Ice is something we all use every day. Be it for a stiff drink, making smoothies, or even for a drink of water, ice is important to us.
There are different kinds, makes, models, manufacturers of ice makers out there in the market, but there is a need to understand all these different types to best decide which one of them would meet your needs.
If you are going to run a business in which ice would be used regularly, a commercial ice maker would suit your needs best. A business where commercial ice makers have used supermarkets, bars, restaurants, hospitals, convenient stores, ice cream parlors, diners, etc.
Ice makers are not made for just commercial use only, there are residential ice makers. These are ice makers that are built-in with your home or your apartment. They are usually under counter ice makers. It is great for individuals who would live to entertain and host parties.
There is also portable ice makers which you can take when on the move, say camping, and they are also great when your living space is small. It also comes in handy when your refrigerator does not have an ice maker integrated.
Now, let’s break down the different kinds of ice makers.
#1. The Self-Contained Ice Machine
This is the best kind of ice maker when space is an issue for you because they do not take up a lot of space in your home or office. A self-contained ice machine is designed for production of ice and to also store the ice. The only issue seen here is the how much ice the ice maker can produce, and the answer is not much.
The ice production rate of the self-contained ice machine is pretty low plus its storage capacity is also low. Some self-contained ice makers might be portable but not in all cases.
#2. The Undercounter and Built-in Ice Makers
the name already gives you an idea of how this ice maker is. It is actually designed so as to enable it be built between or in cabinets. It also comes with a front ventilation system. Because they are built-in, it is advisable that a professional carries out the job of installing it in your apartment or home.
This is so because there might be need for a water line to be passed to the ice maker and also a possible drain line to take excessive water out of the machine.
The advantages of a built-in unit or undercounter unit is it would increase the value of your home or apartment if you want to put it one the market. It is one feature most buyers would definitely love and go for. There is also the added advantage of the amount of ice it can produce.
Unlike the self-contained ice maker, the built-in can produce more ice and store it up frozen, longer. The difference here is it is a more expensive ice maker to buy but its value will be seen as years go by and you keep enjoying your ice.
#3. The Countertop or Portable Ice Maker
Camping, studio apartments, picnics, food vendor, amongst others are just some of the activities or businesses which a portable ice maker is best for. They are compact in size, generally. Unlike the built-in unit, they do not need a water line for them to operate.
Instead you need to pour in water for the ice maker to start making the ice. As regards electricity, you need to plug in your portable ice maker to a standard 110V outlet to get it working.
Just as the name says, it is a countertop unit. It is made to sit stop a counter which means you can easily move it from one position to another. You can take it to the backyard for a barbecue party, move it to the bar in the living room when you have guest, or even move it around your kitchen as it suits you.
The countertop or portable ice maker does not produce a lot of ice and its storage capacity is also low. The ice when formed does not remain frozen for long periods of time so it is best to consume them before it melts. But, even when it melts, the water remains in the ice maker and can be recycled to form ice again.
#4. Commercial or Modular Ice Makers
These are the units used by commercial ventures. They have the capacity to produce ice in really large quantities. Their storage capacity is also very high. They come with an attached unit for ice collection which makes the ice ready to serve for your specific purpose. They have the capacity of over 300 pounds of ice a day.
It is good to remember that the condenser in a modular or commercial ice maker can be cooled with either air or water. This saves a lot in energy consumption when the ice is been made.
These different kinds of ice makers are just the broad names for all types of ice makers there are. There are some machines which are designed as a crushed ice maker. They are mainly of the modular form as it requires a certain capability by the machine to make crushed ice. Although there are also, under-counter units which would give you the same crushed ice as modular units.
There is a great feeling you get from having a cool drink with some ice in it. You feel like nothing can go wrong in the world. Or coming back from a long work out session and placing an ice cube on your neck on a sunny day.
Ice is important and an ice maker is a must-have appliance for your home or office. To make it easier for you, get a portable ice maker which you can move from one place to another. Also, remember to clean your ice maker every 3-6 months to prevent funny tasting ice or algae.
READ NEXT: Top 10 Free Cooking Apps For Android