Energy Efficient Commercial Dishwashers, Refrigerators and Ice Machines

Energy Efficient

Food is the mainstay of any restaurant, which is why it is no surprise that kitchen equipment uses up the most energy in all of them. It accounts for about 30% of the energy bills–not including refrigeration, which can tack on roughly 15% more. With water, dishwashers and exhaust added on, you are looking at a huge portion of your energy costs coming directly from the back of the house. Fortunately, as in your home, you can go a bit greener in your commercial kitchen with energy saving equipment.

Energy efficiency is a money-saving, responsible goal for the modern restaurant owner. Energy Star labels are the gold standard for energy efficiency, and they are not just on housewares. Plenty of commercial equipment comes with the Energy Star seal of approval. Other organizations are adding their marks to green commercial equipment as well, such as the Food Service Technology Center and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, so look out for their test results and ratings too.

Kitchen equipment accounts for 30% of the energy bills–not including refrigeration.

The EPA only gives Energy Star approval to eight types of kitchen equipment. They include dishwashers, fryers, steamers, refrigeration units, ovens, ice makers, holding cabinets and griddles. Using them can lead to a reduction in energy bills of 10-30%, not to mention the positive impact you will have on the environment. If that’s not incentive enough, your area may offer tax credits and rebates to business owners who use energy efficient equipment. The amounts are significant.

Check the Energy Star website for energy efficiency incentives. It’s as simple as entering your zip code in the rebate finder to find rebates, credits and special offers in your area. Your entry will give you a list of rebates on specific equipment offered by local energy companies. They can include thousands of dollars back on the purchase of refrigeration units, dishwashers and more. Every restaurant owner should take advantage of these money-saving opportunities when purchasing new equipment. They leave little reason to go with less efficient products.

Commercial Dishwashers

Most restaurants have only one dishwasher, though they may also have a small dishwasher exclusively for cups in the front of the house to keep the back from getting slammed. Even though there are few of them in a restaurant, even one or two energy efficient dishwashers can make a huge difference.

Commercial dishwashers that meet Energy Star standards are 40% more energy efficient as well as 40% more water efficient. They “must meet maximum water consumption requirements during the final rinse and use less energy while idling between wash cycles.” Technology that achieves this is eligible for an Energy Star label and can save you an average of $3,000 a year on energy and water bills.

Save More Money Running Your Dishwasher

  • Always run conveyor dishwashers on auto mode.
  • Always run your dish racks with a full load of dishes. This keeps the number of washes down, which saves on electricity and water.
  • Make sure the psi on your dishwasher’s pressure gauge is 25 or below. You should be good at about 20 psi. When the pressure is higher, you waste water.

Energy Star standards are 40% more energy and water efficient.

Transitioning to Energy Efficient Equipment

You may not be ready to start buying new equipment for your restaurant, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ready to choose energy efficiency when the time comes. Create a replacement plan for when your current equipment stops working or needs an upgrade. Your plan should include all of the resources you need to locate and purchase the exact model you want on the fly. That way, if your main refrigeration unit stops working, you don’t have to shop around. You already know where and how to get what you need.

A simple way to have an energy efficient backup plan is to create a bookmarks folder on your Internet browser. Bookmark the links for your favorite equipment and the rebate finder in your appliance upgrades folder. Come back to it at least once a year to make sure the equipment there is still your first choice. You may find a new model that you prefer or your budget may change. Also make sure to check available credits and rebates often because they could impact your decision.

Finding energy efficient kitchen equipment online is very simple, especially when it comes to Energy Star. It’s a major selling point and money saver, so it is naturally included in product descriptions. You will also find information on the websites of Energy Star and other organizations that rate industrial kitchen equipment for energy savings. Make sure to look at the website of the organization that has incentives in your area. Most of these incentives are specific to the organization rating your equipment.

Train Your Staff to Be More Eco-Friendly

You cannot reach your full energy-saving potential unless your employees are on the same page. Therefore, every restaurant that makes a commitment to go green should make it a part of employee training. If it’s part of the job and not an afterthought, it will be easy to implement.

Whether you’ve installed Energy Star equipment or not, you can start using green practices right away. First, figure out what your employees can do to help you conserve energy and water. Examples include running full racks of dishes only, closing refrigeration units promptly and taking in deliveries quickly on cold or hot days. Meet with your managerial staff to come up with a reasonable action plan.

Call a mandatory paid meeting for every member of staff to get everyone up-to-date on your plans for a greener business. Make it accessible to all team members, which might mean having two meetings at two different times of day. Let your staff know that you are making the decision to go green, and that from there on out, green practices will be part of staff training. Fill them in on all of the practices you have come up with and invite them to suggest their own ways of making your restaurant greener.

As the transition moves forward, make sure to reinforce the new practices by rewarding staff for doing a good job, telling them how much money they’re saving and reminding everyone how important it is that your business be eco-friendly. Add incentives like free staff meals or gift cards for those employees you catch being eco-friendly most often. Soon, being energy efficient will come naturally to everyone.

Energy-saving equipment is just one piece of going green, but it’s a big one. There is no reason to hesitate before making this important decision. When you are ready to upgrade your kitchen equipment with eco-friendly alternatives, you will get the same tools that you are used to having in your kitchen. In some cases, you will get even better equipment than you have now. The only things that will change are your energy bills and your impact on their environment.

Efficient Equipment

It takes a little ingenuity to create energy efficient products that meet the EPA’s Energy Star standards. Ice machines, commercial dishwashers and refrigerators that meet these standards have special features that keep them from wasting energy during everyday use.

Ice Machines

Restaurants tend to have at least one ice machine, though many have two or more. There is usually a large one in the kitchen and at least one near the drink machine. This means lots of energy saving potential.

Manufacturers can make ice machines more efficient by using harvest assist devices that make harvesting faster. This change can bring you, the restaurant owner, up to $1,300 in savings over the lifetime of the machine. Incentives for buying ice machines range from $20-$2,400. With a good rebate and years of use, energy efficient ice machines can easily pay for themselves.

Using Even Less Energy With Ice Machines

  • While your instinct may be to buy a smaller ice machine, larger ones are actually more energy efficient. You won’t pay much more for one, either.
  • Install a timer on your ice machine that keeps it from making too much ice during the slow shifts.
  • Water-cooled ice machines actually add to your operating costs by using up much more water.

Refrigerators and Freezers

Refrigerators and freezers are all over your restaurant. Walk-ins and reach-ins are staples in the restaurant industry. You have the potential to save a bundle of money by switching them over to energy efficient units wherever possible.

Energy Star compliant units use uniform cabinet temperatures and advanced fan blade technology to improve their efficiency. They have ECM evaporators and condenser fan motors, high efficiency compressors or hot gas anti-sweat heaters to keep everything at the right temperature without expending as much energy as a traditional unit. A single energy efficient refrigerator can save you about $900 to $1,000 in energy over its lifetime. A freezer can save you a whopping $2,000 to more than $4,000. Initial rebates on refrigerators and freezers range from $25 to $1,000.

Kelvinator 27” Chest Freezer

Kelvinator 27” Chest FreezerThe Kelvinator 27” chest freezer is a compact way to add five cubic feet of freezer space to your commercial kitchen. The 27” model #KCS050L includes a heavy-duty wire basket for holding smaller items that you don’t want to be lost among bigger frozen items. Although a small freezer, it has big freezer features like mechanical controls and an internal temperature display. You select the temperature you want from -10 to +10 degrees Fahrenheit. Heavy duty casters on this compact chest freezer make it easy to move from place to place as needed. And if you need security for the contents, you can lock the lid with a key.

The Kelvinator 27” chest freezer interior has a sealed cabinet and a defrost drain, which makes it easy to clean. NSF® certified features include:

  • Heavy-duty cooling system
  • Thermometer
  • Lighting system

The 27” wide freezer is 23 ¼” deep and 36 11/16” tall. It has a 1/5 HP compressor.

Kelvinator is recognized for quality and performance in food service grade equipment. Their reliable chest freezers come with a three-year all parts and labor warranty and a five-year compressor warranty.

Ice & Refrigeration Systems represents a complete line of commercial kitchen equipment. They can help you determine if the Kelvinator 27” chest freezer is the right freezer for your needs, and they offer a lowest price guarantee. The freezer is reasonably priced for purchase, or you can lease the Kelvinator 27” chest freezer for an extremely reasonable rate. Talk with a friendly Ice & Refrigeration Systems representative by calling 817-888-3056 or complete our contact form for more information.

Kelvinator 28” Flat Glass Novelty Freezer

Kelvinator 28” Flat Glass Novelty FreezerNovelty ice cream products sell themselves by offering temptation through a glass door. The Kelvinator 28” flat glass novelty freezer gives you five cubic feet to merchandise those frozen treats.


Saving energy makes having an additional freezer more practical. The compact flat glass novelty freezer is Energy Star® certified, with the 1/5 HP compressor running 1 amp and 115 volts. You’ll know how cold the freezer is keeping your merchandise with the internal temperature display. Use the mechanical controls to determine the range of temperature from -10 to +10 degrees Fahrenheit.


The 28” model #KCG050L has one wire basket that is NSF® certified, as is the entire freezer. Cleaning is easy with a defrost drain. The heavy-duty cooling system also has heavy duty casters for easy placement or moving to a less prominent location during colder weather. A locking lid with key ensures that no one takes the frozen treats when the freezer is unattended.


Kelvinator has a reputation in the food service industry for quality and performance. They offer a three-year all parts and labor warranty and a five-year compressor warranty. Ice & Refrigeration Systems works with restaurants and businesses to provide a lowest price guarantee on all commercial kitchen equipment. They also offer free expedited delivery. Do you still need a reason to add a Kelvinator 28” flat glass novelty freezer with 3 year parts and labor warranty? You can lease this freezer for a very low monthly rate. Or, you may want to purchase one or more for a reasonably low price. Ask an Ice & Refrigeration Systems representative to help you determine your best option. Call 817-888-3056 or complete our contact form for more information.

Commercial Freezer For Sale: Houston Restaurants

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Commercial Freezer For Sale In Houston: Are you in the market for a commercial freezer for sale? You have several options when it comes to getting the best commercial freezer for your Houston restaurant. Your first consideration is the size of your kitchen and available locations for your freezer. then, each type of freezer has its own advantages regarding current specs that will also meet future growth needs. Here is a brief description of each type of commercial freezer for sale:

  • Walk-in freezer – For larger restaurants, a walk-in commercial freezer offers the greatest flexibility, as well as storage capacity. There are typically two compartments. The inner compartment may be used for meats that require hard freezing. Inner compartments are typically large enough to house a side of beef and whole turkeys. The outer compartment is ideal for storing desserts, and because it’s the ‘outer’ compartment, employees have easier access. The area is typically large enough to hold rolling stainless steel racks for dessert      items. A walkin freezer owner of many years will typically give their merchandise many stars when asked to review the results for convenience and wear, both exterior and interior.
  • Upright freezer – Available in a variety of configurations and sizes, upright commercial freezers give restaurants flexibility, yet without the space requirements of a walk-in freezer. Shelves are typically adjustable to accommodate different types of food. Many restaurants sometimes choose more than one upright commercial freezer in different sizes to meet traffic flow needs in the kitchen. A series of glass door freezers are also a type of model that are good for reach-ins or even undercounter. You’ll need to check the sq feet conditions to know if a glass commercial freezer is workable for your restaurant.
  • Chest freezer– Ideal for smaller kitchens, a commercial chest freezer looks similar to a home  freezer, with a single lid on top. Restaurants that like chest freezers are those that want to store large quantities of the same type and size of food. They don’t need access to different types of foods that may be stored on the bottom of the freezer. Chest freezers also make an economical second freezer for commercial kitchens. Larger homes sometimes choose a commercial freezer as well. They’re simple to operate, without a lot of parts or lights that need repair.

Talk with experts before you look for a Commercial Freezer For Sale

Ice & Refrigeration Systems, a Texas-based distributor, has the experience and knowledge to help you get the right freezer at a competitive price for your Houston restaurant. When you’re looking for a sale commercial freezer, you’ll want to consider a list including the brand, digital controls, rating, You’ll get all of the equipment information you need to review, including warranty, estimated repairs, comparable sale commercial freezers, and ways to save energy. With Ice & Refrigeration Systems, the knowledge of different manufacturers is invaluable compared to just looking at commercial freezer classifieds. We offer free delivery for all commercial freezers whether we sell or lease. Call us at 817-888-3056. When we talk on the phone, we can discuss options for saves vs. leases, featured specials, and installation.

Commercial Freezer For Sale

Commercial Kitchen Set Up

Commercial KitchenKitchen equipment and configuration for a commercial kitchen drive the efficiency and ultimate success of restaurants. What happens in the kitchen delivers satisfaction – or lack of satisfaction – to customers and staff.

New restaurants benefit from commercial kitchen set up tips. Existing restaurants can also take heed and make adjustments to improve flow and success in the commercial kitchen.

Selection and placement of commercial refrigeration and ice makers are a first priority. Both types of kitchen equipment take significant space. However, location is critical for energy efficiency. Refrigeration and ice machines need cool temperature locations to maintain stable temperatures and not ‘work’ so hard. Consider refrigeration and freezer needs to determine if walk-in storage is needed, or if an upright is adequate. Upright refrigeration is configured with single, double, or triple doors, and some refrigerators have glass doors for easy viewing of contents.

Additional refrigeration availability may be needed for undercounter storage. Refrigerated prep tables offer commercial kitchen equipment that keeps ingredients fresh.

Determine which equipment is needed for cooking in the commercial kitchen. Gas ranges and ovens come in multiple sizes and configurations. Choose number of burners based on cooking needs during peak times. A salamander is helpful for keeping food hot for serving and won’t take up additional space beyond the range top.

Consider the traffic flow when choosing and placing a dishwasher in the commercial kitchen. Restaurants that work best have clearly designated areas for dishwashing that don’t interfere with cooks and servers trying to get food out to the customers. A word about commercial dishwashers: Even though low temp dishwashers have a lower up-front cost, high temp dishwashers often save money in the long run with efficiency and lack of chemicals needed.

With all equipment and commercial kitchen set up, remember safety. Items such as non-slip padded mats and personal protection equipment go a long way to creating a safe and efficient environment.

Related article: Selecting A Quality Commercial Ice Machine