A lot of us don’t really think about the mechanics of a cold water filtration system. We just get a glass or a refillable bottle, fill it with cold water, and start drinking. What matters to many is that we instantly get cool, clean, and refreshing water to drink— especially on a hot summer day.
Nonetheless, the process by which water gets filtered and cooled is quite fascinating. Below, we take a look at what happens behind the scenes when you turn the tap on or press the button on your cold water filtration system.
What Is a Cold Water Filtration System?
A cold water filtration system is just that: a mechanism that removes impurities from the water through the process of filtration. After the water is filtered, the refrigeration or cooling system chills the water. For inline systems, the water filter is attached directly to the main cold water line. The water is immediately filtered as it passes through the system, coming out clean and cooled through the cold water tap. The usual filtration process for inline water filters is two-stage activated-carbon filtration. This gets rid of chlorine, sediments, and volatile organic compounds that can affect the taste and odour of water.
Free-standing units, on the other hand, can either be connected to the mains water supply or supplied by water from 5- or 10-gallon containers. These cold water filtration systems usually have two or more filtration processes, such as carbon filtration and UV filtration. UV filtration is especially helpful, since the UV rays help kill microorganisms that would otherwise have passed through other kinds of physical filters. If your free-standing cold water filter has a sparkling water option, carbon dioxide is added to the water in the UV chamber before it gets transferred into a tank that stores the clean water.
How Does the Water Get Cooled?
Depending on the model of your cold water filtration system, the water will be chilled by either vapour compression or thermoelectric cooling. Vapour compression refrigeration is classified into three systems: reservoir systems, pressure vessel direct chill systems, and ice-bank cooling systems.
Reservoir systems consist of an open-end tank where water is stored. The cooling coils touch the external surface of the tank, which is fitted with a float mechanism that prevents overflows. Reservoir systems could have removable and replaceable reservoirs, which make maintenance easier, as well as stainless steel reservoirs that have a longer lifespan.
Pressure vessel direct chill systems combines a pressure vessel and a direct chill system. The water inside the pressure vessel doesn’t come into contact with airborne contaminants. The vessel is also filled with water at a lower pressure, which allows for more water to be stored. However, the low pressure means the water will flow more slowly. The direct chill system, meanwhile, passes through a stainless steel coil. The cold from the external refrigeration system transfers to the coils through conduction. This system results in faster water cooling, but has a lower volume of cold water available at any time.
For ice-bank cooling systems, there’s a reservoir filled with pre-chilled water. A copper coil circulates the refrigerant gas, freezing the water in the reservoir. The frozen water inside the reservoir is what cools the water that flows through the pressurised stainless steel coil that’s immersed in the reservoir.
Finally, thermoelectric cooling systems use direct current instead of refrigerants. When the direct current flows through the device, it transfers the heat from one side to the other, leaving the other side cooler. The hot side has a heat sink, while the cool side is designed to go below-room temperature to chill the water. Thermoelectric cooling is leak-proof, has no moving parts (and therefore requires less maintenance), and has a long lifespan. It’s less harmful to the environment.
Pros and Cons of Cold Water Filtration
Cold water filtration systems are beneficial in both domestic and commercial settings. Their primary advantage is that, of course, you can access cool or cold water on-demand. Most cold water filtration systems also come with a maintenance agreement with the provider. This means that you don’t have to worry about cleaning or replacing the filters. The maintenance staff will visit the system at scheduled intervals for proper servicing. This will help prolong the lifespan of the filtration system. Another advantage of cold water filtration systems is that they’re compact. Standard models only need about one square foot of space, which is definitely a plus for those living or working within a modest home or office.
If you prefer drinking cold water, it’s a good idea to consider getting a cold water filtration system for your home. It’s also a great addition to an office or small- to medium-sized business establishments, giving both your personnel and customers easy access to cold water.
The most obvious downside of cold water filtration systems is that they often don’t have the option for hot water. This means that if you want to prepare beverages like hot tea or hot chocolate, you have to heat up the water separately. While this isn’t too much of an inconvenience, it will still take a few minutes for you to enjoy your drink. Maintenance costs can also add up if the system is used often and for high volumes of water.
Clean water is essential for safe, hygienic, and healthy living. Cold water filtration systems can easily provide this human need. What’s even better is that they come with the added benefit of cooling the water for a more refreshing drink.
As earlier mentioned, there are a lot of cold water filtration systems available in the market. You can get in touch with a water filter company to know more about your options. They can provide valuable insights on which kind of filtration system best suits your needs, as well as the models that match your budget.
The bottomline is that there’s plenty to gain if you invest in a cold water filtration system. It’s not just for convenience. It’s also for the health and safety of the people at home and at work.