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Back when electricity was still a novel thing, ice was a luxury item. Nowadays, most people tend to take it for granted because nearly every basic refrigerator has some type of mini ice dispenser. However, as you will soon find out if you start drinking cool beverages more regularly, that tiny refrigerator dispenser is not quite enough to cover your ice demands.
This and many other reasons is why ice makers are one of the best and most useful recent inventions. By merely pressing a few commands and flipping a switch, you can obtain enough ice to supply your family, and your guests. If you are in the market for a dedicated ice maker, it is a good idea is to do some research and familiarize yourself with the offer, prices and how they function.
The following article will cover only the essentials, so if you want in-depth information about how ice makers function and other technical details, do not hesitate to check out the many informative and well-written guides on IceMakerPro. Without further ado, here are a few tips and advice that will help you find the perfect ice maker.
Types of Ice Makers
Even though there is a plethora of variants on the market, typical household ice makers generally fall into three categories. Some of them are designed for specific tasks and situations, while others are more general. Here are the four types of ice makers, together with a few brief explanations:
- Portable ice makers. These are quite small and convenient because they can fit in pretty much any space. Furthermore, their compact size makes them very easy to be carried to parties, events, and everywhere ice is needed. Most models will churn out the first batch of ice within ten minutes upon being started. However, a common drawback of portable ice makers is that they are not able to keep already produced ice fully frozen. However, this is easily mitigated by the fact that they reuse melted ice water to produce new ice cubes, which is extremely convenient if you are looking to save money on water and energy bills.
- Freestanding ice Just from the name, you have probably guessed that these units are designed in such a way that they can be placed anywhere. Most models come with polished and finished paneling, so you can easily match them with the kitchen’s main color scheme.
- Built-in ice makers. These units are designed to fit into your existing kitchen cabinetry. Unlike freestanding ice makers, built-in models do not come with finished paneling on the sides. However, the venting mechanisms are placed in the front of the machine, so you can safely place a built-in ice machine in the tightest of spaces.
Types of Ice
To many people, the size, shape, and style of ice cubes might be irrelevant when it comes to making a purchase decision. However, this information is important to know because in some cases, the ice is what makes a drink. You can’t throw nugget ice in a glass of whiskey as expect it to be good. For those who are curious about this subject, here are the most common types of cubes that ice makers produce:
- Gourmet ice. This is a fancy design intended for fine drinks such as Bourbon or Scotch whiskey.
- The most traditional and common type of ice. Measuring about 7/8 of an inch all around, they melt much slower than other cube variants. They are big enough to chill strong drinks such as whiskey and vodka in a timely fashion, without ruining the original flavor.
- Crescent ice. From a practical standpoint, they offer no real advantages over other types apart from the design.
- Ideal mainly for quickly chilling carbonated drinks, smoothies, and some non-alcoholic cocktails. It is quick, practical and easy to chew.
Useful Features to Look For
A high-quality ice maker should be designed in such a way to promote energy efficiency, ease of use and user intuitiveness. For example, most countertop ice makers are not capable of holding ice intact, so you have to look for models that re-use that extra material to produce new ice. Otherwise, you risk wasting extra water and overburdening your bills. Other than that, make sure your chosen ice maker has the following things:
- Automatic Timer. If you do not want to make frequent trips to the kitchen to see if the ice is ready, this feature is a must.
- Ice size selection. Typical ice makers allow users to choose between two or three ice cube sizes.
- Ice scoop. Since grabbing the ice with your bare hands is totally impractical and unhygienic, you want your ice maker to have a sturdy ice scoop included in the package.
- Bluetooth connectivity (optional). Because there is nothing cooler than controlling your ice maker with your smartphone from across the house.
- Energy star energy efficiency rating. Make sure that your preferred model is rated and endorsed by Energy Star.
Even though some people might consider them luxury items, ice makers are becoming more and more common. If the ice maker that comes with your refrigerator is not quite enough to cover your needs, you should consider buying a dedicated unit as it will save you from the fuss of dealing with ice trays. Make sure to read through the tips highlighted in this article, and you will surely make the right decision.