Sources of cold, clean water are central to our daily routines. We go to the break room water cooler to catch up on office news and get recommendations for our next Netflix binge-watch. After mowing the lawn or going for a jog on a hot day, all we want is to go to the kitchen and have an ice-cold glass of water.
Our “watering holes” in the home and workplace are daily hubs, but most of the time we don’t even think about how we’re getting this life-giving H20. That’s not to say we shouldn’t consider how we’re getting water, though. And if you’re looking for a new cooler for the office or the homestead, you have to think through your choices.
If you’ve been browsing the market on water coolers, you’ve probably run into two options: Bottled Water Coolers and Bottleless Water Coolers. Both get the job done, but are they equally qualified to quench your thirst?
The Pros and Cons of Bottled Water Coolers
A bottled water cooler is the traditional office water dispenser with a plastic jug on top of it (the most common size being 3 - 5 gallons). It cools and heats water using electricity.
- Mobility - Since a bottled water cooler has its own independent water source, it’s extremely mobile. It only needs access to a power outlet.
- Lower Initial Cost - These old-school water coolers can sometimes cost less upfront than a bottleless water cooler.
- Storage Issues - You’re usually not going to get just one water jug at a time, and that means you’ll have to find a place in your home or office for the extra bottles.
- Heavy Lifting - Lifting a heavy water jug onto a machine several times a week isn’t exactly convenient.
- Limited Supply - You’re at the mercy of your water provider’s delivery schedule.
- Higher Long-term Costs - You pay every time you get water delivered, making these coolers more expensive in the long run.
- Less Purity - The design of these coolers allows microorganisms to get trapped in the water bottles, contaminating the water. Plastic bottles can also leach chemicals into the water, affecting not only the water’s purity but also its taste.
- Harmful to the Environment - Plastic bottles take enormous amounts of petroleum to produce, and only about 23% of them are ever recycled.
The Pros and Cons of Bottleless Water Coolers
Modern bottleless water coolers connect to your home or building’s water supply and use electricity to cool and heat water. Because they don’t use a bottle, they can often be smaller, and many fit on a countertop.
- No Storage - No bottles means these coolers don’t require extra storage space.
- Unending Supply - Since it’s connected to your plumbing, this cooler always has cold, clean water. No waiting on delivery.
- Convenience - No lifting heavy water jugs onto a machine, just occasionally changing a filter.
- Lower Long-term Costs - No delivery means no delivery fee.
- Eco-friendly - Because these coolers eliminate the need for bottles, they help reduce bottle waste and production, helping to lower pollution and saving energy.
- Pure Water - Since the water is filtered as needed and doesn’t sit in a chemical-leaching bottle, it’s cleaner (and better tasting!).
- Less Mobility - A bottleless cooler connects to plumbing, and this limits where you can place it in your home or office. It’s hard to change that location without a plumber’s help.
- Higher Upfront Cost - These machines can have a higher initial cost than a bottled machine.
Which Water Cooler is Right for Your Home or Office?
If you’re setting up in a warehouse or garage with no plumbing, or if funds are limited at the outset of your venture, the bottled cooler is still probably the best choice for you. But if plumbing is readily available, if the taste of your water is important to you, or if environmental impact plays a part in your thinking, then the bottleless water cooler might be well worth the initial investment.
So which water cooler is right for your home or office?
It’s up to you. Both are viable options. You now know the pros and cons of each. All that’s left is examining your lifestyle, your needs, and the setup of your work or home space to determine which option is the best fit for you.