Ice makers have emerged as an important equipment in households today. Any occasion like a simple party in the house requires ice cubes for drinks.
The ice produced in refrigerators is not at all enough and you tend to run out of ice cubes frequently. But nowadays, thanks to portable ice makers, you no longer have to worry about running out of ice cubes.
These ice makers are quite safe and are convenient to use for all the occasions.
A portable ice maker comprises of an independent ice generator that that keeps ice frozen. One just has to deposit enough water and plug in the device in order to get enough ice.
Ice is required not just for drinks but it can also come in handy to treat burns, bruises, inflammation, pain etc. It is the first course of treatment for many health conditions.
It is important to understand that portable ice makers that keeps ice frozen should not to be confused with freezers. As a result you cannot keep foodstuffs or things that require freezing in these ice makers.
Typical Types of Ice Makers
The two common types of ice makers that are currently available in the market are:
1. Portable Ice Makers – These icemakers are designed to fit on a countertop and they are quite compact. It is good for home usage and is light on the pocket also. As they do not require a continuous flow of water like commercial ice makers, you can carry it while travelling as well. You just need to pour some water and hook it up to a plug point to get ice cubes. Check out this table to see the 5 best portable ice makers today!
2. Undercounter Ice Makers – As the name suggests, these are meant for commercial purposes. They are mainly used in restaurants, clubs and other places where one requires a lot of ice. These under counter ice makers require a lot of place and a continuous supply of water. Using them, one can make different shapes of ice such as crushed ice, ice flakes, cube shaped ice, octagon shaped ice and tube shaped ice. They are quite popular and are also a little expensive but worth it.
How Do Portable Ice Makers Work?
Portable ice makers work on the same lines as a freezer .Water should be poured into it prior to switching on the device. This water gets pumped into the rotating ice tray. The device comprises of a compressor and a fan. These two act together to freeze the water into ice once the device is switched on. It has a warm refrigerant inside which causes the ice to be released into the bin.
Why Do You Need A Portable Ice Maker?
Portable ice makers are great for home usage. They are quite helpful in hosting small parties at home or in making ice for a family. They help you to come out of the running out of ice scenario. You no longer have to rush to the store in order to purchase a bag of ice, you can get it instantly at home. Also, these portable ice maker can be carried anywhere and everywhere. Ice makers are quite useful when you go out for camping, tailgating, boating and RV Trips. These ice makers are also finding widespread usage in retirement communities and office break rooms. If you and your family members need a lot of ice throughout the day and you more often have to visit a convenience store to purchase the same, then you are the right candidate to purchase a portable ice maker.
Things To Consider While Buying A Portable Ice Maker
If you intend to buy a portable ice maker, you should consider the following factors that can help you in choosing the perfect ice maker
✓ Size – Portable ice makers will be always small in size. But portable ice makers of different brands come in multiple shapes and sizes. If you are planning to buy a portable ice maker that will spend a lot of time sitting on a countertop in your home or kitchen, you have to check the space available on the countertop. But if you are purchasing an ice maker in order to carry it from one place to another, you have to check the weight of the device because it is difficult to carry a bulky device wherever you go.
If size and weight of the device, does not matter to you, then the only thing to consider is the capacity of the device. You should consider purchasing an ice maker that is neither too small nor too big. You should make a choice depending on the ice you need. The production capacity of an ice maker is usually mentioned on its packaging. This production capacity is provided in terms of pounds of ice
✓ Speed – You have to find an ice maker that will make ice quickly. Sometimes party guests would have to wait for a long time in order to get a refill. You can avoid that by choosing an ice maker that produces ice fast enough. Manufacturers will usually provide information on the specs provided regarding the time required by a device to produce ice. You have to go through it beforehand while purchasing an ice maker.
✓ Cost – The cost of an icemaker depends on its capacity. They range anywhere between $100 to $250 in price. When it comes to ice makers, if you pay a higher price, the machine remains durable for a longer period of times. Cheap ice machines are known to have problems within the first year of its purchase.
✓ Durability – Ice makers are not the type of devices that last a decade or a lifetime, once you purchase it. But still you should not go for a machine that will have problems in the first year of its purchase itself. Some manufacturers provide warranties on ice machines. It is wise to choose one of those types that come with a warranty.
✓ Water use – Some of the ice makers are endowed with a feature that allows it to reuse water that gets melted away from ice that is not used. You should opt for a machine of this type to save water. Also it is important to go for a self cleaning ice machine as it save your time and energy after a party.
Cleaning and Maintenance of Portable Ice Maker
A portable ice maker is easy to clean and requires very less maintenance. Some of the tips to clean a portable ice maker are
Unplug and Empty the device – In order to clean an ice maker, you have to empty it fully and unplug it from the wall. This will ensure your safety.
Ice Tray removal – Remove the ice tray from the device and keep it aside. After some time you can clean it.
Wipe it – Use a soft cloth and wipe the interior of the device. If the ice maker is very dirty, use two teaspoons of vinegar on the soft cloth and use the same to wipe the interior of the device. This will clean up the dirt and will also remove the excess calcium build up which is caused as a result of running hard water within the device. Now wipe down the removed ice tray in the same manner. You can also use a small amount of vinegar if it is especially dirty. Now place the ice tray back in the ice machine and plug in the device.
Cleaning Cycle – Switch on the portable ice maker and run it for a cycle or more with a small amount of vinegar. You can also use lime juice and water for the purpose. This will ensure that the unit is clean.
A portable ice maker is a must to have device for every household. It does not cost a bomb and is easy to maintain. Hence you can just go ahead and purchase that portable ice maker.