Everyone deserves clean water. And you can ensure you have safe and clean drinking water by using a distiller or a filter. However, the dispute between the two may be confusing at times—and this is where we come in.
The thing is, both water distillers and filtration systems can provide you with clean water that is safe to drink.
That said, the way these two techniques work is completely different.
Below, we’re going to walk you through the process of how distillers and the different filtration methods work. We’ll also weigh their pros and cons to help you pick the right water treatment system for your home.
What Is Water Distillation?
Water distillation converts liquid into vapor. The process involves heating water to the point where the liquid vaporizes, and then cooling and condensing the vapor back into its liquid form. It’s time-consuming, but it works. In fact, it’s the most effective way of removing 100% of water contaminants.
Here’s how the water distillation process works:
Step 1: First, water is heated to a full boiling point in a chamber, causing evaporation and steam production.
Step 2: The steam then exits the boiling chamber through a vent into a condenser or cooling coil. At this point, any impurities, contaminants, or microorganisms that can’t vaporize with the water will be left in the boiling chamber.
Step 3: As the steam escapes into the condenser, it turns into droplets which are now the distilled water. It is then collected in a separate container.
Step 4: The final step is purification. Depending on the type of distillation equipment involved, the distilled water may undergo further purification to eliminate any leftover impurities. Typically, an activated carbon filter will absorb impurities. Once it’s filtered, it is now clean, pure, and safe to drink.
Water distillers separate homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures. It can eliminate inorganic compounds like pesticides and herbicides, heavy metals like nitrate and iron, as well as hardness. However, it also removes the essential minerals that your body can benefit from. It can also make water taste bland or flat.
The overall efficiency of this process will also depend on what’s in your water. Certain organic compounds have lower boiling points than water, which may re-enter the distilled water. But this is also why purification is involved in the process.
Pros and Cons of Distilled Drinking Water
Distillation gets rid of all pollutants, bacteria, allergens, and impurities. However, the process is so powerful that it also removes essential nutrients and minerals like calcium, magnesium, salt, and electrolytes. When you drink distilled water, you may find it tasting flat, unlike tap water.
These minerals are necessary for optimal muscle function and recovery, which can be a concern for those with deficiencies. The lack of these minerals can lead to electrolyte imbalance, deficiencies, and even tooth decay.
Also, distilled water may be more acidic (7.0 pH) than other types of water. That pH level is lower than the ideal blood pH of 7.35 to 7.45, which can make you feel tired. It can also make your body retain water and suffer headaches and muscle cramps.
On the brighter side, though, drinking distilled water can help eliminate toxins and pollutants from the body. This is because it lacks the minerals and impurities found in tap water and other sources. And this can help with keeping specific organs like the liver and kidneys healthy.
What Is Water Filtration?
Water filtration is the physical process of eliminating pollutants and pathogenic compounds in water.
It’s not the most effective method of water purification, but it removes or reduces the amount of particulate matter from a water source. This may include suspended solid particles floating, algae, silts, and sediments. It also eliminates viruses and bacteria, and other unwanted chemical and biological contaminants.
It may involve a fine physical barrier, a chemical, or a biological approach. And it comes in various water filtration processes, such as:
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Reverse osmosis is expensive but it’s one of the most efficient techniques for purifying water. It operates by drawing water through a semipermeable membrane. The membrane is water-soluble and features pores small enough for only allowing water molecules to pass through, filtering out particles, chemicals, and impurities.
However, while it removes a large portion of contaminants from water, reverse osmosis systems also tends to expel essential nutrients and minerals like distillers do. But it’s still a good purification method for water sources with a high level of toxicity.
Carbon filters are the way to go if you want a more affordable way to remove odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, chlorine, and more. They’re common in filtered water pitchers, under-sink filters, and fridge dispensers. Plus, carbon filters make water taste better.
If hard water is an issue, ion exchange filters are the best option. This filter incorporates a chemical process and works by exchanging ions in the water with ions held in the filter material, typically a resin bed. The resin draws water pollutants and exchanges them with ions. And this results in clean, pure water.
That being said, because an ion exchange filter only dissolves excess calcium and magnesium in water, you may need to use it along with another type of filter to remove salt content.
These types of filters are usually used as the first stage of filtration. Mechanical filters work by physically catching and eliminating particles, silt, and debris from the water as it passes through a filtering media like a mesh, a porous cartridge, or pads.
Pros and Cons of Filtered Drinking Water
Drinking filtered water offers several health benefits since it contains a good amount of all the healthy minerals and nutrients your body needs. Unlike distilled water, the filtration process retains minerals like magnesium, calcium, and zinc. All while removing heavy metals and pesticides.
Filtered water also gives you a good balance of electrolytes. Plus, with carbon filters, you’ll have fresh, better-tasting water that is safe to consume every day.
However, as we’ve mentioned earlier, filters don’t remove all contaminants in the water. This is because different filtration methods are designed to remove specific types of contaminants. So, always consider what your household needs before installing one in your home.
Is a Water Distiller Better Than a Water Filter?
Though expensive to run, water distillers tend to eliminate more impurities than filters. However, they may get rid of beneficial minerals from your water. Water filters, on the other hand, are less expensive. But it depends on the type of system you have. Plus, not all water filters can remove 100% of the impurities from water.
Is a Water Distiller Worth It?
A water distiller can be worth investing in, especially if you have a business like a coffee shop. It can give you the highest quality of water, making it safe to drink. The downside is that it’s expensive and the distillation process can take time.
Is It Safe To Drink Filtered Water?
Yes, however, depending on the type of filter used. Certain types of carbon filters, for example, cannot kill viruses like other filtration methods. In addition, some water filters don’t work well without using them in conjunction with other types of filters.
While both water purifying methods provide purified water, a water distiller may be more efficient at eliminating contaminants and providing clean, safe drinking water. But if you don’t have the budget to install a distillation unit, a water filter may be more convenient and cost-effective in the long term.
After all, distilled water may not be the ideal choice for everyday drinking water. Clean, fresh filtered water should suffice. Plus, filters offer a range of options depending on the needs and budget.
We hope you found this post helpful in understanding how these two purification techniques work. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.