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 serve as daily hubs, and are so integrated into our daily routines they should ideally be as convenient as possible. If you're looking for a compact water cooler for the office or the homestead, you may have considered going bottleless. In addition to saving space, bottleless water coolers have some additional advantages over bottled water coolers as an everyday option for quenching your thirst.
Bottled water coolers: Pros and cons
A bottled water cooler is the traditional office water dispenser with a plastic jug mounted on the top. The jugs most commonly hold being three to five gallons of water, which makes the units bulky and replacing the jugs a pain.Bottled water coolers cool — and in some cases heat —the water using electricity.
- Mobility: Since a bottled water cooler has its own independent water source, the unit is 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: Hoisting a heavy jug full of water 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 for water delivery, making bottled water coolers more expensive in the long run.
- Less Purity: The design of this type of cooler can allow microorganisms to become 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.
- Environmentally Unfriendly: Plastic bottles take enormous amounts of petroleum to produce, and only about 23 percent of them are ever recycled.
Bottleless water coolers: Pros and cons
A modern bottleless water cooler connects to your home or building’s water supply and uses electricity to cool — and often heat — the water. Because this type of compact water cooler doesn’t use a bulky jug or bottle, they are often much smaller. Some models fit on a countertop, a feature for homes or businesses in which space is at a premium or aesthetics matter.
- 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.
What makes sense for your home or office?
If you’re setting up a water cooler in a warehouse or garage with no plumbing, or if funds are limited at the outset of your venture, a bottled cooler is still probably the best choice for you. But if clean, filtered water is important or the environmental plays a role in your home and business decisions, then the bottleless water cooler might be worth the initial investment. If you need a compact water cooler to deal with space constraints, that's another reason to go bottleless.
Both options are viable options now that you know the pros and cons of each. The choice is up to you based on your needs, budget and space. You can also always talk to an experienced indoor environmental systems expert about your needs and the options available.