Remote Air Cooled Ice Machines

  1. When do you need a Remote Condenser Unit?

    remote condenser Have you heard the expression “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”? Sometimes a kitchen environment is way too hot for an ice machine. The hotter the area, the harder the machine has to work. At a certain temperature the ice machine just fails, and a busy kitchen can reach that temperature quite easily.

    The way to cool it down is to draw in cooler air from another source. If an ice machine must be present in the kitchen then that air must be drawn from outside. Remote condenser units are the answer. They help keep the machine cool enough to make ice even in the hottest of environments. However, installing one requires the help of an HVAC expert for siting and installation so only restaurants that really need ice in the kitchen at all times need a remote unit. You might also need special wiring to run the condenser, so consult with your electrician as well before choosing a model.

    Most condensers are sized to fit with particular unit and brand. Pick the ice machine you want first and then find the condenser that goes with that unit. That will ensure that you have a condenser that works.

    So don’t let your cooks worry about getting ice to blanch tomatoes anymore! If your kitchen is hopping and hot, an ice machine with a remote condenser will keep things cool.

  2. If It Must Be a Water Cooled Ice Machine, It Must Be...

    Water in GlassNowadays, water conservation is more important than ever. With a little research, you can find that around 780 million people lack access to improved drinking water supplies and 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.¹ Those of us with access to clean water would be mindful not to waste such a precious resource. In the past, we’ve noted that water cooled ice machines are not only an expensive idea, but a wasteful one as well. Water cooled ice machines keep their condensers cool by using water and running it over the condenser and then purging it from the ice machine. In a single day, the largest water cooled ice machine may run through over 5,000 gallons of water or more when operating at maximum effort. That number adds up very quickly, especially if the ice machine is in use every day.

    We understand that some businesses simply have no other option and must use a water cooled ice machine to keep ice production consistent. With this in mind, we figured we could assist in finding out which water cooled ice machines use the least amount of water in both the ice making process AND to keep their condensers cool. Water cooled ice machines use water for two different reasons. Potable water is the term given to the water that will be frozen and consumed. It is run over the evaporator plate, and in the end it is frozen and usually used for beverages in bars and restaurants. Condenser water is the water used to keep the condenser from overheating. If the condenser is too warm, the ice machine may not be able to make ice. In most water cooled ice machines, water is cycled through once, then purged from the ice machine.

    In order to thoroughly examine ice machines from each major company, we broke the ice machines down into three categories: Low-output undercounter ice machines, 500 pound ice machines, and 1,000 pound ice machines. We looked only at cube producing ice machines, since they are most common in the foodservice industry. We also went into this project almost completely blind, so the results produced were new to us, and new to the industry. Only Scotsman made a claim about their water use, stating that their Prodigy ice machines use less water and electricity than the competition, so we were eager to test their claim.

    We looked at each ice machine as if it were producing an equal, set amount of ice, since very few models produce identical amounts of ice. The values which we compared were at 100 pounds, 500 pounds, and 1,000 pounds. We also looked at which water cooled ice machine performs the best at higher temperatures since water cooled ice machines are almost exclusively operated at elevated temperatures. We were not concerned with which ice machine produces the most ice in a stressful environment (you can buy a larger ice machine for more production), but rather which produces ice the most consistently (closest to its listed maximum production) when temperatures increase. This is called the AHRI rating, and it is measured when incoming water is at 90 degrees, and ambient air is at 70 degrees. This should be a key piece of information sought when assessing the quality of any ice machine.

    Note- In the chart, the ice machine that performed best (i.e. used the least amount of water, had the highest output, etc.) was highlighted in green, and the machine that performed the worst was highlighted in red for easier comparison.

    Water Cooled Ice Machine Water UseIf we examine this chart closely, we find that Scotsman ice machines do use the least amount of potable water during the ice making process, but in terms of water used to cool the condenser, they are not nearly as conservative. Hoshizaki repeatedly uses the least amount of water to keep their condensers cool, and in most cases, Hoshizaki uses the least amount of total water in the ice making process. Only when we get to the larger ice machines does Ice-O-Matic take over in terms of water use. But Ice-O-Matic takes over in a huge way, with their water cooled, 1,000 pound ice machine using much less total water than any of the others. This can make a huge difference for someone with upper level ice requirements who is looking for a relatively conservative water cooled ice machine.

    One thing we took away from this study was the way Hoshizaki’s water cooled ice machines perform in adverse conditions. When temperatures increased, Hoshizaki’s ice machines saw their output decrease by the slimmest of margins, losing only a small percentage of their ice production. Scotsman frequently saw their ice machines' production fall by the greatest margin, despite using the second highest amount of water to cool the condenser. This is one of the most important factors to consider, since water cooled ice machines are meant to produce ice when temperatures are higher. So, while Scotsman uses the least amount of potable water, they use by far the most water to keep their condenser cool, negating much of their otherwise conservative nature.

    Despite Scotsman’s claim regarding their water use, it appears that Hoshizaki ice machines are the best choice if you must choose a water cooled ice machine. Their water cooled ice machines use the least total amount of water during the ice making process and to keep the condenser cool. Meanwhile, their ice machines maintain the most consistent ice production when temperatures rise.  While Hoshizaki's and Ice-O-Matic's ice machines clearly use less water than the others listed, all of these ice machines will consume and waste a great deal of water over their lifetime. If you would like to keep costs low, consider a remote air cooled ice machine, which also tends to operate more consistently at higher temperatures since the condenser can be relocated outside, or to a cooler environment.

    Water cooled ice machines are not a requirement for every business, but some simply have no other option. We recommend looking for an ice machine that features an Energy Star label for further savings, energy efficiency, and rebate opportunities.  Refer to the infographic below for a few more interesting facts about water, and to see the aforementioned water cooled ice machines compared side by side. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or give us a call! We're always here to help.


    Water Cooled Ice Machine Water Use - InfoGraphic

  3. Cheap Ice Machines (That Don't Sacrif-Ice Quality)

    Save Money with Cheap Ice MachineIs money a bit tight? Has your business been struggling a bit lately? Have you been putting off the purchase of a new ice machine due to monetary issues? You’re not alone in dealing with struggles like this, and replacing your old ice machine may not seem feasible, but if you’re looking for a reliable, cheap ice machine, without looking to sacrifice quality or ice production, you’ve got to give Ice-O-Matic a bit of consideration. Ice-O-Matic ice machines are the least expensive when compared to the competition, and a new ice machine is a far better option than throwing money into costly repairs of an old, outdated unit.

    Ice-O-Matic Mission StatementIce-O-Matic’s most recent campaign saw them boasting that their ice machines provide “more ice for the price” (Full Image on left). Not wanting to believe without seeing, we did a bit more research. The results were not overwhelmingly in Ice-O-Matic’s favor. Ice-O-Matic ice machines, when compared to others in the same class (i.e. 500 pounds per day ice production) were significantly cheaper than the competition. Naturally, if you look at ice machines in a similar price range (say, ice machines that cost around $2,000.00), you would see that Ice-O-Matic’s would produce more ice than all other ice machines in that price range.

    Ice-O-Matic ice machines do indeed provide more ice for the price. Beyond that, their benefits do not cease however. Acquire an Ice-O-Matic ice machine with a remote air cooled condenser, and your unit will produce ice more consistently. Since the condenser can be placed outside or on the roof of your building, the ice machine will not suffer as great a loss in ice production when temperatures are high, as they would be in a hot, stuffy kitchen. Your ice machine will not have to work as hard to create ice, since temperatures will not increase as they would in a hot, poorly ventilated area.

    If you’re looking for a cheap ice machine, consider one from Ice-O-Matic as a viable, low-cost option – not a low quality replacement. Many of Ice-O-Matic’s air cooled and remote air cooled ice machines are Energy Star qualified as well, due to their efficient use of water and electricity. In using resources conservatively, these Ice-O-Matic ice machines do not cost as much to operate either. (If cost of operation is a very big issue for you however, consider Scotsman’s Prodigy cuber heads which use less water and electricity in the ice making process than any other ice machine provider).

    In terms of commercial quality and value, Ice-O-Matic provides the best of both worlds. If a new ice machine still seems like an improbability, consider making use of our ice machine leasing program, which will allow you to acquire a new ice machine without having to set aside a great amount of money right away. There are plenty of ways to provide your business with a new, inexpensive ice machine – so you can stop throwing away money on parts or service for your dated unit. If you’re looking to buy a new, cheap ice machine, consider Ice-O-Matic for the perfect balance between price and performance.

  4. Manitowoc Remote Air-Cooled Ice Machines: Cool and Quiet

    The effect of continuous, oppressive heat on the human body is astounding. Excessive heat has been shown to increase stress, decrease productivity, and there is also a correlation between the crime rate and an increase in heat in many areas. Your Manitowoc ice machine reacts similarly, showing an inevitable decrease in production when the temperature of the air and water used by the ice machine increase. With a standard air-cooled Manitowoc ice machine, the problem may be cyclical, as the air released by the ice machine may be warmer, causing the temperature of the room in which it operates to increase.

    Manitowoc Ice Machines Provide More Consistent Production

    Manitowoc ice machines that are air-cooled, like all air-cooled ice machines, will increase the temperature of the room in which they operate, especially if it is smaller and without proper ventilation. This increase in temperature may cause your Manitowoc ice machine’s production to fall as well, but there is a way to stop this cyclical process altogether – consider one of Manitowoc’s remote air-cooled ice machines. These ice machines allow the condenser to be placed in a more suitable location, like outside, or to the roof of the building. This way, the ice machine is less affected by temperature swings, providing more consistent ice production. This will also save you money as your Manitowoc ice machine will not have to work as hard as if would while fighting to operate in undesirable conditions

    Manitowoc Ice Machines Create Better Working Conditions

    If you’ve ever stood next to a remote air-cooled condenser and heard it kick on and start whirring away as the ice machine makes ice then you already know what a nuisance these units can be. Moving them outside, and away from your building will help in many different facets of your business, especially if the ice machine is located in your kitchen. The kitchen temperature may increase with the use of fryers, ovens, and other heat-producing equipment. With the ice machine’s condenser outside, the noise is eliminated, and the heat is reduced, and your employees are allowed to operate in a more comfortable environment.

    Remote Air-Cooled Ice Machines from Manitowoc are More Energy Efficient

    Manitowoc Remote Air cooled condenser for ice machineAside from the more obvious benefits mentioned in the previous two sections, it is lesser known that remote air-cooled ice machines from Manitowoc are more energy efficient. In fact, most are ENERGY STAR qualified due to their efficiency. This is simply because remote air-cooled ice machines from Manitowoc do not use as much water as other models. Water-cooled models from Manitowoc consume and waste incredible hundreds of gallons of water per day to keep their machines cool. Manitowoc ice machines which are cooled remotely are also free to operate in more favorable conditions, as the temperature outside the building does not fluctuate as rapidly as it may inside.

    Finding the Right Manitowoc Remote Air-Cooled Ice Machine

    There are a few things to consider when looking for the right Manitowoc ice machine for your business, but most importantly, you must know what your ice will be used for. Manitowoc ice machines that are required for a bar or restaurant will probably require Manitowoc’s dice or half-dice cubes. This is type is most commonly found in beverages in the foodservice industry. The half-dice cubes also tend to dispense better when placed on top of hotel ice dispensers or soda dispensers. Manitowoc also has a remote-air cooled flake ice machine available too, which can produce over a ton of flake ice per day (Imagine all that noise from the condenser as this ice machine churns out over 2,000 pounds of ice). Finding the right Manitowoc ice machine depends largely on the purpose for which you will use your ice.

    Manitowoc Indigo Ice Machines: Ever Heard of Them?


    Manitowoc Indigo Ice Machine Display Panel

    It should be mentioned that all of Manitowoc’s remote air-cooled ice machines that produce the dice or half dice cubes are from Manitowoc’s Indigo Series as well. Indigo ice machines from Manitowoc are well-renowned for their new technology. They allow the owner to program a customized ice making schedule for up to seven days in advance. They also feature a blue screen which communicates to users the operating status of the ice machine. Indigo ice machines from Manitowoc are some of the easiest to maintain as well, since they allow users to address minor issues before they become major problems.

    With so many options, you will surely be able to find the right Manitowoc ice machine with a remote air-cooled condenser. Consider improving your business by providing a quieter, cooler environment for both your employees, and your ice machine to operate, and save yourself a few dollars in the process as the cost of operating a remote air-cooled condenser is often less than a water-cooled or air-cooled ice machine. Manitowoc remote air cooled ice machines are always a viable option for the ice needs of almost any establishment.

  5. Hoshizaki’s KM-1301SRH for the Big, Booming Businesses

    Success is something we can all appreciate. With success however, come more challenges and roadblocks. Let’s say you planned to open a large club and needed an ice machine that could produce over 1,000 pounds of ice per day. Hoshizaki provides a perfect ice machine in the KM-1301SRH. In a year or two, perhaps your business has doubled, and you want to expand, add an additional floor. Are you going to require another ice machine and bin from Hoshizaki? Maybe not. The KM-1301SRH is stackable, so you can double your ice machine’s production without needing to worry about finding more space for an additional ice machine to operate.

    As your success increases, your building may expand, and now so can your ice machines’ output. Look at New York City as an example. People flocked by the millions, and as space became an issue, the only feasible thing that could be done was done- build upward. With Hoshizaki’s KM-1301SRH, you can do the same thing- build up without your ice machine creating a greater footprint where your space may be limited.

    The KM-1301SRH is a remote air-cooled ice machine, so the condenser can be placed outside, away from the building, or on the roof of your establishment. This is helpful, as the condenser of an ice machine like this may generate a lot of heat and noise if it is left to operate inside your building. When you operate a larger club, the temperature will rise quickly when it is packed with moving bodies. There is no need for your ice machine’s condenser to add to the uncomfortable conditions.

    Hoshizaki KM1601SRH on a Hoshizaki ice bin   One of the greatest benefits a Hoshizaki ice machine provides is consistent performance. The KM-1301SRH produces up to 1,353 pounds of ice per day in ideal conditions. When air and water temperature increase, your ice machine’s performance will inevitably drop, but not to the extent that some others do. The daily output of the KM-1301SRH drops to 1,222 pounds per day, a loss of less than 10%. Some ice machines lose up to 30% of their production when temperatures increase to the same point, but not this ice machine from Hoshizaki.

     There are a few reasons for this. Hoshizaki is the only ice machine company that features a stainless steel evaporator plate, so performance is most consistent. These evaporator plates tend to have a longer life when compared to other brands because of their construction, and will not peel or flake over time. The remote air-cooled condenser of the KM-1301SRH also allows the condenser to operate in a cooler location, so production remains more consistent over time.

    If you need a great amount of ice every day (upwards of 1,000 pounds), the KM-1301SRH is a great choice for a high quality, remote air-cooled ice machine. This ice machine from Hoshizaki will provide consistent ice production, and if your ice needs ever increase, you can always add another ice machine to operate on top. For more information, or if you have any questions, consult the ice experts at

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