Our team of six experts put this buyer’s guide together to help you with your next purchase of a commercial ice maker.
Looking to buy or lease a commercial ice machine? Industrial and Commercial ice machines are perfect for any business that needs to keep its drinks cool, especially bars and restaurants. These large appliances can produce lots of iced beverages quickly with the press of a button! The three main types include portable models which typically weigh between 60-80 pounds; countertop or floor-standing versions weighing up to 300 lbs.; as well as vending machine styles with capacities ranging from 10 -50 quarts.
The best way you will know what type is right for your establishment depends largely on how often customers order drinks both alcoholic AND nonalcoholic at different times during the day/evening hours.
Common Industries that Require Commercial Ice Machines
You might be surprised to learn that there are a wide array of industries that have a huge need for having commercial ice machines on site.
- Food and Restaurant Industry
- Government Offices
- Hotels & Motels
- Manufacturing Facilities
- Colleges and Universities
- Hospitals and Medical Facilities
Depending on the industry you’re in, you will have a preference for the type of ice to facilitate your needs. In general, there are three options, which include:
- Cubed Ice
- Nugget Ice
- Flaked Ice
Cubed Ice Makers
Cubed ice is popular and melts more slowly than other forms, making it great for drinking on hot days. Ices machines produce this type of coldness typically available in full or half cubes
The best part about these iced waters? You can choose how many sizes: small (think little kids), a medium-size that will fill your giant glass without watering down the flavor too much; Plus there are super large cups if you need extra big servings. Cubes sizes run 7/8”x 7/8” to 11/8”x 11/8”.
In general, you will find these icemakers in hotels, grocery and convenience stores, and the food industry.
Nugget Ice Makers
Nugget ice is the perfect form for anyone who wants to enjoy their favorite treat without all that hard work. With chewy nuggets and pellets, you don’t have to worry about using an imperfect tool like a knife or spoon – just pop it in your mouth.
In general, you will find these icemakers in hospitals, restaurants, and the fast-food industry.
Flaked Ice Makers
The flaker ice machine churns out ice with different textures and shapes. Shaved or crushed, it’s most commonly used for packing purposes but can also preserve food in the fridge if desired.
A flaker machine produces ice crystals that are more uniform in shape and size. This type of product can be used for packing, preserving or cooling purposes without affecting its quality too much if it is not consumed right away because they freeze at subzero temperatures which means there’s no guarantee about what will happen with store-bought iced products once you put them into your fridge – some might last longer than others but most won’t keep long enough before turning stale due their low freezer efficiency (which simply refers to how quickly things go).
Industries best served with these icemakers include hospitals, grocery stores, and meatpacking plants.
Ice Maker Types
For the most part, there are three common types of icemakers to choose from, which are:
- Modular Ice Makers
- Undercounter Ice Machine
- Countertop Ice Makers
Modular Ice Makers
If you’re looking for an ice machine that can fit any need, consider modular or stackable models. These components might be less expensive than owning individual machines and they provide greater flexibility when it comes to where your cooler needs go. Typical sizes range between 22” – 48” wide.
The IMH is the perfect addition to any commercial kitchen. With an output range between 300 lbs and 2000 pounds per day, these machines are great for large restaurants or hotels that need their own supply of ice-cold beverages on hand at all times. The bin can hold about 12 hours worth in case you have a busy night ahead but still want access without having to keep replenishing it throughout your shift so don’t forget this key factor when deciding which kind would work best with how much space it is actually available inside your establishment.
Undercounter Ice Makers
Ice makers for small businesses that don’t need as much ice may be the best fit. These compact units combine a storage bin and ice maker so you can install it beneath your standard 40″ countertop, with an average output of 370 lbs per day or more.
For those who have smaller commercial spaces where space is tight but good quality iced drinks are still desired – undercounter/self-contained unit (SCU) models might just work out well for them too because not only do these machines store enough supplies within themselves without taking up any valuable working area on top of other equipment like freezers required by larger-scale production facilities; they also typically generate around 3-5 times less waste than flatbed trucks.
Countertop Ice Makers
Countertop ice dispensers are a popular choice among health care professionals because they can produce as much as 500 lbs. of ice per day and have the ability to serve water in addition. In order for this type of machine to work best, it should be placed where there is plenty room on top or beside your countertops so that you don’t obstruct any other appliances from being used at once.
Ice Maker Condensers
After you have determined the type of ice and ice maker you require, the next thing you need to decide is the type of condenser you prefer. You will have three options to choose from which are:
- Air cooled Condensers
- Water cooled
- Remote Cooling
Air Cooled Condensers
In an air-cooled condenser, cool air flows over the refrigeration lines to draw heat away from any high-pressure or hot areas. Fans and vents are used for the continuous flow of this natural method that saves energy in buildings by minimizing Rankine cycle losses (energy bouncing off different forms).
Water Cooled Condensers
A water cooled condenser is a machine used in refrigeration systems to remove heat from the air conditioning system’s vaporized Freon, which turns it back into a liquid form. This process can be compared with boiling ice cream – just as you want your frozen treats soft enough so that they’re easy scooped but not slushy all over or too melted where there are lumps for everyone! In order words: You don’t want those last few pops before bedtime ruined by being Rock Solid territory because now we have something similar happening inside our homes’ machines thanks largely due to how hot things got during operation time.
The high cost of water cooling may be an issue for some, but it is worth considering that this type of system will end up saving you money in utility bills. By using less energy and avoiding noise pollution from running compressors all day long; these machines are much more efficient than their air-cooled counterparts.
Remote Cooled Condensers
The remote condenser unit (RCU) is a refrigeration device that uses air cooling and outdoor placement, like its indoor counterpart. The refrigerant line runs from the machine to an ice maker; this allows you to make iced drinks without ever running out.
For those who want an ice machine that’s quiet and easy to maintain, the condenser unit is a great choice. They’re usually found outdoors where noise from other machines can’t interfere with its operation. However, this means installation costs tend to be higher as well since you need access inside your building or structure for mounting purposes.
Ice Maker Bin Size Options
Ice makers store ice in bins until it’s ready for use. The size of the storage bin varies, though they can hold up to 100 pounds per Container Capacity shown on-screen or 50 lbs minimum capacity + 25% extra (so 75lbs).
- The perfect size for your ice bin is one that can hold enough to last you at least two days. If it holds less than this, then the next time there’s a power outage and all of sudden 50 lbs worth of panels melt into water (or another emergency), don’t be surprised if they’re gone.
- Melting ice can have a negative effect on your water. If it has been sitting around for too long, the melted pool of liquid might turn into a breeding ground for bacteria and mold organisms that could cause illness in those who drink them- especially if they’re serving as an employee’s or client’s supply! Ask about monthly tune-ups from suppliers so you don’t end up with contaminated taps at work or home.
- If you’re looking to upgrade or replace your ice machine, it’s important that the new one has enough capacity for what will be used. You should also take into account any growth in demand before purchase timeframes.
- To ensure that you’re not wasting any product, consider the ice consumption during peak hours. This will help determine what size bin is right for your needs.
- When you own a restaurant, it can be difficult to decide when and how much ice should be made. If your peak time is on weekends then consider pairing up with an extra-large bin so that during slower periods there will still have enough for customers who come in at busy times of the week as well.
Commercial Ice Maker Cost
The cost to purchase an icemaker will run you about $1200 on the bottom end, and as much as $8000 for a top-of-the-line high-volume solution.
The actual cost of your icemaker can be driven by a number of factors, such as:
- Ice Type
- Ice Maker Types
- Condenser Used
- Total volume of ice produced per day
Where to Buy the Commercial Ice Maker
Shopping for an ice machine can be a daunting task. There is the potential of investing your hard-earned money in one without knowing if it will work or not, but that doesn’t have to happen! This article has some questions you should ask when shopping around so as not to get taken advantage of by sellers who are looking only at price tags instead of quality service offered with each purchase made from them.
Before deciding where to buy, it’s important to already know what you’re buying. Consider taking a look at reviews and prices. You’re ready to compare quotes from suppliers in your area, simply fill out a short questionnaire, and will get you started.