Replacing the water filter of your refrigerator might be a costly affair. According to water filter manufacturers, it is recommended that you replace your water filter at least once every six months. Going by this, and the average market price for these items, your annual maintenance costs can really make a dent in your bank account. You can choose between the OEM manufactured water filters and their cheaper aftermarket versions. But the question remains – which one would be better for you? Here we discuss the differences to help you make an informed decision. You will also learn more about Discount Water Filters for further understanding.
Pros Of OEM Water Filters
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) filters are sold by the same company and under the same brand as your refrigerator. OEM water filters are also referred to as original replacements for your existing appliance. As such, they exactly replicate your old filter in terms of performance and fittings. Getting OEM filter replacement is like buying the same product that you have used as brand new.
Although the cost is generally on the higher side, OEM filters have certain advantages. These water filters have improved contamination filtering ability and are less likely to cause secondary problems. That’s because they come certified for international quality and safety compliances.
Pros Of Aftermarket Water Filters
Aftermarket water filters are sold by alternate manufacturers and not the OEMs. They are known to be comparatively cheaper and a close copy of their original counterpart. Their lower cost is justified by the use of cheaper materials in their production. However, the performance and fittings of these filters make them a substandard item compared to their original version. Using aftermarket filters can also cost you more in the long run through secondary problems. Moreover, their use of sub-standard production materials can risk you with toxic and hazardous water contaminants like lead, arsenic, and carcinogens. Also, aftermarket products are known for using fake certifications of health and safety compliances, which might jeopardize the health of your family.
Are Aftermarket Filters Better?
Providing safe drinkable water is the only purpose of your refrigerator filter. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) acts as the regulatory authority to maintain these health standards. So NSF certifications ensure that filters from a particular brand genuinely remove contaminants from water.
While removing dissolved chlorine is the basic standard by NSF, more advanced filters that remove lead or other chemicals are known to get even better certification standards. Fortunately, some of the most popular OEM filters have single or multiple NSF certifications while their aftermarket counterparts don’t. Few other differentiators for both kinds of filters are:
- Pressure Range
The PSI range on water filters is a measurement standard that indicates the exerted pressure of flowing water on your refrigerator pipes. This value should match the permissible limits on your refrigerator manual for optimum performance. Thankfully, OEM filters correspond to your refrigerator when it comes to matching PSI.
- Contamination Filtering
It has been observed that OEM filters have always had a better contamination filtering capacity than aftermarket ones. Moreover, they are capable of removing more harmful toxic substances with a better level of efficiency.
- Capacity Cycle
The capacity cycle for water filters is measured in gallons. This typically refers to the amount of water that the filter can purify before it would need a replacement. Generally, this value is much higher for OEM filters. In other words, OEM filters last longer than their aftermarket alternatives.
Demerits Of Using Cheap Water Filters
Aftermarket filters might sound convenient to many buyers because they are mostly cheap and budget-friendly. But over the years, it is seen that they feature several functional demerits. For instance, a mismatch of PSI ratings with these filters can cause poor water flow in your refrigerator. Unfortunately, this can get more serious over time and your dispenser might start to malfunction.
Service technicians even have records of when dispensers completely stopped working. Moreover, aftermarket filters might sometimes fail to purify water sufficiently which might ultimately result in foul-smelling and bad tasting water or ice. Furthermore, poor fittings of these filters might result in water leaks from your refrigerator.
All things considered, it might seem that OEM filters are better than their aftermarket counterparts in the long run. Despite their higher costs, they seem to last longer and perform a lot more efficiently. Needless to say, they are less likely to cause you any secondary issues as well. As such, OEM filters seem superior for both performance and safety when it comes to clean and healthy water for your family.