Ice machines are common in homes, office, restaurants, and hotels. Therefore, ice machine costs can be quite high. Restaurants and hotels will have noticeable costs associated with their ice machines. Businesses that use their machines very often and every day will overall have the highest costs. The exception to this rule is businesses that do not use the ice machine often at all. These machines require excess energy to start up and create higher costs.

In this article we will cover what ice machine costs are. We will then move on to determining which specific line of work can use cost savings as well as how much money you can expect to spend on them. We will then cover four methods you can use to save money on this specific cost.

What Are Ice Machine Costs?

Ice machine costs include the energy cost to run the machine as well as the cost of the water to turn into ice. Business owners will also need to take into consideration maintenance and repair costs as well. You should also consider how much it will take to replace the machine at the end of its useful life.

One final cost you need to consider is labor. It is not enough to think in terms of supplies when preparing to maintain the machine. Even if you maintain the machine yourself, you are still using valuable time you could spend elsewhere.

Which Businesses Need to Save Money on Ice Machine Costs?

While any every business with an ice machine will benefit from saving money, restaurants and hotels will benefit the most. If you own a hotel, you know that visitors have no hesitation using the ice machine whenever possible. Restaurants tend to run very low profit margins while using the most ice. As a result, it is important for them to reduce their costs everywhere possible. While an ice machine may not appear to be a significant cost, it can eat up profits very fast. If you own a restaurant, it is a good idea to look into this significant cost.

How Much are Typical Ice Machine Costs?

An example from the energy.gov website lists standard energy costs for an ice head machine states that if you make 500 pounds of ice per day you will have annual costs of $379. Over the course of a lifetime, the machine may cost up to $2187 in energy. This number only reflects the electricity use. Another operating cost to take into consideration is water usage. This cost may be as high as $300 per month. This amount will depend on how much water you are using.

Typical maintenance costs will depend on how often you decide to perform routine maintenance. You will also need to consider the cost of the technician. Assuming a rough estimate of $200/hour for labor and 2 hours of time, it is safe to use a minimum of $400 per year. If you also need to replace any parts, then you will be adding the cost of those onto the bill as well. As you can see, the numbers add up fast and are not insignificant.

Five Ways to Reduce Ice Machine Costs

1. Turn Off the Machine When Not in Use

This is the first step you can take that will help reduce your costs. While this step will not help businesses that only close for a few hours at night, it is a good step for businesses that close for a day or more. If you will not be in the building for the weekend, there is no reason to keep the machine running. Drain the ice that is currently in the machine and turn it back on when you return.

2. Reduce the Water Pressure

It is a good idea to check your machine’s minimum water pressure and use only the amount necessary to produce the ice you need. It is important to note that the default setting on the machine will not always be the setting for you. Reducing the water pressure will help reduce your water usage as well as lower both energy and water costs. A side benefit of this step is water preservation, which can possibly provide tax credits in some locations.

3. Clean the Machine

When you clean the machine and remove the rust, lime, and other debris, you are helping reduce the level of energy required to run it. This step will also help you keep the ice machine running longer. Debris buildup can reduce the lifespan of machinery and require you to invest in a replacement sooner than expected. For restaurants, another reason to clean the machine often is to reduce the risk of guests becoming ill from dirt and dust.

4. Filter the Water

In addition to cleaning the machine, it is a good idea to filter the water going in. Filtering the water will help you minimize the amount of chlorine and dust particles that cause debris. As a bonus, your ice will also taste better. While the cost of a filter system may be a few hundred dollars, it will pay off in reduced maintenance costs and happier customers.

5. Purchase an Ice Machine that Is Energy Star Rated

Energy Star states that if you invest in a machine that has this rating, you can save on average $160 per year on energy costs. While that may not seem like much, it is an investment that may help you save thousands over the life of the machine. Depending on your locality, you may also receive tax credits for making capital investments.

scoop of ice

There are small and painless steps you can take to reduce your ice machine costs. They do not take much time and will save you money over the life of your machine. We want to know what your experience is with reducing your expenses. You can take advantage of our community and share your tips with others. You can also see what other business owners are doing. We look forward to hearing from you. Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

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