How to Improve the Overall Efficiency of Your Commercial Ice Machine
Ice machines are found in almost every food service setting, from restaurants to bars, coffee shops, and health facilities. Ice machines typically use a lot of water during the ice making process, and this translates into energy consumption. By making a few changes to your commercial ice machine, you can reduce its energy and water consumption and make significant savings. Here are some tips on how to go about it.
Switch to air-cooled condensers
The condenser unit is the component in the ice machine that cools the system during operation. Ice machine condensers can either be water-cooled or air-cooled. Water-cooled condensers use water to cool the system. Now, this means that the amount of water consumed by the machine is higher than the amount used to make the ice. Although some versions maintain low energy consumption, you may end up paying more for water. Air-cooled condensers use the air to cool the system, and this translates into water and energy efficiency.
For optimal performance of an air-cooled ice machine, keep it in a well-ventilated space to avoid overheating and subsequent breakdown of the machine.
Buy a water filtration system
A significant proportion of maintenance issues with ice machines involves unfiltered water. Unfiltered water contains chemicals, chlorine, and dirt, which not only affect the quality of water but can also reduce the efficiency and lifespan of your machine. Water filters get rid of chemicals and impurities in water and gives your water and ice a better taste. If your current ice machine didn't come with a filtration system, consider investing in one. It may set you back a little financially, but it will protect your machine from regular breakdown and costly repairs.
Clean the cooling unit
The coils and cooling unit of an ice machine are bound to accumulate dirt, dust, and debris over time. If they are not regularly cleaned, the dirt can cause blockage to the coils, causing the unit to work harder to dispense heat. More energy is consumed in the process. Make an effort to regularly cleaning the coils and the entire cooling unit. If this is something you don't want to deal with, you can hire a professional to carry out regular cleaning and maintenance for you.
If you are using an old model ice machine, consider switching to a newer, energy efficient model. There are various ENERGY STAR certified models on the market today that is energy and water efficient. Reducing the cost of energy and water consumption translates into significant annual savings. For more information, talk to a refrigeration service.