Tips For Making Your Ice Machine Run Smoother During Summer
The demand for ice is at its peak during the summer months. That’s when we rely on ice machines to be…
at their most productive, but some ice producers are caught off-guard when their machine starts to work slower than usual. It can lead to a bottleneck in a busy restaurant, or worse, an ice supplier may not be able to deliver bags of ice in time for the season.
There are two main culprits for why an ice machine will run slower during the summer. The first is heat, and the second is poor maintenance. As the air temperature increases, the machine must work harder to make ice. Poor maintenance will make the machine run less efficiently due to contamination or wear and tear. These often work in tandem. If a machine doesn’t get proper maintenance, the stress of dealing with summer temperatures can force the machine to slow down or break.
If you want to keep your ice machine running smoothly during summer, here are some things to do.
Is the machine in a hot location?
Ideally you want your ice machine to be placed in a part of your business with low temperatures. A hot kitchen is a very poor place to put an ice machine. The hotter the external air temperature, the slower the machine will make ice and the more stress is placed on the compressor. Even placing a machine next to another that makes heat in an otherwise cool room will make it work harder.
Is there enough airflow?
All ice machines will need a certain amount of air gap around them to cool down. If there are other things crammed on the sides or on top of the ice machine it will work harder. Your owner’s manual or service tech will tell you the amount of space necessary for your model of ice machine. Another thing to check is dust building up on the air intake vent. Dust these periodically to prevent heat buildup.
Has your machine been maintained?
All ice machines need maintenance. Every six months is ideal. Anything more than a year between service visits is dangerous to the life of the machine. Also, you may need to clean ice machine components more often depending on the quality of your water. If there is scale buildup or grit on your evaporator or condenser then the machine will not work as well. Your manual or service tech can tell you how to service these parts, or tell you what kinds of filters you may need to prevent mineral buildup from happening.
If your machine is starting to run slower, take action now. Get your machine maintained, dusted, and checked for proper air circulation and operating temperature. Your machine will run much better and your customers will be happy that they can get the ice they need.