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

Houma Commercial Ice Makers

Where there’s a festival, there’s ice. And people in Houma find a lot of reasons for a party.  Quality commercial ice makers give your restaurant, church or business the assurance that you won’t run out of large quantities of pure ice. Serving customers nationwide, Ice & Refrigeration Systems can help you buy or lease the ice machine that is perfect for your business or organization.

Questions to ask yourself about commercial ice makers

  1. How much ice do I need? You know that you always need more ice than you think. And summer can throw off your average. We can help you with that. But to start, see the e-book below for a chart of pounds/person. For more information about various types of ice, see our infographic about types of ice.
  2. How do I use ice? Depending on your priority of food storage, fountain drinks or cocktails, you’ll choose different methods of making ice, as well as size, shape and consistency.
  3. Where will a commercial ice maker best fit? Limitations for location may dictate the type of machine you need – countertop, under counter or stand-alone.
  4. How pure is my water? Impurities can ruin the taste of ice and decrease the life of your ice maker. Take the amount of cleaning and maintenance needed into account when choosing your machine.
  5. Do I have personal preferences? Your previous experience, professional or personal, can give you clues to features that are important in your decision.

Let’s talk about these questions and answer the questions you have for us. Then, we can put together a comparison of benefits for different manufacturers, types of ice, maintenance needs, energy and/or water efficiency. You’ll find us to be extremely cost competitive for your budget.

Reasons to buy Houma Commercial Ice Makers

  • Industry knowledge – We understand that investing in a commercial ice maker is a factor in your business or organization’s success. And we have experience balancing needs and budget.
  • Customer service – Ice & Refrigeration Systems’ reputation for providing reliable information and service keeps us growing and expanding.
  • Financial options – Choose from a purchase or a lease, based on your budget and business-strategy needs. Leases start at $59.00/month and include a free ($59 value) water filtration system.
  • Free delivery – All our ice makers come to your location with no charge.

4 benefits of working with Ice & Refrigeration Systems

Experience – We work with a wide range of sizes and types of businesses and organizations.
Reputation – Ask for references and let our customers tell you about our service and attention to detail.
Price – You’ll find us extremely price-competitive.
Free delivery – All our ice machines are delivered to you free of charge.

Houma Commercial Ice Makers

Lafayette Commercial Ice Makers

Layfayette is a town that really appreciates ice, because south Louisiana can get really hot! Having knowledge about quality commercial ice makers can benefit your restaurant, church or business by offering pure ice in enough quantity to keep people happy. You can rely on Ice & Refrigeration Systems to help you get the best ice maker for the best value.

Determine what features you need for your commercial ice makers

Here are some things to consider when looking at ice makers:

  • Shape and purpose of ice – The size and shape of ice is different for soft drinks, cocktails or food storage. Food storage and soft drinks use smaller cubes or crushed ice. Cocktails use a larger cube.
  • Expected volume – Heavy use of ice machines requires more frequent filtration and cleaning.
  • Production capacity – Gage what you need based on number of people per day, and adjust for seasonality, such as festival time. Select the free e-book (below) to see a chart for pounds per person.
  • Location – Where you put the ice maker – under counter, top of counter or stand alone makes a difference in energy usage and also manufacturer choices.
  • Important considerations – Think about the staff that you have for tasks like cleaning and maintenance needs. Also, filtration, water and energy efficiency varies from machine to machine.

You’ll have a variety of choices after making your list of priorities. We can help you understand the differences that are both tangible and intangible, such as the day-to-day experiences of similar customers.

Work with an ice maker dealer for your success

A commercial ice maker is a significant investment, and the reliability of your machine is critical – especially on a hot day. When you work with Ice & Refrigeration Systems, you get a company with depth of experience and industry knowledge. We serve refrigeration needs nationwide among a wide range of type and size of company. You’ll find us to be extremely price competitive with a purchase or lease. Leases start at only $59.00/month and include a free ($59 value) water filtration system. And, we always give you free delivery on all ice makers.

Tell us about your plans for a commercial ice maker – we’ll help you find the perfect fit for your business or organization.

Lafayette Commercial Ice Makers

460 Lb. MAXX Ice Machine Maker with 430 Lb. Ice Bin

460lb-maxx-commercial-ice-machine-maker-with-430lb-ice-binWhen you use a lot of ice, the 460 Lb. MAXX Ice Machine Maker with 430 Lb. Ice Bin is a perfect durable choice. Producing up to 460 lbs. of ice daily and with 430 lb. of ice storage keeps your restaurant, hotel, or bar well stocked with slab cube ice. Maxx ice is known for value and quality stainless steel construction.

The 460 Lb. MAXX Ice Machine Maker (Model MIM450) offers water savings because of the unit’s air-cooled condenser. Made for use with CFC-free R404A refrigerant, the ice maker is environmentally-friendly. Its electronic controls make the unit easy to operate and maintain, and it runs on a standard household electrical current.

The 430 Lb. Ice Bin (Model MIB 400) has stainless steel construction, including the door, with a poly liner inside the bin and 6” stainless steel legs. The bin is easy to clean and maintain. Also with attention to the environment is the CFC-free foamed-in-place insulation.

Of course, the 460 lb. MAXX ice maker machine and the 430 lb. ice bin are both NSF and UL-listed for commercial food service use. They both carry a three year warranty for all parts and labor, and five years for the compressor.

When selecting an ice maker and bin, it’s important to know if the size and capacity is the right amount for your restaurant or business. Talk with the experts at Ice & Refrigeration Systems. They have experience and knowledge from working with a wide variety of customers and manufacturers. With Ice & Refrigeration Systems, you get a lowest price guarantee, along with free expedited shipping. Talk with them about the advantages of either purchase or lease. The two units can be leased together for a very competitive price. Contact Ice & Refrigeration Systems at 817-888-3056 or complete our contact form for more information.

San Angelo Commercial Ice Makers

San Angelo Commercial Ice Makers


“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” While that may be true for some things, when it comes to a commercial ice maker, there are indicators that it’s time to replace your commercial ice machine. Consider these things before you have a business-halting need for repair:


Changing needs for volume of ice – We are all concerned about value and efficiency, and making sure that your ice production needs match your machine is an important consideration. Restaurants, churches and businesses have different requirements for volume of ice. Has the number of users or menu changes affected the amount of ice you need to produce?


Watching your water and energy bills – A commercial ice maker can last 10 years or longer, based on volume of use and regular maintenance. However, in the last several years, manufacturers have made enormous strides in both the water and energy efficiency of ice makers. Energy Star-rated ice makers can save up to 15% more energy than less efficient machines, and qualify for LEED credits. Water efficient machines are air-cooled instead of water-cooled, which means less water is used in the production of ice. The desire for water or energy savings may make it a good time to buy or lease a new ice maker.


Breaking down or excessive wear and tear – Take a look at your repair history to see if you are spending an inordinate amount on repair bills. Also, are components of your ice maker, such as the evaporator, wearing out? Over-worn parts are less efficient and less productive, causing stress on peak demand times. The need to replace some expensive parts can point to considering a new machine.


Texas owned and operated, Ice & Refrigeration Systems uses our vast experience to help companies and organizations of all sizes get the best commercial ice maker. You’ll find us to be extremely price-competitive for both purchases and leases. For example, you can lease an ice maker for only $59/month, including a free water filtration system. We offer free shipping on all of our products.



San Angelo Commercial Ice Makers