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.

Odessa Commercial Ice Machines

Odessa Commercial Ice Machines


It occurred to me that people in the Odessa, Texas area might be wondering, “How do I choose which company I work with to buy a commercial ice machine?” So, with that question in mind, let me tell you a bit about how we work with customers.


  • Listening with an experienced ear – First of all, we want you to talk about your needs for ice – how you use ice (food storage, fountain drinks, cocktails), how much ice you typically need per day in peak and off-peak seasons, what shapes of ice you prefer, if any.
  • Talking about priorities – Beyond the feature list of a commercial ice machine are other things that are important to you – water efficiency, energy efficiency, maintenance needs and space restrictions.
  • Choosing finance options – Whether you purchase or lease will depend on your budget as well as your anticipated volume of use (heavy vs. light). You can lease an ice machine for as low as $59/month, which includes a free water filtration system.


Ice & Refrigeration Systems uses our broad experience with restaurants, businesses, churches and more to help you find the right commercial ice machine for your needs and preferences. We’re Texas-owned and operated dealers who are committed to being price competitive. And, we offer free shipping on all the products you buy or lease from us. So, yes, it’s worth a call to 817-888-3056 to find out more.



Odessa Commercial Ice Machines

New Orleans Commercial Ice Machines

Les et le bon ton roulez! New Orleans is THE place for parties and fun. And every party needs good quality ice. Restaurants, hotels, churches and offices want pure, clean ice whether it’s a cube or crushed. To ensure that you get the highest quality commercial ice machine for the best value, talk with Ice & Refrigeration Systems.

Commercial ice machines: understand what you do (and don’t) need

The choices of commercial ice machines may seem overwhelming. Here’s a good way to begin:

  • How will you use the ice? In drinks or for cooling and storage? Soft drinks or cocktails? The usage will drive the shape of ice you need.
  • How pure is the municipal water? How hard will the water filtration system need to work to keep the ice as clean as possible?
  • How many people will your ice machine serve per day? How much does the amount vary by time of year, such as summer or Mardi Gras?
  • Where will you put a commercial ice machine? Do you prefer under the counter or on top? Do you have space for a stand alone?
  • Have you ever had a commercial ice machines? What are the things that you liked or didn’t like about the one you had?

We’ll talk about your answers to the above questions, and then give you choices that fit your needs. As dealers, we offer a variety of manufacturers. You have many considerations such as type and volume of ice, varying needs for maintenance, water and energy efficiency, along with budget.

Ice & Refrigeration Systems: focused on customers

Your decision to buy or lease a commercial ice machine is one that you’ll live with for several years. Ice & Refrigeration Systems has a reputation for quality service, attention to detail, resourcefulness and accessibility. Whatever your budget or business need, you can purchase or select a lease starting as low as $59.00/month. And, leases come with a free water filtration system (up to a $59 value). We offer free delivery on all ice machines.

You can count on Ice & Refrigeration Systems’ track record of success. Talk with us about your goals for a commercial ice machine.

New Orleans Commercial Ice Machines

Commercial Ice Machines In Little Rock

Little Rock is THE place to be in Arkansas for entertainment and nightlife. And such a dynamic and vibrant city demands quality ice. Whether or not you have an idea of the type of ice you prefer – from flaked to cubed – Ice & Refrigeration Systems can help. We source commercial ice machines for restaurants, hotels, churches and businesses.

How to find your best commercial ice machines

You have many choices when it comes to finding the right commercial ice machine. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What is the primary use for the ice? Fountain drinks? Water? Cocktails? Storage/keeping food cold?
  • How pure is the municipal water in your area? Is water filtration a major consideration?
  • How many people per day will use your ice? Does the amount vary greatly by season?
  • Does the location for your ice machine have any limitations? Do you have a preference for above or under counter or stand alone?
  • Do you have any previous experience with commercial ice machines? What features and benefits are most important to you?

Starting with your answers to the above questions, we’ll narrow the choices to help you compare manufacturers, types of ice, volume, maintenance needs, energy efficiency and pricing.

Why choose Ice & Refrigeration Systems

Sourcing the right commercial ice machine is an important decision that you will live with for several years. Ice & Refrigeration Systems keeps customers happy nationwide because of our experience, service and attention to detail. You can choose from a purchase or a lease, based on your business and financial needs. Leases start as low as $59.00/month and come with a free water filtration system (up to a $59 value). And, you get free delivery of any ice machine.

Get the best quality commercial ice machine from a dealer with a track record of success: Ice & Refrigeration Systems.

E-Book Ice And Refrigeration Systems - Cover copy-lowres


Click here to get a free
e-book about types of
ice, maintenance of
your ice maker
and more!

Little Rock Commercial Ice Machines

Commercial Ice Machines: Different Types & How to Choose One

One of the first decisions you make when purchasing or leasing commercial ice machines are the type of cooling feature. Below is a description of the type of cooling and advantages of types of ice machines: air-cooled, liquid-cooled, and remote-cooled.

Air-cooled Commercial Ice Machines

Air-cooled ice makers have a fan on the inside that takes air and blows it across the condenser. In essence, the ambient air, or surrounding air around the ice maker, cools the ice maker. Hot air blows out the other side of the condenser, so heat is pulled away from the machine. To understand the capacity of an air-cooled ice maker, know that ice pounds per hour are measured in a 70 degree room, compared to a more typical 85 degree kitchen. So, if your kitchen area is 85 degrees, you’ll get about 85% of the stated production capacity. Despite the heat emission, air-cooled are the most popular ice makers.

Liquid-cooled commercial ice machines

Liquid-cooled are best when the ice maker is located in a warm temperature area, such as over 90 degrees. To cool the ice, a stream of water goes over the refrigerant and extracts out the heat. The downside of a liquid-cooled machine is that your water bills will inevitably increase. These machines are not recommended for high-drought areas.

Remote-cooled commercial ice machines

A remote-cooled ice machine puts a condenser on the roof of your building. Advantages of remote-cooled are that hot air doesn’t blow into the kitchen (like an air-cooled machine), and the machine doesn’t require extra water (like liquid-cooled). Remote-cooled ice makers will need electricity to the roof, and you need to purchase an additional condenser, so installation costs increase. Remote-cooled ice makers are especially good when you have a need for a large quantity of ice.

Ice & Refrigeration Systems is an experienced and knowledgeable resource for choosing the commercial ice maker to fit the needs of your restaurant, church or office. For more information, visit:

Kold-Draft Commercial Ice Machines

Kold Draft commercial ice machines are known for high quality ice. The first difference that you’ll notice when you look at Kold Draft commercial machines is that it has a horizontal evaporator. All other commercial ice machines have vertical evaporators. Having a horizontal evaporator means that ice is dropped down in individual ice cubes, not sheets. This type of ice-making is especially good for bagging ice because it reduces the ‘clusters’ of ice that band together when dropping from a vertical sheet.

Horizontal evaporators use gravity and give the lightest, cleanest ice possible because the cleanest molecules make ice first. Very clean, pure ice also melts slower than other cubes. Drinks are less diluted because the ice is slower to melt.

Kold-Draft, a maker of commercial ice makers and commercial ice machines since 1955, is best known for their large-cubed ice. Measuring 1 ¼ x 1 ¼ x 1 ¼ inches, the large cubes have a slower melt time than smaller ice. Half-cubes are also available from the same machines and are easier for some customers to handle.

Another distinguishing feature of Kold-Draft machines is the gravity-assisted horizontal ice making system. A horizontal evaporator reduces the need for water filtration equipment or a self-cleaning system and naturally eliminates impurities that can form in a vertical system. Cleaner ice means that the taste of the drink isn’t distorted by the water from the ice.

Kold-Draft has a reputation for long-lasting ice machines capable of producing from 300 to 2,400 pounds of ice per day. Many customers own their machines from 15 to 30 years. And, they offer a five-year warranty that includes parts and labor – the longest warranty in the industry. All ice makers meet the energy-efficiency standards set by the California Energy Commission’s 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

Kold-Draft’s primary customer markets are the restaurant, hotel, schools/institution and cruise line industry. A new product expands Kold-Draft into the grocery, convenience store and warehouse club market – the In-Store Bagging Ice Bagging System.

Benefits of Kold Draft Commercial Ice Machines

Kold Draft offers two sizes of cubes, a full cube and a half cube. The full cubes are large, about an inch in diameter, and they’re very popular in high-end cocktails. Half cubes are often used as ice in soft drinks, and for bagging. Slow melting, pure ice produces the highest quality bagged ice because it has less tendency to stick together in the bag. For more information about Kold Draft commercial ice makers, call Ice & Refrigeration Systems at 817-888-3056 or visit us at

commercial ice machines