How much does it cost to run a commercial Ice Machine?

Commercial ice makers

Ice maker energy use is around 350 kilowatt hours (kWh) in a month—at a typical rate of $0.06 per kWh, that would cost around $21 a month.

The best commercial ice makers will handle a much larger volume than one meant for the home. It’s not unusual for a commercial ice maker to make 500 pounds of ice in a single day.

  • What is a commercial ice maker? Commercial ice makers make large quantities of ice and are used in such businesses as restaurants, hotels, bars and hospitals.
  • How do they work? Commercial ice makers work by pouring water into a mold, supercooling it with refrigerant-filled coils, and storing the frozen water in the form of chips or cubes. The best ice makers can do this very quickly while keeping up with high demand.

Air-cooled vs. water-cooled ice makers

When shopping for the best commercial ice maker, it’s important to understand the difference between air-cooled and water-cooled models.

  • Air-cooled ice makers: Air-cooled ice makers use fans to remove heat from the refrigerant coils, a process that causes the temperature to get cool enough to freeze the water. These are the most common ice makers on the market and the most environmentally friendly.
  • Water-cooled ice makers: Instead of using air, water-cooled ice makers use water to transfer the heat away from the condenser coils. If water conservation is one of your goals, then water-cooled ice makers might not be for you. Though water-cooled ice makers tend to use less electricity, they use much more water—as much as 100 gallons for every 100 pounds of ice!

Saving energy with ENERGY STAR ice makers

The best way to cut down on ice maker energy use is to opt for one of the most energy-efficient ice makers on the market. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program recognizes the most efficient equipment available, including the best commercial ice makers.

  1. Energy consumption: Compared to conventional models, ENERGY STAR–rated ice makers are an average of 20% more efficient. The best ice makers can save 1,200 kWh of energy each year on average.
  2. Savings: When searching for an energy-efficient ice maker, it’s helpful to know that the energy savings of an ENERGY STAR–rated ice maker translates to $125 a year. Over the course of its lifetime, an ENERGY STAR ice maker could save you between $900 and $1,300.

Learn more about costs compared to Refrigerators. 

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