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Certified water filters start around $20, with replacement filters being less expensive than the initial device. Filtration pitchers and faucet-mounted filters generally cost less than filters that are plumbed in below a sink. Reverse osmosis systems are more expensive than carbon filtration systems. When choosing a filter, consider filter replacement costs and only purchase a system that you are willing to maintain.
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Yes. If your filter cartridge is not replaced according to the manufacturer's guidelines, you run the risk of it no longer performing as designed. For example, a filter designed to remove 99% of lead can only do so for a specific volume of water. Filters that are not maintained or replaced according to the manufacturer's schedule can also harbor bacteria. Many filters have a device that indicates when to change the filter.