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Understanding the Differences Between OEM and Aftermarket Filters

By September 10, 2018November 29th, 2020No Comments

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between an OEM filter and the “other” filters on the market?  A lot of people may think that a low-cost, non-name brand (aka aftermarket) filter is made from cheaper materials, but that’s a common misconception. In most cases, these filters are made from the same mold and material, they may just have fewer filtration benefits.

OEM filters and Aftermarket filters explained:

While it is ultimately up to you which filter you choose, we want to make sure that you are educated on the different types of filters and that you can discern the one that is right for you and your family.

OEM Filters: OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. This means that an OEM filter is one made and sold by the same manufacturer as the original piece of equipment.

Aftermarket Filters: Filters that are made to fit a certain product made by another company or manufacturer.

The difference between OEM and aftermarket filters are few, but the main thing you need to know is the aftermarket filters are compatible with your equipment, but they have fewer filtrations benefits than that of an OEM filter.

Tip: When trying to decide between an OEM filter and Aftermarket filter, look at the differences in contaminant reduction.


The OEM filter reduces:

  • Chlorine
  • Lead
  • Asbestos
  • Odor

Price: $39.99 

Aftermarket filter reduces:

  • Chlorine
  • Odor

Price: $19.99


If your filtration priorities are to reduce chlorine and odor, which filter would you choose?

Another important part of choosing the right filter for you and your family is being aware of the filter’s NSF rating.

What are NSF certifications and why should I care?

NSF stands for the National Sanitation Foundation, they’re basically the FDA of sanitation.

According to the NSF website, “Choosing a product certified by NSF lets you know the company complies with strict standards and procedures imposed by NSF. From extensive product testing and material analyses to unannounced plant inspections, every aspect of a product’s development is thoroughly evaluated before it can earn our certification.

Most importantly, NSF certification is not a one-time event but involves regular on-site inspections of manufacturing facilities and regular re-testing of products to ensure that they continue to meet the same high standards required to maintain certification over time. If for any reason a product fails to meet one or more certification criteria, NSF will take enforcement actions to protect you, including product recall, public notification or de-certification.

Products that earn NSF certification are said to be “NSF certified” or “NSF listed” and display the applicable NSF certification mark to show that they have been tested by one of today’s most respected independent product testing organizations.”

An NSF certification ensures that you are buying a product that is compliant with the NSF standards and procedures and that your product is of the utmost quality.

Two of the most common ratings for refrigerator filters are NSF 42 and 53.

Here are the contaminants and impurities that must be filtered to achieve a filter’s NSF rating:

  • NSF/ANSI 42
    Filters are certified to reduce aesthetic impurities such as chlorine and taste/odor. These can be point-of-use (under the sink, water pitcher, etc.) or point-of-entry (whole house) treatment systems.
  • NSF/ANSI 53
    Filters are certified to reduce a contaminant with a health effect. Health effects are set in this standard as regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Health Canada. Both standards 42 and 53 cover adsorption/filtration which is a process that occurs when liquid, gas or dissolved/suspended matter adheres to the surface of, or in the pores of, an adsorbent media. Carbon filters are an example of this type of product.

***Chlorine is a very common contaminant found in unfiltered water and is often the reason consumers choose to filter their water.

Why should you consider a SmartChoice filter?

Do you own a Frigidaire® French Door Refrigerator that requires a ULTRAWF filter? If you’re a cost-conscious shopper and are looking for the best possible bang for your buck, consider the SmartChoice filter certified by Frigidaire®. Not only will it save you lots of money in the long run, you will still get the same guaranteed chlorine reduction as that of the ULTRAWF, at almost half the price!

If you’re in the market to replace your Frigidaire® ULTRAWF filter and are looking to save, we recommend looking into SmartChoice certified by Frigidaire® filters. SmartChoice filters are a® exclusive and are genuine Frigidaire® filters, meaning you won’t find this filter or this deal anywhere else!

What are you waiting for? Order your Frigidaire® certified filter from us TODAY! is a replacement water and air filter company located in the United States. The views and opinions contained herein are solely those of the original author and do not represent Eco Blue Life or its affiliates. This article was originally published on  
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