it’s time to replace, you can find the correct filter that fits and get it delivered on schedule with the right subscription. Make sure to keep your kitchen stocked with backup filters so you never go without clean, delicious water!