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Olivia Marcy Buying An Ice Machine, Ice-O-Matic, Maintenance & Cleaning, Renting an Ice Machine, Restaurants & Commercial Kitchens

How Much Does it Cost To Run a Commercial Ice Machine?

Running a commercial ice machine is an important part of many businesses, restaurants, and bars. But how much does it cost to operate a commercial ice machine?

The cost of running a commercial ice machine can vary depending on the size of the unit, the type of ice produced, and the energy required for the machine to operate. So when you’re calculating the cost to run a commercial ice machine, consider costs for water, electricity, and regular maintenance.

How Much Does It Cost to Run an Ice Making Machine?

Before you swing for a big commercial appliance purchase, it’s helpful to know the cost to run an ice machine. 

Do Commercial Ice Makers Use a Lot of Electricity?

One look at a commercial ice machine and you’d probably think it will run up your energy bill drastically. In reality, it’s not going to have a big impact on your electricity costs. 

  • Most smaller commercial ice machines that produce less than 800 lbs of ice per day are compatible with a 110v outlet, which is what you’ll find in standard commercial and residential spaces. That won’t be a huge drain on your electricity bill—maybe an extra $20-$30 per month. 
  • Larger commercial ice machines do require a large 220v outlet to deliver sufficient power to the unit. These are similar to outlets used by your washer and dryer, and will use more energy than the 110v outlet machines.

These days, commercial ice machines are increasingly energy efficient. Ice machine companies know that eco-friendly kitchen appliances are wallet-friendly, too, so they’re constantly innovating more cost-efficient, sustainable kitchen equipment. 

"Brands like Ice-O-Matic and Manitowoc are consistently reliable for low operational costs, and Ice-O-Matic has earned the Energy Star seal for many of their commercial ice machine models."

How Much Water Does a Commercial Ice Machine Use?

That really depends on how much ice your commercial ice maker produces, and whether it’s air-cooled or water-cooled. 

  • On average, a commercial ice machine uses 15-25 gallons of water to produce 100 pounds of ice cubes
  • Water-cooled ice machines will use almost 3 times as much water to produce the same amount of ice

If you’re on the hunt for an ice machine that conserves water, look for units that recycle water. Ice-O-Matic ice machines are all-around energy-efficient units, with many models offering water-saving features like water recycling. 

Related: Ask The Experts: What’s The Difference Between Air-Cooled  and Water-Cooled Ice Machines?

How to Save Money Running Your Ice Machine

Regardless of your ice maker’s voltage requirements, ice production capability, or cooling type, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your machine is running as efficiently as possible.

Install In A Temperature-Controlled Area

Location, location, location. Installing your commercial ice machine in the right spot is a huge factor to preserve the longevity of your equipment and score peak efficiency from the electricity used. 

If your ice machine is installed in a hot kitchen, it’s working overtime to stay cool and produce ice. If it’s installed in a space that is exposed to severe cold, the machine is working to maintain an operational temperature (again, working twice as hard). The ideal location is in a temperature-controlled room.

Related: Commercial Ice Machine Repair: The Most Expensive Components To Replace

Connect Your Ice Machine To A Cold Water Line

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many ice machines are connected to a hot water line. This is usually for one of two reasons:

  • Some installers believe hot water cools faster than cold, which could (in theory) mean faster ice production. 
  • It’s an installation oversight made in error. This will end up costing you on your energy bill because you’re paying for water to heat up and cool once it hits your ice machine.

Keep It Clean

Last but certainly not least, the best thing you can do to keep your ice machine running smoothly and efficiently is to keep it clean. Not just on the outside (although keeping vents clean and free of dust is super important). 

Routine preventive maintenance and cleaning keeps your commercial ice machine’s energy focused on producing ice, not overcompensating because some slime or goo has built up inside.  

Is It Better To Lease or Buy An Ice Machine?

If you’re thinking about the operational costs of running a commercial ice machine, you’re probably weighing the ongoing expenses plus the initial capital investment in the machine itself. 

That’s where renting or leasing an ice machine comes in. 

Leasing an ice machine is a great option if you don't want to commit to a large up front expense. A few advantages of our Ice Machine Rental Program include:

  • Paying a fixed monthly cost, which can help you stick to your budget
  • Guaranteed ice in the event your ice machine is on the blink (even if we have to deliver it ourselves)
  • Routine cleaning

Check out all the advantages of renting an ice machine for your business or restaurant by clicking here.

Memphis Ice Machine Company: Your #1 Full-Service Commercial Refrigeration Distributor

At Memphis Ice Machine Company, we’re your one-stop shop for all your commercial refrigeration needs. We provide both leasing and buying options for a wide range of ice machines, so you can find the perfect fit for your business. Our team of experts is available to help you choose the best machine for your budget and needs. We even provide maintenance and repair services to help keep your ice machine running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get the perfect ice machine for your business.

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