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How Much Do Ice Machines Cost? What You Need to Know

Jan 26th 2022 - Moe Soloff Ice machine, 

How Much Do Ice Machines Cost? What You Need to Know

In 2020 the global ice maker market surpassed $1.5 billion USD. As the food and hospitality industry grows, ice is an essential component of any bar or restaurant's success. But when kitting out your new venture, where do you begin?

There are a number of factors to consider and we are here to help. Read on as we break down the ice machines cost and budget.

Ice Machines Cost

Ice machines costs anywhere from $1500 for smaller machines &up to $13,000 for the biggest ice machines. Like any commercial purchase, there is no one size fits all approach. The price of an ice machine is determined by the amount of ice it creates, the type of ice maker, and brand quality. Which you choose depends on your individual requirements.

  • Do a quick overview of your needs. Below are a few factors you should consider before you start shopping.
  • How much space do you have in the bar or kitchen?
  • How much ice do you need to produce?
  • What type of machine do you want?
  • Will you buy a new or used one?

There are some additional costs you should consider. Set aside some money for installation and delivery. You should also factor regular maintenance into your annual budget.

Types of Ice Machines

Ice machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In addition, they can operate in quite different ways. Below is the main difference between them.

Self Contained Machines

Self-contained machines also known as  undercounter ice machine make and store the ice all in one unit. They are generally smaller than other types and or more affordable. Undercounter Machines are best for smaller productions as they produce and store less ice.

Modular Machines

Modular machines house the ice in a storage bin. They produce a lot more ice than self-contained machines. The downside is that you have to pay extra for the storage bin, increasing the cost.

Air-Cooled Ice Machines

As the name suggests, air-cooled ice machines use air to move heat out of the machine. Then, vents and fans circulate the air outside of the machine.

When an air-cooled ice machine is in use, you need to keep it in a cool space, ideally below 75℉ and 6-12 inches apart from any other machine.

This is to ensure that the air is properly circulating and that the machine can function well.

One of the main benefits of this type of ice machine is that it costs less and therefore, hotels and commercial properties tend to choose this design for their property.

Benefits of Air-Cooled Ice Machines

Besides the fact that they are cost-effective, there are other benefits to air-cooled ice cube machines.

  • Less consumption: This machine uses air to cool down and therefore you do not consume as much water.
  • Commonly used: Most places use air-cooled ice machines, so if you encounter any problems, a technician will know how to fix them easily.

If you are looking for an efficient, more affordable ice maker machine, then an air-cooled option could be for you!

However, you may also consider a water-cooled ice machine.

Water-Cooled Ice Machines

Unlike air-cooled models, water-cooled ice machines use water instead of air to function.

The water cools down the condenser and refrigeration system, which then produces the ice.

The only important aspect to locating this ice maker machine is it needs to be placed near a drain to get rid of excess water.

Benefits of Water-Cooled Ice Machines

  • Versatile: It can be used in small spaces with cold weather, but it can also be placed in hot climates, as it only requires water to produce ice.
  • Less power consumption: It uses less energy because it only relies on water.
  • Quiet: Unlike fan-operated ice machines, water-cooled ice machines are quiet when working and do not disrupt people around them.

If you need an ice machine that can withstand both cold and warm environments, this is the best option. Not only this, but it is sustainable and more discreet!

Cost by Ice Produced

One of the main considerations is how much ice you need to produce. The volume of ice created correlates almost directly to the price of the ice maker. Machines can produce anything from 50 lbs of ice per day to 2000 lbs.

At the lower end, machines will hover around the $2000 mark. Bigger machines capable of 300 to 1000 lbs a day will cost anywhere from $2500 to $5000. Larger machines can range from $5000 and upwards.

Ice Machines By Brand

There are a few leading ice machine manufacturers. Here are the companies that you might consider for your ice machine purchase.

Manitowoc

Manitowoc is a manufacturer of commercial kitchen equipment items. As well as water and air-cooled machines, they have created accessories such as scoops and dispensers.

Their most popular item in our catalog is the under-counter air-cooled octagonal machine. It is easily accessible, with a large bin and water filter system. Producing up to 53 pounds of ice, it retails at $2212.

Hoshizaki

Hoshizaki produces a huge range of kitchen and bar equipment, ranging from beer dispensers to refrigerators. They have built a reputation as a well-known and reliable manufacturer.

The AM-50BAJ is a fantastic cube-style ice maker. Air-cooled, it can produce up to 51 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period. It retails at $2165.

Scotsman

Scotsman is another manufacturer of quality ice makers and dispensers. Their most popular model is the CU50PA-1. Retailing at $2664 it is an under-counter ice maker that can create 64 pounds of ice.

Ice-O-Matic

As the name suggests, Ice-O-Matic creates products and equipment for ice makers. As well as parts, accessories, and filters, they have a range of machinery. Their most popular item in our catalog is the excellently priced $1634 UCG060A.

These are the top manufacturers in the ice machine industry. They each offer different features and options to make your life easier, and they all come with a reputation for quality.

If you need help choosing which machine is best for your business, please contact us today. Our team of qualified specialists would be more than happy to assist you.

New or Used?

The benefits and drawbacks of new and secondhand ice machines are similar to those of any equipment purchase. With used equipment, you are bound to keep costs down. With a keen eye, it can result in some real bargains on the second-hand market.

Of course, used machines have a much higher chance of parts breaking. Many times, these machines will have run 24 hours a day in busy kitchens. It may be worth it to spend a little extra on a new machine just for security and calmness of mind.

Other considerations are that new machines come with a warranty. A standard is a three-year parts coverage and five years for the compressor. These are costly items that would tear into your budget should they need replacing on a second-hand model.

You should also consider energy efficiency. Older machines will rack up more in utility costs. Around $1000 a year can be saved with newer, more efficient machines.

Maintenance and Repair

Repairing an ice maker is not a simple task. Parts may have to be ordered and obtained, which will increase your long-term expenses. If you're running a restaurant or bar on a calculated budget, this should be kept in mind.

One way to prevent this is through regular maintenance. You can do this yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. They will be more likely to have access to parts and will be able to spot problems before they occur.

Hot gas valve replacements and expansion valves are a common problem that may need replacing and will be around the $600 dollar mark. Compressor and evaporator repair is the most pricey, with costs ranging from $1500 to $2500.

It always helps to have an ice machines service company on hand. Expect to pay more for after-hours calls or during holidays.

Budgeting for Your Ice Machine

Now you know the ice machine's cost and pricing, so it's time to organize a budget. Cheaper is not always better, as you need to ensure you have enough ice for busy periods.

Your first stop for ice makers and restaurant supplies should be Culinary Depot. We have everything you could need from refrigeration to storage and transport. Click here to see our full range of ice-making machines.