So, you want to know how much heat an ice machine puts out.

A few points of clarification:

  1. Remote condensers reject heat outside the building, so it generates minimal inside heat.
  2. Water-cooled machines use the water to take away the heat, so it generates minimal inside heat.

So leaves air-cooled ice machines.  Heat output is measured in BTUs/hour and is dependent on production capacity.  Here is how a few of the popular models stack up:

KML451 – 7,100 BTU/hr

KM600 – 9,500 BTU/hr

KM901 – 15,400 BTU/hr

KM1900 – 23,800 BTU/hr

That might be enough information for some of you…but the real question is…what will that do to the temperature in the area, room, or building?  It is hard to answer this question mathematically, as we must consider insulation, ventilation, air handling capacity, air cooling capacity, etc.  This is why we insist on putting the ice machine in an area with good ventilation and cooling.

Another way to look at it is comparing it to something we all know.  The following chart describes the BTU output of a person performing various activities:

Sitting at rest:  350 Btu/Hr
Seated, Light Work:  420 Btu/Hr
Standing Light Work:  640 Btu/Hr
Walking 3mph:  1040 Btu/Hr
Heavy Factory Work: 1600 Btu/Hr
Heavy Athletics: 1800 Btu/Hr

We all know that sweaty uncle that always seems to be wiping his brow, but forgetting him for a minute, this suggests the average person produces about 500 BTUs/hr.  Therefore, if a KM600MAH produces 9,500 BTU/hr if it is running full-time, it is producing approximately the same amount of heat as 20 people.

How hot the room will get or how much air conditioning you need to offset that heat will depend on all those factors above….but this should give you a good sense of how much heat that machine will produce.