Ice production can be an integral part of many businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, bars, and healthcare organizations. Many business owners, faced with an impending purchase of an ice maker, already know what they may actually need to get the job done for them. Often however, the person making the decision doesn’t know what they need to know before making a buying decision. Here is a quick rundown of information you need to consider when you look for a commercial ice maker:Check Bristol Commercial Ice Makers
How much ice do you need in a day?
When you choose an ice system, keep in mind how much ice you will need during peak consumption, and once the ice has been used how quick of a recovery time you need. The last thing you want is to have a day with exceptionally heavy usage and discover that you’ve run out of ice.
Once you find a model that interests you, make sure you check the ice harvest rate listed in the specs. This specification is the calculation of the total lbs of ice made in one 24 hour period. When looking at that, remember that you also need to factor in a couple other questions in your computations. First, is your ice consumption likely to increase in the future? Second, how much non-beverage ice do you need for displays, food packaging, salad bar, and so on?
If you need ice for a salad bar or display of seafood, figure around 30 lbs per cubic foot.
If you operate a restaurant, your daily usage of ice is about 1.5 lbs per seat.
Fast food places generally require about half the size of the serving cup multiplied by the number of cups sold in a day. That means you would need approximately 8oz of ice for each 16oz size cup you sell a day.
A healthcare organization should figure about 10 lbs per patient and 2 lbs per employee.
A bar or cocktail lounge will use about 3 lbs of ice per seat.
Do you want a specific shape of ice cube, crushed ice, or flaked ice?
The shapes offered differ from one ice maker manufacturer to the next. You can choose cubed ice in a variety of shapes, such as rectangular, crescent, top hat-shape, or other regular shapes. You can also choose flaked ice, crushed ice, or even ice nuggets. It’s up to your preference and needs.
If you aren’t sure which is right for your establishment, choose the ice type according to the consumer needs. For example, a consumer in a nursing home may need flake ice while a bar patron may prefer cubes.
How much room do you have available for the ice maker?
Carefully measure the width, length, and height you have available to commit to the ice maker. Remember to account for ADA aisle space requirements. Also consider that if the model unit you choose is smaller than the bin, you will need a bin top. Bins require a separate vented drain connection.
What kind of ice machine is right for you?
A self-contained unit, also known as an integrated unit, is the simplest to install. An important thing to remember about these types of ice machines is that the capacity for ice storage is fixed, there’s no getting a bigger storage bin if you find you need one.
If you may need to increase your ice making capacity, consider a modular unit (non-integrated unit). What you can do with a modular unit if needed is to place a second machine next to the first on top of a larger bin, thus increasing your storage.
Ice machines come in two types: batch models or continuous operation models. Batch units, after harvesting a batch of ice, starts a thawing cycle. Continuous units, quite simply, run continuously, and are thus less complicated to run than batch units.
Commercial ice makers come with three types of condenser: Air-cooled, remote air-cooled, and water-cooled.
The least expensive of the three are those with air-cooled condensers. One thing to remember with this type, however, is that they use more energy to make ice. You may be initially saving money, but consider that in the long run with rising energy costs, this choice may not be the most economical. They also are noisier.
Water-cooled ice makers are usually more quiet than the air-cooled variety. The ice-making process can take from 15 to 45 gallons of water per 100 lbs of ice, and some self-cleaning models often require much more water. With self-cleaning though, you benefit the cost savings on the labor needed to clean the unit.
Remote condensing ice makers go a different route by transferring the heat generated by the ice-making process to outside the building. This can save energy since your air conditioning system doesn’t need to work more to cool the air generated from the unit. This type is also quieter still, since the ice-making process is done outside.
Finally, choose your ice dispenser or bin with an eye toward the accessories you will need to complete your system. For example, do you need an ice machine stand or top kit? Ice-making head units don’t have storage bins, but can usually take a range of bin capacities.
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