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What's better, air cooled ice machines or water cooled ice machines?


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Kinnek Knowledge Team

Most businesses prefer air-cooled ice machines. They use less water, are better for the environment, and are cost-effective. One potential disadvantage is that they can increase the room temperature.

Water cooled machines don't raise the room temperature and are quieter, but they typically cost more and can have can additional operating costs due to their reliance on water.

Oct 15, 2013

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Michael Newman from CKitchen / E. Friedman Associates

The way I view the air cooled water cooled issue is like the following:
* We are one of the biggest shippers of Ice Machines in the USA
* 90% of the time our customers order an air cooled unit
* 9.9% of the time our customers order a remote system (these are only   available when the unit produces 600 lbs / 24 hours.
* 0.1% of the time our customers order a water cooled unit.
The reason so many of our customers order air-cooled units is because it is an efficient way to cool an ice machine.  So long as the space you put the unit in does not clime above 90 F.
Order a remote system (Installation costs will be higher) and you have a bigger unit.  A remote or split system is better if you have a high volume need for ice.  Air cooled units make the environment around the unit hot.  By putting the condensing unit on the roof, you have the unit which produces the heat, outside of the restaurant.
The only customer whom order a water cooled unit from us are the following:
 1) The have a well
 2) They cannot penetrate a wall or ceiling to get the condensing unit away from the restaurant's interior.  Perfect customer Mall Food Court Operator
3) They have to put the unit into the kitchen because there is no other place and the unit does not make at least 600 lbs / 24 hours.

Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions about ice machines.

Apr 3, 2015

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Leslie Bergeron from Ice & Refrigeration Systems

If your ice machine is going into a small room or the ambient air temp is going to consistently be above 90 degrees you should get a water cooled ice machine. Please be aware that some states and some locales have bans or restrictions on the use of water cooled ice machines. A 400LB water cooled ice machine will use enough additional water to fill a swimming pool every month.

Jul 19, 2016

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Russell Zipkin from ChefsFirst

If your machine is placed in a enclosed environment without air circulation or in an place where summer temperatures can rise to over 80 degrees, you should consider a water cooled unit. The cost is higher because it uses water constantly, but it does a better job of cooling the unit during hot days and will reduce potential service calls.

The majority of machines are sold as air cooled units because they are usually located in an air conditioned environment, such as a restaurant, hotel or bar. They will generate a little heat into the room but minimal. Overall costs are less over time because of the water savings. Machine purchase costs are usually the same.

Apr 8, 2015

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Ernesto Rodriguez from Alpha Refrigeration Services

The best equipment in any preform or services is a remote. Remote equipment are best efficiency and longest services life. The are more strong. The best from is that you can install any place because are quite. Some of Ice company like Manitowoc have a quite model.

Mar 26, 2015

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Mick Lawrence from CKitchen / E. Friedman Associates

water cooled if you have a cooling tower to recirculate the water. Air cooled machines are widely used. If you have an 800lb machine and higher consider a remote condenser

Mar 26, 2015

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Dan S from Ice Machines Plus

Air cooled machines are much more efficient.  They will produce some heat but are much more efficient.  Water cooled machines use water.

Aug 18, 2014

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