Every commercial food establishment uses ice at some level of service; to cool food on a display line, during beverage service, or in cocktails. Ice machines can be a large draw on utility bill budgets. With advancing technology and strategic forethought in the planning stages of restaurant construction, it is possible to get an ice machine that is both energy-efficient and hard working.
Emerging technology in commercial ice machines has advanced quite a bit in recent years. There are even ENERGY STAR® certified commercial models, which may give you a rebate benefit with your local electric company. We have efficiency labels and designations on each listing on our website to help you select the ice machine to best fit your needs.
The other consideration for saving water and energy is the type of cooling your commercial ice machine will use.
Water-cooled ice machines use higher amounts of water in order to cool the internal mechanisms of the unit but the produce much less heat than their air-cooled counterparts. There is a trade off in less energy consumption for more water consumption.
You should consider a water cooled unit if cooling the area around the ice machine is going to be more cost effective than using water to reduce the heat output. Most places with high water costs will opt for an air-cooled unit.
There is also the remote air-cooled option, which requires extra construction costs but will generally vent the heat outside of the building. This can reduce energy and water costs but requires a larger initial investment.
If you have multiple locations in your restaurant that having ice immediately available is useful, you may consider purchasing 2 or more ice makers. This is also beneficial if you need different types of ice for different applications.
Many newer commercial ice machines have programmable controls or timers to maximize efficiency. This could be used to reduce production during the night when a foodservice establishment is closed or adjust production during hotter times of the year when ice melts quicker.
Another helpful source for researching sustainable ice machines is the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. Visit their online directory at www.ahrinet.org for more information on energy efficient restaurant products.
If you need assistance contact ACityDiscount.com at 404-752-6715 to speak directly to our experts in the restaurant supply industry who can provide important insight on the various models of commercial ice machines.