When you are in the market for a commercial ice machine, it is important that the size of the machine be one of the key deciding factors in your purchase. If you fail to take sizing into consideration, your restaurant or business may end up without the appropriate amount of ice, which will leave customers angry and likely going to do business elsewhere. Here are some basic guidelines to follow to appropriately size your commercial ice machine:
What Are Your Daily Requirements for Ice?
Manufacturers of ice machines will rate their machines based on a 24-hour period of ice production. Therefore, you need to think about your daily requirements for ice. You need to consider the amount of people that you serve on a daily basis, the separate areas of the establishment where ice will be used and the type of ice that you'll place to use (full-cube, half-cube, crushed).
Daily Requirements and Potential Growth Considerations.
While daily requirements are important, there are other things that you need to consider as well. For example, you need to factor in the potential traffic that you will experience during the peak hours on a busy day. You will also want to consider the potential growth that your business will experience in the foreseeable future.
Environmental and Location Conditions.
Some ice machines, when not placed properly or not maintained at a certain temperature, may not produce ice sufficiently. For example, air-cooled machines will need a few inches of clearance around it on all sides of the machine in order for adequate air flow. Otherwise, the machine may shut down, and ice production will suffer as a result.
Don't Forget the Storage Bin.
Even if you get the right size in terms of production capacity, your commercial ice machine still needs somewhere to store ice. This ice storage bin needs to be large enough to always satisfy your busiest time of the day. Therefore, you need to determine how much ice will be needed during rush hour at lunch or dinner (ultimately, your busiest hours) and ensure that the bin that your purchase will hold at least that much ice, if not a bit more to be safe.
In the end, it is a guessing game. This is particularly true if this is your first time running an establishment that relies on the use of ice. You can speak to a commercial ice machine expert to help you determine the most appropriate size for your establishment. If you're ever in need of repairs, don't try to do them yourself. Instead, contact an experienced HVAC expert specializing in commercial ice machine repair.
For more information, contact Valley Refrigeration or a similar company.