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Reverse Osmosis Filtration: the Energy-Efficient Solution

by Theresea Hughes
(Fort Worth, Texas, USA)

No modern, energy-efficient home is complete without a proper, whole-home reverse osmosis water filter system. There are many reasons why an energy-efficient home ought to have such a filtration system incorporated into its design, among them the lower energy requirements for reverse osmosis.

The benefits to your plumbing system alone that the water softeners generated by reverse osmosis provides also make such a system highly beneficial to your home. These softeners reduce lime and calcium buildup in your pipes, preventing the kind of decay that would eventually lead you to need to replace your plumbing system at a cost of thousands of dollars.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis is the process by which dissolved minerals are taken out of water using a semi-permeable membrane with high pressure. Osmosis (the regular kind) is most commonly seen in plants. If you don’t water them, they start to wilt and die. Plant tissue is made up of cells, which are surrounded by semi-permeable membranes. The membrane is “semi”-permeable because water can flow through it, but salts can’t.

Water is drawn into the cell from the outside because it wants to dilute the higher concentration of salts on the inside of the cell. If there is too much salt on the outside of the cell (a higher concentration than on the inside), the mechanism will lead the plant to wilt because water will move from the inside of the cell to the outside.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Work in the Home?

In reverse osmosis water filtration, the natural flow from dilute to concentrate is overcome by increasing the pressure on the side of the membrane with the mineralized (salty) water, and water is forced across the membrane with this pressure.

Home reverse osmosis systems are fairly simple to understand. They consist of a series of tubes containing the membranes, with a high-pressure pump that forces the water through the system. Pretreatment options can eliminate suspended solids, Calcium and Magnesium solutes (water “hardness”), and other oxidizers.

The Best Investment You Can Make for Your Home

A whole-home reverse osmosis water filtration system is a great idea from homeowners who want to improve their homes with energy-efficient solutions. These systems prevent deposits in the house’s plumbing that can cause huge problems in the future, reduce the impact of the millions of individual plastic water bottles that go into landfills every year.

They are also healthy and a great-tasting alternative to tap water, which can have tons of contaminants. A lot of people don’t realize that these contaminants are vaporized and inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, in a bath or shower, or how easy it is to install a reverse osmosis system that can filter all of the water running through the pipes in their homes.

A whole-house system protects you thoroughly, while at the same time having a negligible impact on your energy costs. All in all, these systems are a great solution, not for just people who have allergies to contaminants, but for anyone looking for a healthier way to live that also cares about reducing the impact of appliances on their energy bill.

Updated: October 14, 2013 — 6:58 am

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