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Having a water cooler installed is a great way to encourage people to drink more water and provides crisp, clean water for them to do so. It's also one of the easiest, cheapest benefits you can provide employees that offers a much higher return on investment, i.e. employee satisfaction, than is typically found at this price point.
While you can purchase a water cooler outright, they can also be rented, which may just be the perfect solution for your home or business. When you own the cooler, you are responsible for maintenance and upkeep such as changing the filter. When you lease or rent, however, those responsibilities remain with the vendor.
Renting Your Water Cooler
Depending on the situation, renting can be the preferable option compared to permanent purchase. If you are installing multiple water coolers throughout your building or office, then renting might be the better option. The terms for water cooler rental typically include delivery, installation, maintenance, filter replacements, and repairs. Make sure to consider exactly what your needs are and what will fit them best.
Don’t be afraid to ask for different estimates from multiple vendors; the majority of them will offer more than one unit or rental package. There is absolutely no need to settle for a subpar deal. If a service cannot or will not meet your needs, you are sure to find one that will. Renting is a great way to provide water coolers for your home or office and cuts down on maintenance costs that pop up along the way, so make sure you get exactly what works best for you at the best possible price.
Types of Water Coolers and Dispensers
There is more than one type of water cooler. Different models and brands will have varying aesthetics and features. Some water coolers have various temperature options, with models providing cold, hot, and/or room temperature water. And if the appearance of your cooler is a worry, you can always look into renting a ceramic crock with a wooden stand as opposed to the more contemporary models.
Perhaps the most common type of water cooler, the type you are most likely picturing right now, is the top load bottled cooler. Simply change out the bottle on top whenever it runs out and that’s that. But there are also bottleless point-of-use water coolers that tap directly into a water line and use built-in filters to provide pure, refreshing water. These are popular options for those who lack storage space for the bottled water or simply prefer to create less waste with their water service.
If you like the look of a bottleless cooler but prefer the taste of bottled water, then you can always go for a bottom load cooler. In these units, the bottle sits in the lower portion of the cooler, hidden by a cabinet. Finally, there are countertop models that are perfect for organizations with limited space. These often include ice dispensers as well.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent an Office Water Cooler or Dispenser?
When renting a water cooler or coolers, there will be a monthly fee for the service.
- Bottled water coolers typically rent for between $30 and $50 a month, with an additional $6 to $9 per bottle a month. There may also be delivery fees every time new bottles are dropped off.
- Bottleless point of use coolers usually charge a rental fee of $35 to $40 a month and can cut back on expenses since there are not bottle fees to pay. If you find yourself using dozens of gallons a water a month, then choosing one of these systems over the more traditional bottled system might be the best solution.
Keep in mind that there may be additional installation or maintenance fees, although most rental packages have provisions that the vendor or manufacturer cover these costs. Also remember that any added accessories or features (cup holders, temperature options, etc.) can increase the overall rental cost.
Many water supply companies offer a wide array of break room items that go above and beyond bottled water. This includes coffee, teas, hot chocolate, snack items, straws, coffee filters, and much more. Typically, you pay a lower price for each service when you choose more than one.
Always do your research and compare different models and companies before making any final decisions.
Calculating How Much Water Your Business Needs
The amount of water typically consumed in an office environment working eight hour shifts is generally 2.5 gallons per employee, per month during the non-summer months, increasing to 5 gallons per employee during the summer. In consistently hot climates or warehouse environments, that usage can be expected to double. It is important that you consider the climate of your office as well as the amount of employees since that directly determines the amount of money you can expect to spend for your water cooler or coolers.
If you find that the amount of water that will be consumed in your office space leads to an inordinate amount of water bottles being ordered, then it may be in your best interest to choose a bottleless system instead of the traditional bottled system. Hooking a unit up directly to a water line is easier and less expensive than changing out and paying for upwards of 15 water bottles a month. But also remember that for a bottleless system you will need to be able to connect to a water line, which can be limiting when it comes to placement.
Choosing a Water Delivery Vendor
The majority of water delivery companies and services have fairly similar distillation methods, so when choosing a vendor it may come down to factors such as any added amenities, bottle size, delivery schedule, and subscription options that help you make a final decision. They may seem like extras, but these are all important factors in deciding what will work best for you. Some companies may provide water coolers for free with the rental and delivery contract, while other may require that you purchase or rent them. Also make sure that you choose a company that offers the necessary bottle sizes, as you don’t want to go with a service that only offers bottles that are too large or too small for your needs.
Consider how often you need or want your deliveries to be scheduled. A company may have everything else you need, but if they only deliver every six months and you want bi-monthly delivery, then it isn’t going to work out. Similarly, think about the subscription options that each company provides. Most offer one-time deliveries, as well as tiered subscriptions that can be anything from a month to a year. Picking the right subscription option is important as it may tie you to a specific company for a long time. It can be a good idea to do a trial period for different companies or start off with shorter subscriptions to give them a test run. Look into everything that a company or service has to offer before making your final decision.