The Different Types of Ice Makers

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Types of ice machines

Chicago business owners have a lot of choices when it comes to ice makers. Dispensers, crescent ice machines, commercial nugget ice machines? There are different types of ice machines for all kinds of business needs.

Whatever your need, ice machines come in all shapes and sizes. There are small ice makers, large ice makers, and some machines fit under a countertop. If you’re looking for the best ice machine that works best in your Chicago business, we’ve provided this resource to help.

Modular Ice Machines

Modular ice machines only produce ice. They don’t have their own storage, so you’ll need to install it onto an ice bin or commercial ice dispenser to use it.

These types of ice makers are the most common type of ice machines you’ll find on the market. They come in a lot of sizes to fit into most businesses. For example, slimline modular ice machines are slender so they can fit in narrow spaces. Low profile ice machines are short, so they can fit in businesses with low ceilings.

If you have a growing business and need additional ice storage, a modular ice machine allows you to swap out your current ice bin with a larger one.

For large businesses, modular ice machines, like the Manitowoc SDT-3000W ice machine, will provide the largest amount of ice. Modular ice machines come in production rates ranging from 45 pounds to over 3000 pounds of ice a day.

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Stackable Ice Machines

Stackable ice machines are a type of modular ice maker. They allow users to install multiple ice machines on top of one another.

Stackable ice makers are an alternative to buying a large ice maker for a high-volume workplace. You can buy one unit and simply add another if your ice needs grow, rather than buying a larger ice machine. They are also a good space saver if you have taller ceilings.

Just because they are a space-saving option, does not mean they don’t need adequate room. Stackable ice makers still need a foot and a half of space on all sides, including the ceiling. Heat can linger around the machines and lower ice production or cause damage to the machine.

Stackable ice machines are also a pain to clean and service. When you stack one unit on top of another, it’s nearly impossible to clean and maintain the bottom unit. The only way to reach vital ice machine components is to deinstall the machines and clean or service them individually. If these machines do not receive regular cleanings and maintenance, they’ll suffer from problems that can lower their overall lifespans.

Generally, it’s better to buy two individual ice machines than buy a stackable unit. The only time you should consider a stackable ice machine is if you can’t find room for two machines.

Popular stackable ice machine models include the Hoshizaki IM-500SAA ice machine and the Hoshizaki KM-1301SAJ ice machine.

Self-Contained Ice Machines

Self-contained ice machines have ice storage built into the machine. Many countertop, undercounter, specialty units are self-contained. Overall, these models are smaller than modular units. They make a great option for small businesses that use between 60-700 pounds of ice a day.

Countertop ice makers are an excellent option for offices or wait rooms that don’t have serving staff. They are a great all-in-one model that is safer than other ice makers where users have to reach in and retrieve ice with a scoop.

Popular self-contained ice machines include the Hoshizaki DCM-300BAH ice and water dispenser.

Undercounter Ice Machines

Undercounter ice machines measure below 41” in height so they can fit under bar and countertops. These machines are also self-contained to save space. These are a popular choice for commercial bar ice makers as bartenders have immediate access to ice without having to sacrifice bar space. Since the ice machine refills throughout the day, they do not have to rely on barbacks to refill under-bar bins.

Undercounter ice machines have front-in, front-out airflow, which pulls air from the front of the unit to cool the machine and releases hot air out the front as well. This design keeps the machine cool, even though they don’t have a lot of space.

Many undercounter ice makers are ADA ice makers. They are low enough to accommodate people with disabilities.

Popular under-counter ice machines include the Hoshizaki IM-200BAB ice machine.

Countertop Ice Machines

Countertop ice machines are meant for bar or countertop installation. Much like an under counter ice maker, these models allow staff quick and easy access to ice. These models make for great office ice makers and well.

There are a few home models on the market that have very low ice production rates. These appliances don’t produce near enough ice for even the smallest businesses.

Most commercial countertop ice makers are dispensers. These models drop ice directly into glassware with the push of a button or lever. These models are safer than ice makers where users have to reach in and retrieve ice from a bin.

Countertop ice machines are great for office breakrooms and wait rooms.

Popular countertop models include the Hoshizaki DM-200B ice dispenser.

Pick the Right Type of Ice Machine that Works for You

Choosing an ice maker for your Chicago business is no small feat. There are a lot of sizing factors that you need to consider, along with choosing the best type of ice maker for your business. Once you determine which ice machine will work best, you also need to consider what type of ice cube is best for your business. The Ice Machine Experts at Automatic Icemakers are here to help. We have years of experience sizing ice makers for all industries.

Whether you’re interested in a commercial ice machine for sale or looking to lease an ice machine, we have a model for you. Our ice machine leases come with maintenance, cleaning, and commercial ice machine repair for a low, monthly cost.

Our team is available to help you get started today!
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