Choosing the Right Commercial Refrigerator & Ice Machines for Your Business
If you are in the market for new refrigeration or an ice machine for your business, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. There are so many different options available on the market today, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
Let’s discuss the different types of refrigeration and ice machines available and help you decide which one is best for your business.
Types of Refrigeration
There are three main types of refrigeration and ice machines available on the market today:
- air-cooled refrigeration
- water-cooled refrigeration
- remote refrigeration
Let’s look at the different types of refrigeration systems, and then we can look at specific types of ice makers and commercial refrigerators.
Air-Cooled Refrigeration Systems
Air-cooled machines are the most common type of machine. They use a fan to circulate air around the unit and keep it cool. These units are less expensive than water-cooled or remote units, but they can be louder and less energy efficient.
However, air-cooled refrigeration systems are often located outdoors and are subject to outside temperatures. When an air-cooled refrigeration system is located indoors, the compressor room must be adequately ventilated to keep exhaust from re-entering the condenser intake and overheating.
Water-Cooled Refrigeration Systems
Water-cooled machines use water to circulate around the unit and keep it cool. These units are more expensive than air-cooled units, but they are more energy-efficient (10% to 15% more efficient) and quieter. Water-cooled systems need a constant water supply to function.
Remote Refrigeration Systems
Remote refrigeration units are similar to air-cooled units, but they are located outside the main building. These units are more expensive than both air-cooled and water-cooled units, but they can be more energy-efficient and tend to be quieter.
Which type of refrigeration or ice machine is right for your business? It depends on your specific needs. If you are looking for an energy-efficient unit that is quiet and will not break the bank, an air-cooled unit may be the best option for you.
If you are willing to spend more money upfront, a water-cooled or remote unit may be the better choice.
Types of Commercial Refrigerators
Now that you understand the different types of refrigerant systems available, let’s look at the different applications for commercial refrigerators to see which is the best fit for your needs.
A merchandising refrigerator is the right solution if you’re looking for commercial refrigeration that shows merchandise to shoppers. They come in various sizes and shapes and can be open-air or have traditional glass doors. Choose from countertop size all the way to triple door-sized and bigger.
Vertical bar refrigerators can have glass or solid doors and are usually built out of stainless steel or black vinyl, which look good behind a bar. Horizontal bottle coolers have tops that slide. You can also add draft beer taps to bar refrigerators while storing the keg beneath in an under-counter fridge.
Mega Top Refrigerators
Also known as refrigerated prep tables, these refrigerators have prep surfaces on the top and a refrigerated prep rail that allows food to be kept at proper temperatures but still easy to access. These refrigerators are great for diners, delis, and other restaurant spaces.
Under-counter refrigerators are installed under prep tables or kitchen counters to easily access ingredients. When space is limited, these convenient commercial refrigerators offer functionality without taking up a lot of room. Sometimes, restaurants and delis will use these solutions rather than a mega-top refrigerator, especially when a prep counter exists.
Walk-in refrigerators are perfect in situations where you need a lot of cold storage. They come in all sizes, from small pods to units that are the size of a room. Walk-ins help save energy because you can shut the door behind you while looking for what you need.
Commercial Ice Machines
That’s an excellent overview of the types of commercial refrigerators available, but what about commercial ice makers? Let’s look at the options.
Modular Ice Makers
Also called ice machine heads, these ice makers make a lot of ice and are used with a storage/dispenser unit. They sit on top of that unit to supply ice.
Undercounter Ice Machines
The name says it all. These smaller ice machines fit under the counter and produce about 350 pounds of ice per day. These are perfect for smaller cafes and restaurants.
Countertop Ice Makers
Typically found in medical settings, countertop ice units have a small storage bin and can produce nugget-style ice that is easy to chew.
Ice/Water Combination Machines
Found in offices, healthcare facilities, hotels, cafeterias, and more, combo machines dispense water and ice. The ice is usually nugget-style, and the unit has a small profile and takes up very little space.
Now that you have an idea of the types of commercial refrigerators and ice machines available contact us to schedule a consultation or installation. We’re here to help you!