Ice Machine Buying Guide

Ice Machine Buying Guide
With the abundance of manufacturers and models of ice machines, choosing the best machine for your particular situation can seem like a difficult task.

Below are some helpful sections with some great information that will guide you in your selection, purchase, and placing of an ice machine or related equipment.
what is a commercial ice machine

Section 1. What Is A Commercial Ice Machine?


Ice machines are found in a variety of settings, but commercial ice machines are used predominantly in the food service industries.

Ice making systems essentially start with an exterior water supply that provides water, a refrigeration system that forms the ice, and a collection bin for storing the ice.

However, a commercial ice machine is more than just an ice making system. Learn About Commercial Ice Machine Basics

what are the different types of commercial ice machines

Section 2. What Are The Different Types of Commercial Ice Machines?


Ice can be made in many shapes and types.  Each style of ice is appropriate for various applications.  

Ice Machines also come in a variety of equipment types with different ice production rates, bin storage capacities, and dispensing capabilities.

Use this information to find ice machine cubers, flakers, or other models with unique forms patented by the manufacturers and the right equipment configuration for your establishment. Learn About The Different Types of Commercial Ice Machines

what is the difference between air cooled and water cooled

Section 3. What Is The Difference Between Air Cooled Ice Machines and Water Cooled Ice Machines?


All Ice Machine Condensers are one of three different types: Air-Cooled, Remote Air-Cooled, or Water-Cooled.

You will need to decide which type of condenser cooling system you will use for your ice machine.

Read the cooling system explanations to find out which kind of condenser cooling is better for your application. Learn About The Different Types of Condenser Cooling

what size commercial ice machine do i need

Section 4. What Size Commercial Ice Machine Do I Need?


When choosing a commercial ice machine for your business you will need to consider both the amount of ice the machine will make each day and the physical space that the specific model will take up in your location.

Here are some factors to consider regarding the production rates and the dimensions of ice machines. Learn About Commercial Ice Machine Sizes

how do I figure out how much ice I need

Section 5. How Do I Figure Out How Much Ice I Need?


Are you opening a new foodservice business? Do you need help figuring out how much ice a business like yours will need?

If your old ice machine never made enough ice, do you want a new ice machine that will make the right amount of ice?

Here are helpful tables for calculating your daily ice requirements. Figure Out How Much Ice Your Business Needs

which commercial ice machines will meet my needs

Section 6. Which Commercial Ice Machines Will Meet My Needs?


Once you have figured out your Daily Ice Usage Requirements, you can find the ice machines that produce that amount of ice each day.

We have gathered all of the ice machines by production rate in a handy chart - you just find the style of ice and the production rate range and click! Figure Out Which Ice Machines Will Meet Your Business Needs

Section 7. Where Can I Install My Commercial Ice Machine?


Before you select an ice machine, you need to consider several factors related to the installation location that can affect the ice machine's performance. Basics like incoming water lines, drainage, and the physical dimensions of the space are obvious, but check here for some other considerations. Learn About Ice Machine Installation Factors

how do air and water temperatures affect my ice machine

Section 8. How Do Air And Water Temperatures Affect My Commercial Ice Machine?


An ice machine is technically a piece of refrigeration equipment, using heat transfer to lower the temperature of an evaporator to be cold enough to freeze water. The air temperature around the ice machine and the temperature of the water being frozen can make the heat transfer more difficult.

Finding a commercial ice machine that meets your requirements can get more complicated if your climate or location gets very hot or extremely cold.

You can figure out what commercial ice machine is best for your application when production rates are determined by an external standard. Learn How Air and Water Temps Affect Your Commercial Ice Machine

what are some things to consider when purchasing a new commercial ice machine

Section 9. What Are Some Things To Consider When Purchasing A New Commercial Ice Machine?


Here is a handy checklist of the things you must consider before you purchase your new ice machine. It is a list of decisions you must make before your select the exact ice machine for your application.

There is even a printable checklist! View Commercial Ice Machine Purchasing Checklist

what size ice storage bin will i need

Section 10. What Size Ice Storage Bin Will I Need?


In nearly every application, an ice machine head (cuber, flaker, nugget) is going to require some sort of storage unit that it can be paired with. Typically, this means the head is mounted on top of an ice storage bin, a countertop ice dispenser, or a hotel ice dispenser.

Here are some factors to consider when finding the right storage option for your application.

Note that ice storage bins and ice dispensers are included in the "Related Items" section of each ice machine product on our website. Learn About Ice Storage Options

will I need a water filter system

Section 11. Will I Need A Water Filter System?


Nobody likes funny-tasting ice in their drink. And while the ice-making process filters out minerals and sediment, it doesn't remove other things.

Besides making ice "tasteless", water filtration has several benefits, including saving you money. Learn About Why You Need Water Filtration

what optional equipment or accessories will I need for my commercial ice machine

Section 12. What Optional Equipment Or Accessories Will I Need For My Commercial Ice Machine?


You can purchase an ice machine by itself, but it might not perform the way you thought unless you have also purchased the appropriate accessories. In some cases, accessories are optional enhancements, but others are required components.

Check Here To See What Accessories You Will Need

how will I clean my commercial ice machine

Section 13. How Will I Clean My Commercial Ice Machine?


It is not difficult to clean an ice machine. There are some basic procedures to follow. And there is never any question about whether you should clean it. You absolutely must keep your ice machine equipment clean.

We have pulled together some steps in this Section. However, every ice machine and manufacturer is different, so consult the manual that comes with your ice machine model. Learn About Cleaning Your Commercial Ice Machine

what are some other things to consider before purchasing a new ice machine

Section 14. What Are Some Other Things To Consider Before Purchasing A New Ice Machine?


You should have narrowed down the type of ice machine you need, the ideal style of ice for your application(s), your daily ice requirements, and the installation location concerns.

This Section has links to several other areas of our website that are full of information about specific manufacturers and specific models, including reviews and comparisons to help you make your final selection. View Some Additional Considerations When Purchasing A Commercial Ice Machine

Ice Machine Checklist

Section 15. Buying an Ice Machine Based on Your Specific Needs or Requirements


In this section, we take a closer look at the things that matter to you. Whether you need an ice machine that makes a ton of ice per day, or simply want one of the more energy efficient models, we break it all down here. We ranked the top ice machines in various categories (energy efficiency, ice production, speed of delivery, Sonic style nugget ice...) so you find the perfect ice machine for your home or business. No two businesses are exactly the same, and neither are their ice requirements. With this in mind, we created this section to find the best ice machine possible. View Ice Machines Based On Your Priorities

Section 16. Other Resources Regarding Purchasing a Commercial Ice Machine

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What Is The Difference? What Is The Difference?

Some equipment and products are very similar with only one or two features being different. Read about the difference between some popular models here...

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