If the price of a reverse osmosis system is an important factor to you, you should not focus only on the initial purchase price. R.O. systems are like cars. Your cost to have one is not just the initial purchase price, but the cost of maintaining the system over several years.
Over time, you will need to replace components of your system. For instance, we recommend that you change your pre-filters every 3 years (although they will normally last longer than this). We also recommend that you change your membrane and post-filter every 6 years. Realistically, you may also need a new tank in 6 years.
So for the first 6 years, your only expected costs will be the $299 purchase price plus one sediment filter at $3 and one carbon filter at $15. (This averages out to $4.40 per month.)
For the first 12 years, your only additional major costs should be:
3 sediment filters at $3 each: $9
3 carbon filters at $15 each: $45
1 membrane: $55
1 post-filter: $8
1 tank: $60
If you take the initial purchase price of $299 and add the $177 figure, that totals $476. If you divide that by 12 years, our system will cost you an average of $40 per year or $3.30 per month.
We haven't seen a competitor come close to these overall prices. We receive feedback from our customers about other systems. Sears sells an R.O. system that is less expensive than ours, but a customer reported that Sears recommends that the membrane and filters be replaced every six months. Sears sells a replacement membrane for $119 and the pre-filters for $39 each. There's no telling how long it will be before the faucet or tank need to be replaced either.
The system which Costco sells is about $160 plus $14 tax. They also recommend that the membrane and filters be changed every six months.