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Water Dispensers: How to Choose the Right One for You

Water dispensers are great to have in homes and offices. No matter if you want cold water for lemonade in the summer or hot water for coffee in the winter, you will find that a water dispenser is the perfect appliance for all your beverage needs. But with so many different prices, options, and sizes, how do you know which water cooler is right for you? Read this guide to learn more about the different features and to help you determine which water cooler is best for your home or office.

The Steps to Choosing Your Water Cooler

  1. The first factor you will want to consider when choosing a water dispenser is the price range you are willing to purchase from. Depending on the features you want included with the unit, the price will vary. Additional features include ice makers, analog clocks, LED night lights, and cleaning reminder lights. Not many units come with ice makers, but those that do end up on the higher end of the price range. Analog clocks and LED night lights are perfect for those who get up in the middle of the night for a fresh cup of water. The water dispensers that include cleaning reminder lights let you know when you need to clean the unit so that you always have fresh, clean water at your fingertips.

    The price you are willing to pay not only includes the initial cost, but the operation costs as well. Some models are more energy efficient than others and, as a result, cost less to operate. Luckily, almost all of the water dispensers on Air & Water are rated for energy efficiency from Energy Star. Additional energy-saving, eco-friendly qualities of many water dispensers are separate stainless steel water tanks, self-closing faucets, and bottleless point-of-use technology.
  2. The next factor to consider is which temperatures of water you're looking for. While most water dispensers actually provide both hot and cold water, the temperature of the hot water spigot can vary from room temperature to boiling.  Water coolers with room temperature water provide a constant supply of ready-to-drink water. As a result, they're not suitable for soups or other hot beverages like coffee and tea.
  3. Where you want to place your water dispenser should also play a large role in what model you want to purchase. There are two main styles of water dispensers: freestanding and countertop. Although most people prefer to use freestanding water dispensers, countertop water coolers also have their own benefits. These units are great for areas with limited space, such as kitchens or cubicles. And like freestanding units, countertop water coolers also rely on 2-, 3-, or 5-gallon bottles. Contrary to the popular myth, they actually don't take up more room by using a larger number of smaller water bottles. Perhaps most beneficial of all, countertop units actually cost less to purchase!
  4. Finally, the most important decision that you will have to make is whether you want a bottleless water dispenser (also called a point-of-use dispenser) or a bottled one. The difference lies not only with the initial cost, but the operational cost and the cleanliness of your water as well. Although bottleless units cost more to install (you'll probably need a professional to directly connect one to a pipeline), they cost less to operate. You don't need to constantly purchase plastic bottles or refill existing ones. This saves you space and provides you with a healthier and more viable option that you don't have to worry about. Point-of-use water dispensers take their water directly from the pipeline, so you know that the taste of your water won't be altered or affected by the plastic bottles (which tend to deteriorate over time).

Safety Precautions

When purchasing an appliance, it is crucial to remember that safety is a top priority. Water dispensers are no different. As previously mentioned, you can choose to purchase a warm and cold dispenser in place of a hot and cold water dispenser if you want to avoid scalding. If that is not an option, you can choose a water cooler that has a child safety hot water faucet lock. Most coolers dispense hot water at 185°, so a child safety lock is crucial for any area that allows children. Fortunately, nowadays almost all water dispensers come with the lock, so you don't have to scour around for one.

Check out our water dispenser finder to browse units by price, style, and temperature!

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