What You Will Get Here
- Water Cooler vs. Water Dispenser
- Why Do I Need a Water Cooler?
- How Did We Choose These Products?
- What to Consider When Looking for a Water Cooler?
- Our Top 10 Product List
- Top Bottom Load Choice: Whirlpool Self Cleaning Hot & Cold with LED Indicators
- Our Top-Load Choice: Avalon Premium A1CTWTRCLRBLK Hot/Cold
- Budget Buy: SEPTLS385421 - Igloo 400 Series Coolers
- Top Wall Mount Choice: Elkay EZS8L Wall Mount Non-Filtered
- Top Commercial Choice: Whirlpool Bottom Loading in Stainless Steel
- A List of 5 Other Products We Reviewed
- How to Install a Water Cooler?
- Care & Maintenance
- Final Words
Water Cooler vs. Water Dispenser
While water coolers do dispense water, not all water dispensers cool water. This can be an important feature depending on your needs or preferences when choosing. A water dispenser basically provides water from a tank or receptacle through the use of a tap. Your kitchen and bathroom faucets are as much water dispensers as a large water jug with a tap.
A water cooler, by comparison, is also a water dispenser and provides water through the use of a tap, but it also has a compressor that cools the water. Some coolers even feature up to three dispensing taps in order to provide cool water, hot water or water, which is room temperature.
Nowadays more and more private homes are installing water coolers for the convenience of having potable cooled or heated water that is readily available, but you should clean the unit regularly to ensure the purity. What’s more, they are available in both bottled and bottleless versions.
Why Do I Need a Water Cooler?
The primary reason to consider purchasing a water cooler for your home is health safety. They can reduce the risks of germs, bacteria, and chemicals that may be present in your tap water. You’ll also be inclined to drink more water getting those daily eight glasses easily because all you need to do is place your glass under the tap.
These units are easy to use because they’re designed for convenience. Imagine not having to fill up a pitcher with ice cubes and enjoying clean and cool water instantly. You’ll probably save space in your refrigerator as well, and you may not run out of cool water on those hot days because of the amount of water that a water cooler can provide.
If you choose a cooling unit with hot water, you won’t have to boil water for a cup of coffee or tea, thus saving you time. And finally, you’ll be doing a favor for the environment. You’ll be able to avoid gas to boil water, and you can select a water cooler that is energy efficient. No more plastic bottles that end up in landfills. You’ll be protecting your health and the health of the environment as well.
How Did We Choose These Products?
We spent a lot of time researching these machines in order to provide you with as much information as possible. With so many choices available, we created a process for our final selections. We initially dedicated approximately sixteen hours to web research in order to gain perspective about exactly what the market has to offer.
We chose two dozen of the most renowned water coolers available. We began testing as many of the coolers on our list as possible for several weeks. If we couldn’t test all of them personally, we assigned some of the coolers for testing to a volunteer team that reported their findings to us. We also looked into which of these products were particularly popular in the community, and we consulted the experts about manufacturing, reliability and overall product quality.
Finally, we focused on selecting the top rated water coolers for our list based on the overall customer experience together with features and the relation between cost and quality. Our judging criteria included design, space requirements, electricity consumption, features, safety, warranties, and overall performance.
Once we had established our top ten products, we compared our list with user feedback available on various e-shops including Amazon, to see if the user experience confirmed our findings. We feel confident that our list will provide you with excellent choices for your specific needs, not just good products, but exceptional products for your consideration.
What to Consider When Looking for a Water Cooler?
The water source. How will you be supplying water to your new unit? Do you want both cold and hot water? Some units available offer both alternatives. If you want a product, which is multifunctional, you’ll want to consider this. Check on the unit’s capacity for both cooling and heating water. Do you prefer a Bottom-Load system, Top-Load system, a countertop unit or a “Point of Use” or bottleless unit which needs a direct-water hook up with the convenience of having a continuous water source but with more complicated installation?
- Bottom-Load Water coolers that bottom load have a design that eliminates the need to lift or flip bottles of water. Bottles are normally concealed below inside a cabinet. They can be more expensive than a top-load water cooler.
- Top-Load Top-load water coolers require you to lift and flip the bottle to install it on top of the cooler. They can be difficult to load and cause back problems for some.
- Countertop These water coolers are an excellent choice for kitchens that do not have space for a freestanding water cooler. They are less expensive than freestanding units. Some are equipped with a filtration system and they can be found in both the bottle or bottleless versions.
- Point of Use (Bottleless) Bottleless watercoolers never need to be refilled. There is no purchase of water bottles. They do require a direct connection to a water source and can be difficult to install. They require additional filters.
2. Electric or Non-Electric Unit
If you prefer a unit which provides cool or hot water every time you use, as opposed to just room temperature water, you will need to choose an electrically powered unit.
3. Power Consumption
Depending on how cold you like your water, you will want to check out the size and type of the unit’s compressor. If the compressor is small, the water will be less chilled. The colder your water, the more power the unit will consume.
The majority of water coolers use standard 2, 4 or 5 gallons sized water bottles. Check this out when selecting your unit as well as the availability of refills in your area. Also, consider the weight of a larger bottle if you have difficulty in carrying or loading.
5. Self-Cleaning Technology
If you want really low maintenance and don’t want to have to clean your water cooler on a regular basis, consider a machine with self-cleaning technology. This technology uses oxygen to break up bacteria or viruses found in water. Some models come with LED signals to let you know if the unit is self-cleaning.
6. Water Temperature
Depending on your choice of unit, you may benefit from refreshing cold water, room temperature water and/or a hot water tap that is convenient for soups, tea, coffee or hot beverages in general.
7. Ease of Use
You will want to check out how much space there is between the faucet and the drip tray depending on your needs. The better models will allow you to fill up larger glasses and mugs as well as water bottles. Also, consider the size of the faucet nozzle. It should be small enough to enter into bottles.
8. Filtration System
Water coolers come with or without filtration systems and filters. For those units with filtration systems, the filter types include carbon charcoal filters, ultraviolet filters, and water distillers.
9. Safety Features
If you have small children, a key feature to look for will be a child lock, particularly if you are considering a freestanding model, which has taps within a child’s reach. This safety feature will prevent a child from opening the tap and flooding the floor around the unit. You’ll avoid losing the water and the cleaning up afterward. If you are considering a unit, which provides hot water, this feature is a must.
10. Construction & Design
Water coolers today come in various materials and finishes. You may find units in white, black, silver or stainless steel, or porcelain among others. They also come in many different shapes and sizes, so you should have no problem finding the perfect water cooler for your space. You will also want to consider if you do have room for a freestanding water cooler, which is generally larger or if you need to choose a more compact model like a countertop unit or wall fixed water cooler.
11. Outer Assembly
A water cooler that has plastic reservoir risks having the water taste like plastic. Stainless Steel reservoirs avoid this problem. You’ll want your water to be great-tasting.
Low maintenance is a priority when acquiring a water cooler. Most units have very few maintenance requirements, however, they must be kept clean particularly in the tap or faucet area. Look for a drip tray, which is easy to remove in order to facilitate cleaning. Also, check out the filtration system where maintenance is concerned. Some units may have mineral build-up, so they may require descaling.
While electric units tend to have higher prices than non-electric models, if you have a limited budget, you will want to consider a less expensive water cooler that still ensures good quality. You may want to consider a countertop model as the freestanding models are more expensive. Over time, however, you should expect to save considerably thanks to your investment.
Our Top 10 Product List
When formulating this list, we kept in mind the many options available on the market and tried to provide you with reliable choices. We considered type and capacity, features, quality, price and overall performance together with safety, maintenance, and ease in using. We felt it was important to furnish you with as many variables as possible to help you choose the right water cooler for your home. Read on to find your perfect match.