A hot and cold water dispenser is a great appliance for any home or office. It provides clean water for drinking, ensuring that harmful germs, chemicals, and other impurities are removed when the water goes through its built-in filtration system. This type of dispenser can also help save energy and water itself. For example, those who want to prepare coffee or tea could get the exact amount of hot water they need. There’s also no need to go back and forth to the fridge if you need a drink of cold water. In short, there are more benefits to getting a hot and cold water dispenser than simply having ready access to hot and cold water.
How Does It Work?
There are different types of hot and cold water dispensers, like wall-mounted, table-top, and direct-piping or point-of-use (POU) styles. The most common, however, are bottom- and top-loading models. Bottom-loading ones have a “cabinet” where you can place a 5-gallon water bottle, while top-loading designs work by slotting the water bottle’s spout down into the dispenser.
No matter they type of your hot and cold water dispenser, however, the way it heats or cools water remains the same. The first stage is filtering the water, which usually employs a two-stage sediment and carbon filter process. After this, the water either gets heated or cooled. For heating, the water gets pushed through a heating element similar to the one found in electric kettles. The water gets heated to about 90°C to 94°C to kill any remaining pathogens. This temperature range is also ideal for preparing coffee and tea.
For cold water, meanwhile, the water gets pushed through a UV chamber after filtration. Since there’s no heat to eliminate water-borne bacteria, the UV light will do this job instead. The water is then cooled using either vapor compression refrigeration or thermoelectric cooling. For vapor compression, your water dispenser may have a reservoir system, a pressure vessel with direct chill system, or an ice-bank cooling system. Meanwhile, thermoelectric cooling makes use of a solid state device, pumping heat away from the cool side of the dispenser. Thermoelectric cooling uses direct current power instead of refrigerants and compressors, making it more environmentally friendly.
If your hot and cold water dispenser has an option for sparkling water, the carbon dioxide is added to the water before it gets cooled.
Beyond Providing Drinking Water
Of course, the main purpose of having a hot and cold water dispenser is to provide clean hot or cold water for drinking and preparing beverages. However, you can use your water dispenser for many more things beyond drinking. Some of them may not even be directly related to hydration! Here’s a quick list of a few more uses for your hot and cold water dispenser.
1. Thawing or Melting Ingredients. With the hot water you can get instantly from the dispenser, you can thaw meat quickly and easily, even straight from the freezer. Just take a big enough bowl and fill it with enough hot water to soak the meat for about 15 to 20 minutes. You can also use the hot water to soften or melt cooking ingredients like butter and chocolate. Fill a large bowl with hot or warm water, then place the butter or chocolate in a smaller bowl. Put the smaller bowl into the larger one and then take it out once the ingredients are softened or melted as desired.
2. Speed-Up Cooking and Food Preparation. Some foods like pasta, oats, noodles, and gelatin require hot water for cooking. With the help of a hot and cold water dispenser, you can shorten the cooking time of these food items. Another well-known “food hack” is for ice cream. If you’re having some difficulty scooping up extra-cold and hard ice cream from the tub, you can run your scoop under a stream of hot water to help soften the ice cream as you scoop. You can also keep a bowl of hot water nearby and soak the scoop if you need to “reheat” it.
3. Alleviate Stomach Problems. Drinking warm water is said to aid in digestion. If you have an upset stomach, drinking some hot water with lemon and honey, ginger tea, or mint or spearmint tea is said to help. With a hot and cold water dispenser, you can quickly prepare these drinks to help settle your stomach.
4. Preparing Baby Food and Disinfecting Baby Bottles. Parents need all the help they can get taking care of their little ones, and a hot and cold water dispenser can provide this. With quick access to hot water, preparing baby food will be so much faster. In addition, disinfecting baby bottles, utensils, and even some toys will be faster and easier.
5. Household Fixes. Are you among those who often have difficulties opening tightly sealed jars? A hot water dispenser can help fix that problem. Simply pour some hot water on and around the lid of the jar for a few seconds. This will expand the grooves, loosen the lid, and thus make it easier to twist it open. Speaking of jars, you can also use the hot water from the dispenser to remove stubborn, sticky labels. The heat from the water will soften the paper and adhesive so you can remove the labels with ease.
6. Hot and Cold Relief. Do you need a hot compress? Get a towel, wet it with the hot water from the dispenser, and place it against the body part that needs a hot compress. Just be careful not to over-soak the towel, and be mindful of the temperature especially when you wring out the excess water from the towel. For cold compresses and heat relief, you can simply get a bowl or small basin to fill with cold water and refresh the towel or cloth as needed.
You can also use the cold water from the dispenser to soothe minor burns. Using water from a water dispenser is ideal, since you’re sure that it’s clean and therefore has a minimal risk of infecting the burn.
You might argue that you can just use a kettle if you need hot water or put a pitcher of water to chill for cold water. However, a hot and cold water dispenser wins when it comes to speed and convenience. It also ensures that your family, office personnel, and guests have ready access to refreshing and clean water for drinking at all times. Factor in the energy efficiency of newer models and multi-purpose usage, and you’ll see how a hot and cold water dispenser can give you value for money.