Water Cooler Types
Offering convenience and affordability
There are several options for in-home water coolers:
- Rental - Many companies offer to deliver bottled water, usually in five-gallon jugs, right to your door. Once you use up your supply, they deliver more and take away the empties. Most companies, including Culligan, own the cooler as well, renting it to the consumer and taking care of any maintenance needed. Keep in mind that bottled water safety have been raised, but proper maintenance will avoid most concerns.
Self-refill bottles - The user sets up their system and purchases replacement bottles when needed (usually from grocery stores or other sellers). It is cheaper than delivery but can be much more time consuming than other bottled water cooler systems. Most water cooler bottles cost between $4 and $6.
- Refillable system - A great choice for anyone who hates heavy lifting or the hassle or price of water-bottle delivery and replacement. Companies like PuR offer water coolers that filter regular water and provide it cold or hot. The user simply has to fill a small reservoir on the top of the unit when needed. Refillable water coolers can save hundreds of dollars a year over water bottles obtained through a delivery service.
- Refillable bottle - If you already have a water cooler stand and want to get away from purchasing pre-bottled water, look for a bottle with an included filtering system. These bottles should be designed to fit all water coolers that take standard delivery bottles. The bottles can be filled either with a pitcher of water from the tap or through a top section that can be removed for refilling.
For those who would prefer to get rid of the bottle altogether, there are two options:
- Plumbed-in water coolers - These can be some of the cleanest and safest water coolers, although without regular maintenance any system can become unsanitary. Made by companies such as Innowave water coolers, they are also considered one of the most environmentally friendly options. Businesses can benefit from bottleless water coolers by avoiding the potential for employee injuries from lifting bottles and by saving money.
- Dehumidifier / water cooler - Some innovative companies have come up with dual appliances that take humidity out of the air and turn it into drinkable water. It might soon be something to consider for people with humidity problems and drinking-water needs. As it stands, the products are pricey and relatively hard to find.
Water coolers come in two main varieties:
- Tabletop - This is the way to go if you have plenty of counter space. They can be placed right near a tap for easy filling or on a sturdy surface in any other room.
- Free-standing - These can be placed almost anywhere, which is the reason many people choose them. Extras on free-standing water coolers can include small fridges or cabinets.