How much electricity does a portable ice maker use?

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We hear everyone talking about being energy efficient, reducing our carbon footprint and that we all must play our part in saving the planet. I stood in the kitchen, stroke my chin and wondered, how much electricity does a portable ice maker use to operate? I decided to do a quick google search to seek an answer to this important question.

Do portable ice makers use a lot of electricity?

The amount of electricity a Portable ice machine uses varies according to the model or brand and frequency of upkeep. Most models of portable ice makers are more energy efficient than other types of ice machines. Each model of ice makers varies in energy efficiency. Some use more electricity than others because of the way they are built and the grade of material. 

The cleanliness of the machine also plays a part in its energy efficiency ratings. Over time limescale may build up on the evaporator mechanism causing the machine to consume more energy to produce the ice. Cleaning the machine frequently will remove the build-up of limescale and cause the machine to operate more efficiently. 

The first batch or two of ice will take more energy than normal. As the machine makes more ice water temperature in the ice machine will decrease. Thus, the machine will make ice faster and use a lot less energy. The portable ice makers, as a result of its compact size, uses less energy than the undercounter variety. However, the built-in ice makers may use less energy because it is integrated within the fridge compartment and therefore uses a fraction more energy to operate. 

How many watts is a portable ice maker?

I am unsure of how efficient each ice maker is because they are not EnergyStar certified. Hopefully, they will soon. I checked several ice makers, and this is wattage that I found:

  1. Frigidaire Portable Compact Ice Maker wattage
  2. Aicok Portable Ice Maker wattage
  3. Magic Chef Portable Countertop Ice Maker wattage

The wattage for each machine shows that it does not use that much energy to operate. You can feel free to use your ice machine to make your favorite ice. The impact on the environment is a lot less than driving your diesel van to the shop to buy ice. The beauty of these portable machines is that energy is only consumed when the machine is in use. It typically takes 7 to 15 minutes to make a batch of ice. When you are done, simply unplug, drain excess water, clean and store.

What voltage does the ice maker use?

Most portable ice machines use 120v wall outlets. Depending on the instruction, some may work with 220v. In most homes and offices you will find 120v outlets. If you are not sure, ask an electrician in order to be on the side of safety. Notwithstanding the fact that the local government “always” ensure that products imported products meet stringent quality standards. Local products have to go through the same high quality standards.    

What can I do to reduce the cost of producing ice when using my portable ice machine?

Do not use the machine in direct sunlight

The sun produces heat radiation that warms up most things it touches. It is suggested not to put the ice machine in direct sunlight because it may warm the machine. It will not warm the outer parts of the machine because it is heavily insulated. However, the internal bits may be warm causing the ice maker to use more energy than is necessary. 

Use chilled water

The ice maker works by cooling the water as it passes over the evaporator on some machines like the opal nugget ice maker. The other types of portable ice makers have nine metal prongs that are inserted in the ice maker’s tray. When the machine is switched on the prong gets very cold and freezes the water. When the ice is formed the machine will empty the ice tray of the excess water back into the reservoir. 

The water in the reservoir gets cooler the longer the machine runs. If we use this simple logic it goes without saying that if we start the process with very cold water it will make ice cubes much quicker and therefore use less electricity.  Important note. Water in plastic bottles should not be stored in direct sunlight as it may leach harmful chemicals in the water. 

Keep lid of ice machine close when making ice

While the ice machine is making ice the cooler the internal temperature of the ice machine the better. If the lid of the ice machine is open it will cause the ice machine to take much longer to make ice. Because the ice machine is open it takes much longer to maintain a cold temperature. Keeping the lid closed will ensure the machine works more efficiently. 

Clean the machine frequently

Over time limescale may build up on the evaporator mechanism causing the machine to consume more energy to produce the ice. Cleaning the machine frequently will remove the build-up of limescale and cause the machine to operate more efficiently. 

Leave air space around the machine

The ice machine has a fan to the sides or to the rear. This fan helps the machine to work more efficiently. If the fan it not given space it will use more energy to cool the machine down. 


We all must do our part in protecting the environment. While using a portable ice machine to get ice during the warm summer months or to cool down our smoothies in the most efficient way, we can do a number of things. We should keep the ice machine away from direct sunlight, when in operation. 

Operate the machine in a cool room, not in the hot shed as it will use more energy. Keep the lid of the ice maker closed so that the machine can maintain a constant temperature.  Additionally, you can use chilled water because it speeds up the ice making process a little. 

On this blog you will find useful information about the best home ice makers. On the best home ice makers review page you will find handy information on what to look out for when purchasing a home ice makers. 

If you are a geek like me and need more information about how much it would cost to make ice using an ice machine visit wired. See reviews of different ice makers to help you in your decision making process.