What is a Water Cooler
A water cooler is an appliance for dispensing bottled drinking water. Today, these units find use in houses, offices, schools, hospitals, and other public places. They dispense both cold water to refresh you in the summer heat and hot water to make tea, coffee or instant soup in a cold season. This appliance saves your time on cooling the water in a refrigerator and heating it up in a kettle. All you need is to push the faucet. Our review compares the most popular water cooler models by their essential features.
Besides, we recommend you to consider getting one of water filters - a perfect solution for drinking purified water. This appliance can quickly clean the water from any impurities, smell, taste, and even mineralize it.
What Features to Compare
Looking for a water cooler? Decide on the dispenser type you’d like to get. In our review we’re going to consider electric water dispensers only that can do a variety of tasks - dispense water, cool it and warm. So, here you need to decide what type of dispenser and what kind of bottle loading design are favored by you. There are basically a few dispenser types - freestanding, tabletop, bottom-loaded, wall-mounted and direct-pumping. Which one is better? Depends on the way you’d like the water to be supplied. If you ‘d like to keep a bottle off the sight or/and placing heavy bottles on top is beyond your physical strength, a bottom-loaded water cooler is what you need. Tabletop water coolers (just like the name says) are installed right on the table with a water bottle placed on top of the dispenser; they are best suited for average families of 2-3 people. Freestanding water dispensers are probably the most popular and thus, available in various designs. Keep your eyes open and search for the bottle loading design which is going to be convenient for you and your family members.
Commonly, coolers are compatible with one or several bottle sizes - 2, 3, and 5 gallons. But mind that water bottles are optional and should be purchased separately. As for the cooling system, usually, compressor and thermoelectric coolers are available. Compressor units are more efficient and will be perfect for public places, such as schools and offices. Meanwhile, thermoelectric units are more durable and have a more reasonable price. Besides, they are very silent and will be the best choice for your home.
Functions and Controls
The next aspect you should pay attention to is the cooler's functions and controls. In general, the main purpose of all water coolers is water dispensing. It is both cool water (43-50° F ) to refresh yourself and hot water (up to 200° F) to make a cup of coffee or tea. Some units have an option of dispensing room temperature water that is especially important for families with children. In terms of controls, there are several types of water cooler faucets. The simplest types are cup push buttons when you can easily pour water with one hand and top push buttons when both hands are engaged but the cup has no contact with the faucet. Today mechanical switches become a more modern solution. To get some water, you should simply press the switch and hold it until you pour the necessary amount. Moreover, modern models of water coolers sometimes feature a multifunctional control display. Additionally, there are cold and hot on/off power buttons on the back panel for your ultimate comfort.
And finally, check out the extra features of a cooler that will make using it easier and more comfortable. Such conveniences include built-in drawers to store paper cups, coffee, tea, and other stuff. The option of hot water safety lock is particularly important for families with children. Some models have flashlights that indicate not only water cooling and heating but also the need to replace an empty bottle. The most modern models often have a built-in ice maker. Such a water cooler will become a really great choice for a home bar or a small cafe.