A buyer’s guide to ice machines

We have given a brief overview about ice machines in one of our articles on the site. We hope that it has given you information that you can use to select the best ice machine for you. Before you go out and buy one read our buyer’s guide first.

Homes do not need lots of ice every day so it may not be the most practical idea to purchase an ice machine for your house. If you do want your own ice machine at home then look for the smaller models and voice the pricier bigger ice machines.

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Questions that need answers.

First, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Once you get your answers then you are ready to find your ice machine.

How much ice do you need?

Typically you want your ice machine to produce enough ice for 1 whole business day with a little extra. So figure out how much ice you need. This will help you determine the size of the ice machine you will buy.

What kind of ice do you need?

We’ve talked about the 3 types of ice that ice machines can make. Cube Ice and Nugget Ice are the ones you want to for drinks. Flake Ice is great for salad bars and for any blended drinks. Remember that Flake Ice melts faster than Cube Ice and Nugget Ice

Where will you put the ice machine?

You may be buying lots of other kitchen equipment so it is very important to plan their placement. So make a map of your kitchen and decide where your ice machine will go. Remember that the kitchen can get very busy and many people will be going around. Placing kitchen equipment in key locations can make things a lot easier.

How much space do you have for an ice machine and how big is the ice machine that you’ll need?

Now that you know how much ice you need you’ll be able to see the sizes of the ice machine you’ll need. Get the measurements of your planned space for the ice machine and bring it with you when you look at ice machines. It would also be good to measure the door and any possible tight places that the delivery man will go through when bringing your ice machine. This may not be such a big deal if the ice machine you get can be assembled at your place. Take note that Air Cooled Ice Machines will need a little extra space for its air vents. You can also consider Remote Cooled Ice Machines if your kitchen is right under the roof or is beside an outside wall.

Do you need a storage bin for your ice?

A storage bin may not always go with an ice machine so you might have to purchase one separately. Again, this depends on your type of food commercial refrigeration service business and how much ice you need in a day. You want a storage bin that can hold up to 10 – 20% more ice than your ice machine can make.

Overtime, the ice in the storage bin will melt so you will need a floor drain underneath or near the ice storage bin.

Should you add a water filter system to your ice machine?

If you are in the food service industry and the ice you make will be for consumption then by all means please get a water filter system. This will keep your ice clean and even help keep your ice machine clean. It will also keep your ice free from getting a weird chemical taste over time. Water filters will keep ice production at a maximum. It will also lower maintenance costs in the long run and can greatly give your ice machine a longer life. So this is an additional expense at the beginning but can save you more later.

What else should you consider when buying an ice machine?

You should look at the brand of the ice machine. Look at their reputation and their warranty services. An ice machine on average should have a lifespan of 5-8 years and warranties usually last for 3 years. The condenser and evaporator are given a 2 year warranty. Some companies will extend that if you add a water filter to your machine or they may have an extended warranty program. Ask about their repair services or repair centers too. If your machine needs some Manitowoc ice machine repair you want them to be able to get there and fix it right away.

You’ll also want to look at a dedicated ice scoop. So that you keep your ice as clean as possible. An ice dispenser can make ice retrieval for drinks quicker and let your customers get their own ice. An ice tote or an ice cart will come in handy if you need to move a lot of ice around or if you will cater.

These are just some basic questions to ask yourself and whoever might be helping you pick out an ice machine. You may have your own questions and more specific needs when it comes to your ice machine so include that in the conversation. We hope this guide helps you get the best ice machine for your business.