For home use, ice makers come in
portable and undercounter
varieties. Ice makers can produce several ice styles, from
crescent-shaped pieces to cubes, flakes and nuggets.
makers consist of powerful self-contained or countertop modular units
that attach to a storage bin. Home ice makers
are able to generate as little as 12 pounds of ice per day, while the
biggest-volume commercial appliances can produce several thousand
pounds of ice per day. Depending on the needs of your home or business,
there is an ice maker that can meet them.
While there are numerous individual models of ice makers
offered by the various manufacturers, there are essentially 3 basic
types: portable ice makers, undercounter ice makers and
commercial ice makers.
Commercial ice makers are further categorized as
countertop or self contained. Portable ice makers are for domestic use,
whether in the home, dorm room or RV. Undercounter ice makers are found
in homes as well, but they may also be found in small commercial
establishments that do not go through a high volume of ice. Finally,
commercial ice makers are for high-volume establishments such as
restaurants, hotels, catering companies and large event complexes where
food and beverages are served.
Depending on the type of ice maker you are seeking, different
features are available. Among those found on portable units, soft-touch
digital controls, LED indicator lights and a water recycling system are
desirable. Many undercounter ice makers require no drain, also using a
water recycling system. Their ability to accept a custom door panel
allows you to blend the appliance in with just about any decor.
Commercial ice makers feature several time saving technologies such as
an electronic interface that lets you monitor the functioning of the
machine as well as indicators that assist with troubleshooting.
All types of ice makers are available in durable stainless
steel, although commercial units are almost exclusively constructed out
of it. In addition to their stylish designs, ice makers are made to be
more energy efficient than ever before. Some undercounter units use
less than 3 gallons of water for every 22 pounds of ice produced, while
water recycling systems reuse water from melted ice cubes to form more
ice. Ice makers also feature corrosion-resistant parts, adjustable
thermostats and easy-to-clean parts for the smaller units. Commercial
ice makers feature removable panels for quick access to internal
Whatever your ice needs, whether you are a restaurant owner
that sees a high volume of customers each day or a homeowner who simply
wants to avoid using bagged or freezer-made ice, there is a suitable
ice maker to serve you well. Priced for all budgets, ice makers are an
indispensable part of the food service world as well as a useful and
convenient household appliance.
Portable Ice Makers
Portable ice making units sometimes give you the option of
connecting to a water line, but most simply provide a multi-liter
reservoir into which you pour water. Once activated, in as little as 6
minutes the appliance begins to produce ice. Portable ice makers also
give you the option of choosing the size of ice cube, with smaller
cubes freezing faster. These units generally produce from 10 to 12
cubes at a time before starting the cycle over. They are able to
generate between 12 and 35 pounds of ice per day and can effectively
store between 2 and 5 pounds at a time.
Undercounter Ice Makers
Undercounter units are meant to slide underneath the counter
of a home or commercial bar. They are front vented so other appliances
or cabinets can be safely tucked against the sides. All most
undercounter ice makers require is a water line connection and a power
supply, although some require a drain hose. Undercounter ice makers do
not require you to pour water into a reservoir, and in a day they are
able to produce between 12 and 60 pounds of ice. Undercounter units
have larger storage areas, and they are generally able to hold around
25 pounds at a time. Like portable ice makers, though, undercounter ice
makers are not freezers, although some include a refrigeration function
to help keep ice solid.
Commercial Ice Makers
Countertop and self-contained commercial ice makers are found
in restaurants, hotels, cafeterias and anywhere else food and beverages
are sold on a somewhat high scale. The biggest, most productive
commercial ice makers can make over 2000 pounds of ice a day, but most
produce several hundred pounds. Commercial ice makers are extremely
durable and well built for hard-wearing, frequent use. Self-contained
units feature the ice maker and bin in one, while countertop units are
most likely modular. This means they require a separate bin to hold all
of the ice it produces. Large scale commercial ice makers work best
with a central refrigeration system as they need a lot of water and
constant compression to create as much ice as they do.
A wide range of producers offer one or more models of portable
ice maker including Emerson, Avanti, Haier, Edgestar, NewAir,
Koldfront, Collezioni, Whynter, WindChaser, SCG, Sunpentown and Danby.
Prices for portable ice makers start at around $150 and go up to $500
depending on the brand. A greater range of features, better energy
efficiency and durability are among the reasons for the difference in
prices. Undercounter ice makers usually come in two sizes: 15 and 18
inch. They are manufactured by companies such as U-Line, Franklin,
Scotsman, Summit, Sunpentown and Marvel. Undercounter ice makers are
priced from roughly $350 to well over $2,500. 15- and 18-inch
undercounter ice makers are designed to integrate with the bar by being
built in. Some units are customizable and will accept a special door
panel so that the ice maker takes on the look of the surrounding
woodwork or other stylings. Commercial ice makers are produced by
Summit, Scotsman, U-Line and Ice-O-Matic. Priced as high as $8,700, the
largest among commercial ice makers can produce more than 2000 pounds
of ice per day.