Fridge Water Filters
Did you know that over the life of a machine the water filters could cost more than the appliance?
When you are buying a fridge freezer that has a water and ice making facility we would urge people to consider very highly the cost of filters over the life of the fridge freezer.
In extreme cases we have seen examples where, over a projected ten year life, the cost of replacing filters could be as much if not more than the cost of an American fridge freezer!
When you are standing in a showroom or browsing a website looking at a shiny new fridge freezer you are not too likely to consider the cost of this. Most people don't and it can cost you a fortune over time.
Water Filter Lifespan
Almost all water filters will come with a six month lifespan with, to our knowledge, the only exception being the water filters fitted to GE American fridge freezers that have a twelve month life.
The reason for this is that this is the normal amount of time and use before the carbon in the filter is clogged with contaminants and the filter become no longer effective in filtering these out.
Once the filter has exceeded the recommended life it stops filtering contaminants from the water or it is operating at a much reduced level of filtering. They do need to be changed more or less in line with recommendations.
In extreme cases where people haven't changed the filter on time or, replaced it with a dodgy filter, we've seen the water tanks in fridge freezers get all gunged up with bacteria and, you really don't want to be drinking contaminated water.
When you are buying a fridge freezer with a water filter fitted you need to keep this in mind and understand that this is an ongoing maintenance cost.
If you don't keep the filter up to date then the cost of any work to repair due to that may not be covered by your warranty.
These are the reasons why most fridge freezers that have water filters fitted have irritating flashing lights and so on to tell you to change it, so that there is no excuse for not fitting a new water filter when it is due.
Hidden Cost Of Water Filters
Now you know that you will need to buy the water filters and you understand why you need to get a grip on how much that this is going to run you over the life of the fridge freezer. And, it's where people can get caught out as all too often when you are buying a new fridge freezer it is not something that you would necessarily consider.
We know how it goes, you walk in and see a brand name that you trust, a style that you like or can live with at a price you find acceptable.
Ongoing costs are rarely publicised in the appliance industry unlike the transparency of servicing costs on cars for example. People just don't think about it when buying most often.
Therefore our advice is to check what frequency that the filter has to be changed on and also check if there is an air filter as, if there is, this will also need to be changed, usually at the same time.
Now have a look at how much a replacement water filter and, if fitted, air filter costs for the fridge freezer you are looking at buying.
Simple arithmetic after that will allow you to work out the cost over the projected life of the fridge freezer.
For simplicity, we've taken some of the most common fridge water filters in the most popular American style fridge freezers in the table below to demonstrate the costs that you can expect.
|Water Filter Type||1 Filter||1 Year Cost||5 Year Cost||10 Year Cost|
|Samsung||In line (WSF100) Genuine||£22.00||£44.00||£220.00||£440.00|
|In Line (HAFEX) Genuine||£22.99||£45.98||£229.90||£459.80|
|Internal (HAFIN) Genuine||£26.40||£52.80||£264.00||£528.00|
|LG||In Line Genuine||£31.99||£63.98||£319.90||£639.80|
|Bosch||Filter Part Number 640565||£64.99||£129.98||£649.90||£1,299.80|
|Filter Part Number 644845||£43.00||£86.00||£430.00||£860.00|
|Whirlpool||American fridge freezer filter||£18.83||£37.66||£188.30||£376.60|
|Microban Air Filter||£8.87||£17.74||£88.70||£177.40|
|GE||GE MWF filter||£48.00||£48.00||£240.00||£480.00|
As you can see, the differences in overall lifetime cost can be utterly vast amounting to over a thousand pounds in some cases between the best and the worst. These prices were taken at the time of writing but we don't see it changing too much and, the point is made.
But note the Whirlpool one that has the total cost asterixed below the costs. On many of these American style fridge freezers that are actually made in Italy and rebranded for many, many other manufacturers, you see it needs an air filter as well. That bumps the total cost of ownersip up quite dramatically over the life and something you should look into before you buy because, afterwards, it's too late.
This is why we strongly advice that you stop and consider this before buying a new fridge freezer with an ice and water function on it.
Save Money On Filters
Of course there are a number of compatible filters out in the market from any number of sellers online. Some are good and some are bad as you might expect.
We vet ours to ensure quality. We feel that is important and we'd rather be more expensive and good than the cheapest but supplying our customers with an inferior product.
Some water filters are just plain nasty. No shock that they are usually the cheapest.
Therefore our advice is simple, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
That said, you can save 50% or more of the cost by buying a compatible filter or by sourcing well, which over the life of your fridge freezer can add up to a not insignificant amount of cash.
Look for compatible water filters and look at the cost. If you can live with one of the compatibles that we use then you will get the same or better performance at a much lower cost.
Sadly though for some there are no alternatives available, such as Panasonic, due to low volumes at present and with the cost of filters so ludicrously high it is a brand of fridge freezer we just cannot recommend, even if the actual fridge freezers are good.
Bosch are the same, no alternatives and the water filters are pretty expensive. So, again, they may well be good units but it is hard to recommend them due to the high ongoing costs due to the prie of the water filters alone.