Choosing an Ice Maker: Pros and Cons

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Published: 16th May 2011
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There are many types of ice makers available on the market today. Besides the common household ice makers that are installed inside refrigerator/freezer units, there are freestanding ice makers available for home and commercial use, and even portable ice makers for producing a mobile ice supply on the go. Below are the pros and cons of the different types of ice makers to help you understand a little more about them when choosing a unit to fit your needs.
Built-in ice makers are the most common type used in today's households. They are often available pre-installed in your refrigerator/freezer combination, or can be self-installed using an ice maker installation kit purchased at your local home improvement store. One desirable feature available now is a pure water filter which may come pre-installed in your refrigerator or be installed separately in-line with the water supply tubing behind the fridge. Built-in ice makers often have a convenient dispenser on the front of the freezer door which offer a selection regular ice cubes, crushed ice and cold water to thirsty users. They make 5-9 trays of ice per day which is a sufficient supply for most households. One problem fairly common with built-in ice makers is clogging caused by warmed ice melting inside the ice bin or hopper. This can be prevented by reminding your family to open the freezer door less frequently, making sure the door is sealed tight, and ensuring that the ice dispenser closes properly when used. To keep built-in ice makers in tip-top shape, a homeowner needs to remove and rinse out the ice bin periodically to remove old stale ice and frost.
Freestanding ice makers are most frequently used in commercial applications such as hotels and restaurants, but there are also household models available that are perfect for busy homes that use large quantities of ice. These self-cooling units fit under your counter just like a dishwasher, or they can be setup independently in a convenient place near your kitchen or dining room. Freestanding ice makers produce 25 to 50 pounds or more of ice per day, which is plenty for even the largest households. These powerful ice makers are also a great solution for small to medium-sized businesses that need ice available for their employees on a consistent basis. Many freestanding ice makers have a convenient storage compartment to keep beverages and other perishable items cool. The disadvantage of these large ice makers is that some of them are quite noisy and could disturb the environment of a home or quiet working environment. But if your ice needs are large, you may want to consider having a look at these durable and powerful ice makers.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are portable ice makers that are small enough to move from place to place, but can still produce a whopping 29 pounds of ice in a day. Portable ice makers generate ice on the spot on even the hottest of days and are the perfect solution for mobile ice needs. The only limitation with portable ice makers is finding an outdoor spot where you can plug it in. Whatever solution you choose, you're sure to have consistently cold drinks if you're the owner of a reliable ice maker!

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