Ice makers have been in use for many years, first in the form of blocks and cubes, then as frozen water that could be produced by electrical devices. The evolution of ice-making appliances continues. In kitchens and bars around the world, automatic ice makers are common. Here are some tips to help when you are buying an ice maker.
What Is An Ice Maker?
An ice maker, ice generator, or ice machine may refer to either a consumer device for making ice, found inside a home freezer; a stand-alone appliance for making ice, or an industrial machine for making ice on a large scale. The term “ice machine” usually refers to the stand-alone appliance.
The ice generator is the part of the ice machine that actually produces the ice. The ice generator also houses other components such as the evaporator coils, expansion valve and heat exchanger. The main function of an icemaker is to freeze water into cubes of ice.
What Are The Benefits Of An Ice Maker?
There are many benefits of having an ice maker at home. It not only provides convenience but also increases the value of your home. Here are some benefits that you can enjoy when you buy a good quality appliance:
They’re easy to install
Are you thinking of adding an ice maker to your kitchen? Many people are hesitant because they assume it’s a complicated process that requires a plumber and possibly will require structural changes to their house.
In reality, you can purchase a portable ice maker that will work well with your existing kitchen arrangement.
They’re easy to use
The ice machine is very easy to use. This is one of the main reasons why most people prefer this ice making machine to any other machine.
It is a very simple procedure to make ice cubes in this machine. You just have to add water in the machine and then you can switch it on. The water will be converted into ice cubes within a few minutes and you can collect these ice cubes from the lower tray.
The next step is to remove the ice cubes from the tray. You have to remove these ice cubes and store them in a freezer so as to keep them frozen till time of use. It is always better if you store these ice cubes in a plastic bag and then store it in freezer so that they do not fuse together.
You can also take out small quantities of these ice cubes at a time for your use. This eliminates the need for taking out all the ice cubes at once and keeps them fresh till time of use.
They’re super convenient
If you don’t have an ice maker, you likely have a freezer compartment in your refrigerator or have a bag or two in the freezer for when you need ice for drinks or other purposes. If this is your situation, you probably know that there are times when the ice is not ready as soon as you need it. With an icemaker, though, you do not need to wait for the tray to freeze water before getting a drink of ice water or making ice cubes for your favorite beverage. All you need is one button and the icemaker does the rest!
They save you money
Ice cubes cost an average of $.40 per pound, and the average person consumes about 20 pounds of ice per year. While 20 pounds may not seem like a lot, that’s approximately $8 per year for ice. And if your family has more than one person in it, that number starts to rise significantly. But with an ice maker, you don’t have to worry about purchasing bags of ice from the grocery store or buying a separate freezer to store purchased bags of ice.
They have a compact design
When you purchase an ice maker, you don’t need a separate freezer to store bags of ice. The compact size of most units means they can be stored on your countertop or wherever it is most convenient for you. Depending on the unit you purchase, many can even be transported outdoors to provide extra ice for parties and gatherings.
Ice makers can be used during any season
The best part about these machines is that they can be used all year round, irrespective of the weather conditions outside. They work great even during the winter months when it’s cold outside. With an ice maker in your kitchen, you can make delicious frozen treats whenever you want without having to worry about running out of ice cubes or waiting for them to freeze!
You don’t have to wait for hours or days just so that there’s enough water in your refrigerator freezer compartment before using an ice maker machine. These machines do the work for you. You can have water in your cooler compartment at all times, making it easy to make the perfect chilled drinks or desserts.
The ice is clean and fresh
As we all know that the quality of water around us is decreasing at an alarming rate day by day, so there is no other better way than installing an ice maker to bring back the taste of fresh and clean ice into your life. Ice machines come with a filter system which filters the water before making ice out of it to ensure the quality of the ice.
Types Of Ice Makers
There are many different types of ice makers to choose from. Some options are more suitable for homes while others are better suited for commercial applications. Each ice making machine has its own benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to consider your needs carefully before making a purchase. The following sections will give you a better understanding of the different types of ice makers that are available on the market today.
Under Counter Ice Maker
Under counter ice makers are designed to fit under most counters and cabinets. These products come with their own drain pumps so they can be installed in any location that does not have a standard gravity drain.
Most under counter units produce between 50 and 100 pounds of ice every day, depending on the size of the unit, and some models can produce as much as 150 pounds per day.
These machines are ideal for homes, restaurants and other commercial locations that need a good deal of ice but do not have enough room on the counter top for a standard model.
Portable Ice Maker
Portable ice makers are small ice machines that make anywhere from 12 to 50 lbs. of ice per day. They are a great solution for getting ice in a hurry without having to wait for your freezer to produce it. They are also a convenient solution for outdoor activities, such as BBQs and camping trips. Because of the limited amount of ice these machines produce, they aren’t recommended for large families or heavy usage.
Nugget Ice Maker
Nugget ice makers produce small pieces of compacted ice that are perfect for smoothies. They ensure that the consistency of your beverage is just right, every time. These small pellets also work well in cocktails because they don’t water them down as they melt. Some models feature chewable ice, which is ideal for people who like to chew on their ice.
Commercial Ice Maker
A commercial ice maker is a type of appliance that produces ice for use in business. These units are generally used in restaurants, bars and convenience stores. Commercial ice makers come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but all perform a similar function: freezing water to produce ice that is later used in drinks by patrons or employees. These units generally have much larger capacities than residential models because they are designed to handle higher volumes of ice production or service larger numbers of customers.
Things To Consider When Shopping For An Ice Maker
Ice makers are a great investment for those who love to entertain or have large families. They produce ice without the hassle of filling and refilling trays, and are more efficient than many other types of ice machines on the market today.
There are many different brands and styles of ice makers available and you can find one that fits your home, budget and lifestyle.
Below is a guide on what to look for when shopping for an ice maker:
Ice production per day
When choosing an ice machine, one of the most important factors to consider is the amount of ice it produces each day. To determine how much ice you need, first estimate how much ice your business or household uses during peak periods. If you’re running a restaurant or other business, you should consider the timing and duration of lunch and dinner rushes.
If you’re planning to use your ice machine in the home, think about how many guests you typically have over on the weekends, and how long they stay. Once you’ve estimated your maximum daily usage, add a buffer to ensure that your machine will be able to keep up with any unexpected spikes in demand.
Portable ice makers need to be plugged into an electrical socket or have a battery pack that supplies sufficient power to operate the machine properly. Some units require more power than others, so it’s important to check the product specifications before buying an ice maker.
If you’re not sure how much power you’ll require, then it’s a good idea to check the user manual for your ice maker to see what kinds of things you’ll be doing with it. Running an ice maker for extended periods of time can be hard on a battery, so if you plan on using your machine on the go, then it’s best to find an ice maker that runs off a power outlet.
Portable ice makers draw water from any source with a water line. This includes sinks, mini-fridges, and even portable water bottles or bladders. If you don’t have any water lines in your house, then a portable ice maker will generally not work for you. Otherwise, you can use any water that’s available to produce ice.
When shopping for an ice maker, your first consideration should be the amount of ice you need to produce over a 24-hour period. This will depend on the number of people in your household and how much you entertain. For example, if you have a family of four and entertain regularly, you’ll want an ice maker that produces more than 30 pounds of ice per day. So look for a unit that produces between 30 and 85 pounds per day.
Ease of use
Some ice makers require more maintenance than others. Built-in models are often easier to care for, since the water line is usually connected directly to your plumbing system and drains out like your sink or dishwasher. Portable units, on the other hand, require you to fill them with water and empty the melted ice manually. The latter often requires more work and cleanup time.
Look for any additional features that you might need or would make your ice maker more convenient. Some examples include a timer, which allows you to program how often the ice maker makes ice, or a self-cleaning function, which helps get rid of any buildup in the unit.
Automatic shut off is another feature to look for; this shuts down the unit if it runs out of water or gets too full of ice. Some units also come with an indicator light that lets you know when there’s not enough water or too much ice.
Ice machines can be noisy; however, models that use larger evaporator plates tend to make less noise than those with smaller ones. Models that use a pump instead of gravity tend to be quieter as well. The noise level can vary from 40 decibels (dB) to over 50 dB, so if noise is an issue for you, check the dB rating before buying an ice maker.
When choosing an ice maker, it’s important to go for an energy-efficient model. This means that it should be able to produce ice quickly and should have a low power consumption rate. If you want to save energy, consider buying one with a timer so that it doesn’t run unnecessarily when no one is around.
How much should I be prepared to spend on an ice maker?
The price of an ice maker will depend on how much space you need it to fill, what other features you want (and are willing to pay for) and how permanent a fixture you want it to be. Most portable models cost between $100 and $300. If you’re looking at something that can be built into the countertop, expect to pay between $200 and $1,000 (or even more, depending on options). For a free-standing undercounter model, prices range from $500 to $2,000.
How much space do I have available for an ice maker?
You will also want to consider the size of unit you can accommodate in your home. Some units are as small as 12″ and can fit easily on top of your countertop, while others are 24″ wide and are designed for free standing installation. Many models are available in 15″ widths as well. If you’re placing an order online, remember that most models require 6 inches of clearance at either side for air circulation.
What power source will my ice maker use?
When you buy an ice maker, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is where you will be using it. Most of the machines are portable, and you can use them in any room. If you are using a portable machine, the most common power supply is a standard wall outlet.
A few of the machines we have reviewed require a 14-inch hole for installation. You may need to call an electrician if you do not have this type of socket in your home.
Can I use any water filter on what ice maker?
The water filters depend on the model. Some models come with a permanent filter that you cannot replace. Others allow for a replaceable filter. Some models have both options available. Please consult your owner’s manual to ensure you know what kind of system your ice maker uses before purchasing a water filter replacement.
When should I use crushed ice?
Crushed ice is best used in drinks. It will help the drink stay cold and also help it absorb the flavor of the liquid.
Will the ice maker work if the door is open?
The ice maker will not work if the refrigerator door is open. This is to prevent accidents such as someone getting hurt or burned by the hot gas in the cooling system or getting an electric shock.
How can I change the cube size?
You can change the cube size by pressing the Select button on the control panel. The current size of cube will be displayed on the LED panel and you can select a new size by pressing Select again.
How long does it take to make ice?
Once the ice maker is connected to water and electricity, and the appliance has been turned on, it should take approximately 20 minutes before any ice is produced. The amount of time before the first batch of ice is created will vary depending on the specific model.
Once a batch of ice cubes has been made, they should drop into the storage bin within 10 minutes. Keep in mind that ambient temperature and use of the ice maker will affect production times.
Buying the best ice maker is more challenging than it may appear at first glance. Given the extraordinary range of products available, it is difficult to know what to look for when purchasing an ice maker. This guide will help you sidestep costly mistakes and ensure that you get a top product that better suits your needs and expectations. An ice maker can easily be an excellent addition to any home; be sure to choose one that meets your needs as well as your budget.