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Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Business: Industrial


Automatic Ice-makers
(Ice Machines)

Purchasing tips

Here are some other points to consider when purchasing a new icemaker:

Cost differences

  • Air-cooled models use more energy but less water than water-cooled machines. Consider both energy and water costs when making your purchase decision.
  • Air-cooled icemakers increase air-conditioning costs for the space where the unit is located.

Energy efficiency

  • When purchasing a cuber machine, keep in mind that some models make individual cubes while others make "waffles" of ice cubes. The latter are usually more energy efficient because energy (heat) is not required to separate the cubes – the thin webs holding the waffles together break on impact when the waffles fall into the storage bin.
  • Using an over-sized cuber machine can waste energy. Match the capacity of your new icemaker to actual ice cube demand for maximum performance and energy efficiency.


  • Water-cooled icemakers are quieter than other models.

Water requirements

  • Water requirements can vary widely from one ice maker machine to another. Water is used to produce ice as well as to melt and release ice and to keep equipment operating smoothly. Ask the manufacturer about water saving options.
  • Current self-cleaning models automate most of the cleaning process. Self-cleaning models use more water than standard models but reduce labour costs for maintenance.

Operation and maintenance

Keeping the icemaker clean and free of scale will help ensure proper performance of the machine over its typical 10-year lifespan.

Both the ice-making and ice-storage components of the machine require regular cleaning and sanitizing treatments that may include

  • emptying the ice storage bin
  • sanitizing the machine
  • producing and discarding a batch of ice to ensure the machine is cleared of the cleaning solution