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Water Cooled Ice Machine vs. Air Cooled-Ice Machine

February 13, 20243 min read

Water Cooled Ice Machine vs. Air Cooled-Ice Machine

If you serve drinks to customers in Hawaii, you’ll almost certainly need an ice machine so that you can keep your beverages cool, fresh, and delicious. However, deciding which type of ice machine to buy is no easy task. On the one hand, you have air-cooled machines that are easy to install, relatively affordable, and simple to maintain. On the other hand, you have the option of a water cooled ice machine that remains efficient and effective in hot, tropical climates. So, which one is right for you?

At Pacific Ice Services, we’ve been a leading supplier and installer of ice machines in Hawaii since 1973, meaning you can trust us for honest advice regarding which type of ice machine is best for your business. Give us a call for personalized advice and more insights into what’s available. Alternatively, keep reading below to learn about the pros and cons of water-cooled ice machines and their air-cooled counterparts.

How a Water Cooled Ice Machine Stacks up Against the Air Cooled Alternative

Here’s everything you need to know to decide whether to buy a water cooled ice machine or an air cooled alternative:

Cooling Mechanism

Air-cooled ice machines are fitted with fans that draw in air to cool the condenser coils, whereas water cooled ice machines use a continuous flow of water to cool the condenser and maintain optimal operating temperatures. In some situations, air-cooled ice machines are more straightforward to use than water-cooled alternatives. Air-cooled appliances also don’t need a constant supply of water. However, in a hot climate like Hawaii’s, water-cooled ice machines are by far the most efficient option – they can work in hot environments where air-cooled counterparts would likely struggle.


As mentioned above – water-cooled ice machines tend to be more efficient than air-cooled machines in hot climates. If you run a business in a location with moderate temperatures, the surrounding air may be cold enough to keep the condenser coils cool. However, in Hawaii, you’ll most likely need a water cooled ice machine to keep up with demand, minimize the risk of downtime, and maximize efficiency.

Environmental Impact

In some environments, air-cooled ice machines are more environmentally friendly than water-cooled alternatives simply because they don’t require a constant supply of water. Still, air-cooled machines lose efficiency and can even stop being effective in hot climates. If you want to make sure your ice machine never fails regardless of the temperature, you might want to choose a water cooled ice machine.

Installation and Maintenance

Generally, air cooled ice machines are easier to install than water-cooled counterparts because they don’t need connecting to a water supply. Similarly, maintenance can be simpler as you don’t need to address as many issues related to water quality. Still, if your ice machine doesn’t function in Hawaii’s climate, the task of installation will be the least of your worries. Plus, when you order an ice machine from us, you can let us handle the installation and maintenance for you.

Order Your Water Cooled Ice Machine Today

Ultimately, deciding whether to buy an air-cooled ice machine or a water-cooled alternative depends on your specific needs, budget, and environmental considerations. While air-cooled machines have their advantages, they lack efficiency and – often – effectiveness in Hawaii’s hot climate, which means a water cooled ice machine may be your only option. Fortunately, buy or rent your ice machine from us, and you can rest assured it will be energy efficient, reliable, high-value, and long-lasting. For more information, either give us a call or browse our range of ice machines.

water cooled ice machine

Pacific Ice Services

Pacific Ice Services is the number one company for commercial ice machine sales, maintenance, repair, installation and rental services in Oahu, Hawaii.

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