[posted May 21, 2012]
Undercounter Ice Machines for the Home: The Miniature Edition
When choosing the perfect pint-sized undercounter ice machine, there are many options to consider. Buying a new ice machine can be quite a hassle if you do not take time to educate yourself on all of the available products. Deserving consideration from you are ice types, production rates, equipment size, and efficiency, along with a variety of other features. With so many models available, it is important to set aside time for the best possible research to find the perfect undercounter ice machine for you. [Note: All of the following undercounter ice machines are less than 24 inches wide and 36 inches tall without legs.]
Let's look at the models from Ice-O-matic (ICEU070 & ICEU150), Scotsman (CU50 & CU0515), Manitowoc (QM30 & QM45), and Hoshizaki (AM-50 & C-100). First and foremost, production rates and ice style are probably at the top of your list. The ICEU150 from Ice-O-Matic tops the list here with a production rate of 174 pounds in a 24 hour period. The ICEU150 produces the simple cube or half cube ice that is standard for most mixed drinks. This ice machine also has the largest built-in storage capabilities, with a bin that stores around 73 pounds of ice.
Should your concern be ice style, a variety of options are available. The gourmet or top hat ice is 100 percent pure water, and free of any air or impurities. This ice melts incredibly slowly and will last a long time while not diluting your drink. Gourmet style ice always adds a touch of elegance to the glass it fills. Producing this type of ice is the AM-50 from Hoshizaki, the ICEU070 from Ice-O-matic, along with the CU0515 and CU50 from Scotsman. The QM30 and QM45 from Manitowoc each produce 60 to 95 pounds of standard dice cubes, while the C-100 model from Hoshizaki produces cubelet or nugget ice. This ice's popularity has grown greatly due to its ability to rapidly cool drinks, its chewable nature, and its retention of the flavor of the drink it once cooled.
If you are concerned with size, several versions of the Hoshizaki AM-50 models are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and measure less than 15 inches wide, 23 inches deep, and are only 31.5 inches tall. These are the smallest of the undercounters, with the Scotsman CU50 placing a close second with almost identical measurements. The CU50 however, measures 34.75 inches tall. Manitowoc's QM30 and QM45 are each equipped with a right angle plug, saving space when placing these undercounter ice machines back against the wall.
Perhaps you require an undercounter ice machine for your deck or patio, or maybe you've installed an outdoor bar around the pool. Both the AM-50 and C-100 models from Hoshizaki have been approved for outdoor use along with the CU0515 from Scotsman. These undercounter ice machines would make a great addition to your outdoor gatherings, requiring less travel in and out of the house. Ice is where you need it, when you need it.
When it comes to energy efficiency, there are a few undercounter ice machines that perform well and have earned the coveted ENERGY STAR rating. The ICEU150A (air-cooled models only) from Ice-O-Matic and the CU50GA and CU50PA from Scotsman are ENERGY STAR qualified and will provide relief on your utility bill without sacrificing quality or quantity of ice production.
Everyone wants the assurance that their undercounter ice machine will last a long time as well. Ice-O-Matic provides the longest warranty in the business, with Scotsman a close second. Ice-O-Matic and Scotsman will each provide a three year warranty on all parts and labors, with five years on evaporator and condenser. Ice-O-matic will extend the warranty on the evaporator to seven years if an Ice-O-Matic water filter is purchased and replaced every six months. A water filter is recommended for every ice machine, as this will greatly improve the water quality and inhibit potentially foul tastes and odors of the ice.
Most of these undercounter ice machines can or will be affixed with legs that measure from five to seven inches tall. The legs provide easy cleaning underneath your ice machine and provide a bit more ventilation. Another unique feature that is solely available on Hoshizaki's AM-50 and C-100 models is the overlay option. These undercounter ice machines can be affixed with any cabinetry the owner pleases, allowing them to match or complement their surroundings, and provide superior aesthetic appeal.
With a world of ice machines out there, hopefully this article has provided enough information to help your sort out your desires and needs. The undercounter ice machine provides an incredible convenience, giving you ice where you need it, when you need it. At IceMachinesPlus.com, we are committed to providing knowledgeable information, as well as a wide selection of undercounter ice machines. For more in-depth information, consult the spec sheet on any of the models and find the perfect ice machine to suit your lifestyle.
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