Commercial Ice Machines
The U.S. Energy Department (DOE) sets energy and water use standards for ice ma-
chines under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005. Visit DOE’s website for the most
To recognize energy- and water-efficient ice machines, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and DOE’s ENERGY STAR® issued a specification
certain types of commercial air-cooled ice machines that meet more stringent energy
use and potable water use criteria. Commercial ice machines that are ENERGY STAR
qualified are, on average, 15 percent more energy-efficient and 10 percent more
water-efficient than standard air-cooled models.
Operation, Maintenance, and User Education
For optimal ice machine efficiency, consider the following:
Periodically clean the ice machine to remove lime and scale buildup; sanitize it
to kill bacteria and fungi. For self-cleaning or sanitizing machines, run the self-
cleaning option. For machines without a self-cleaning mode, shut down the ma-
chine, empty the bin of ice, add cleaning or sanitizing solution to the machine,
switch it to cleaning mode, and then switch it to ice production mode. For health
and safety purposes, create and discard several batches of ice to remove residual
Keep the ice machine’s coils clean to ensure the heat exchange process is run-
ning as efficiently as possible.
Keep the lid closed to keep cool air inside the ice machine and maintain the ap-
Install a timer to shift ice production to nighttime or off-peak hours. This will
decrease the facility’s peak energy demand.
Keeping in mind local water quality and site requirements, work with the manu-
facturer to ensure that the ice machine’s rinse cycle is set to the lowest possible
frequency that still provides sufficient ice quality. If available, use the ice ma-
chine’s ability to initiate rinse cycles based on sensor readings of minerals.
Follow the manufacturer-provided use and care instructions for the specific
model ice machine used at the facility.
Train users to report leaking or otherwise improperly operating ice machines to
the appropriate personnel.
If the machine is cooled using single-pass water, modify the machine to operate on
a closed loop that recirculates the cooling water through a cooling tower or heat
DOE, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Building Technologies Program: Automatic Commercial Ice Makers.
EPA and DOE’s ENERGY STAR. Commercial Ice Machines Key Product Criteria.