Water Cooled or Air Cooled?
When you're deciding to add ice cream machines to your current business or starting a new frozen desserts business, one of the first things to consider is the kind of product you want to serve and the type of machine that best suits that need. All ice cream machines from batch freezers to soft-serve machines, work by transferring heat away from the ice cream mix and freezing it in the process. The transferred heat is removed from the machine by either a water or air based system.
Joseph Kearns, Slices Concession Co-Owner, shows us key differences between air cooled & water cooled machines in the above video.
In the Image on the right, you can tell what type of cooling system a machine has by taking off the back panel.
A water cooled ice cream machine has coils that wrap around inside the machine to move the cooled & heated water through the machine.
The air cooled ice cream machines have an air filter which sucks in cold air & blows out hot air. Depending on the machine, it might blow out through the sides or the top of the machine.
Why Is Water Better?
Water cooled machines run smoother, freeze quicker, and are more efficient than their air cooled counterparts. Water transfers heat quicker than air. Water cooled machines only use water when the compressor is running. You will be taking cold water input and after running through the machine dumping hot water down the drain. Some municipalities have restrictions on use of water for cooling so check with your city before you purchase. If you live in a northern climate water cooled machines must be winterized before they can be exposed to temperatures under 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees celsius. What can happen is residual water in pipes will freeze and expand, bursting the water coils.
When Is Air Better?
Air cooled machines are ideal in locations with drought or a limited water supply. With an air cooled machine we must think about cleaning the filters or condenser coil on a regular basis (monthly) and the maximum operating temperatures of the machine. All ice cream machines will function better in a cool environment. When installing an air cooled machine it's best to ensure you have proper air flow to the coils. Most machines pull air in the side and vent it out of the bottom. Ice cream machines vent a lot of heat and can warm up a small room quickly. It is important to consider if you will need extra A/C to combat the added heat. Some people vent heat from the machine straight outside using the building air ducts.
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