What to Know Before Buying a Water Cooler or Dispenser

Updated on April 26, 2020

When it comes to the must-have fixtures for your office and home, water dispensers are no exception. Whether you go to luxury hotels, bakeries, small local shops, etc., you will always find a water cooler somewhere. 

Let’s admit; these appliances have been one of the best fixtures to date. The importance of owning a water cooler can not be undermined, especially for people living in hot regions. Water coolers and water dispensers are nearly the same, depending on the model you are shopping for. 

For first-timers, this can be a bit challenging, which is why this post discusses what to know before buying a water cooler or dispenser. 

A Quick Overview: Water Cooler vs Water Dispenser

While they are both dispensers, a water dispenser slightly differs from a water cooler. There are two water dispenser types: an option without the cooling feature (they are usually non-electric) and the other runs on electricity to cool and dispense water. 

Regardless of your option, standard water bottles work well with them either 2-, 4-, or 5-gallon filled with treated, distilled, or spring water.

Water Cooler Benefits

Most homeowners often use the best water coolers to promote healthy drinking, while others with well-treated water prefer better-tasting water dispensed, especially if the water is treated with chlorine. 

That’s not all: some people prefer it because it dispenses cold water at any time, without having to wait to get it cold while still saving energy.  Whatever your reasons are, the water cooler seems to offer much more and also an excellent place even for your kids to get a refreshing drink. Keep in mind that a water dispenser will also provide you with cool drinking water at room temperature. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Water Cooler or Dispenser

Freestanding Vs. Countertop

When it comes to choosing between a freestanding or a water cooler, it boils down to personal preference and needs. Technically, both types offer the same benefits, just ensure that there’s an electric outlet. 

A freestanding dispenser allows you to situate it anywhere you see fit, in the kitchen or room, whereas the countertop water dispenser needs to be placed on your kitchen shelf or top of a counter. Further, some freestanding models feature wheels to allow you to change the position easily.

Drinking-Water Temperature

There’s no threshold when it comes to drinking water temperature and may vary from one model to another. The temperature depends mainly on the type and size of the compressor or whatever technology featured in the product.

The temperature differs widely, and these specifications are not available most of the time. However, water coolers with a bottom storage area and small-sized countertop dispensers tend to offer a bit of cold water compared to other models.

Identify Health & Safety Features

It’s critical to ensure that you are drinking safe water, and the equipment won’t cause any real danger to you in your home or office. Therefore, you should consider the following:

  • An easy-to-clean nozzle
  • A unique design that keeps the water safe and free from any external contaminants
  • A stable base design to prevent it from toppling easily
  • Child lock features to avoid any spillages

Ideal Storage Capacity

Water coolers and water dispensers are available in a wide range of capacities, so it’s essential to opt for a model that fits perfectly into your home or office. Most models accommodate standard bottles easily; nevertheless, you should confirm this detail when shopping for a dispenser.

Ease of Use & Maintenance

Consider the space between your water outlet and the drip tray. The right water dispenser should have enough space between the water outlet and drip tray to let you fill tall glasses, water bottles, etc., efficiently. The dispenser nozzle should fit into a water bottle easily. 

In terms of maintenance, you should consider only options that are hassle-free to maintain. In general, water dispensers do not require much maintenance, but it’s essential to keep these low-maintenance units clean. 

Models with a removable drip tray offer a more convenient cleaning process. Further, you should ensure that the dispenser comes with a high-quality filter to avoid regular maintenance or having to change the filters from time to time.

Power Consumption

Different models come with various capacities for maintaining different water temperatures. Dispensers require higher power consumption to keep the water colder. You might want to consider the type and size of the compressor equipped in the water dispenser for more information on the cooling abilities.

For people living in cold areas and might not need chilling water, you should opt for a small-sized compressor, and vice versa. Bear in mind that a model that dispenses both hot and cold water will likely consume more power than a model with only one dispensing option. For more information, you should check out the unit’s heating and water cooling capacity to ensure you are shopping for an efficient model.

The Bottom Line

If you put the following factors discussed above in mind, you should have no issue picking the right water dispenser for your office and home. Do not be hasty in selecting a unit because this is not a short-term investment. 

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