Portable Ice Makers

How Much Electricity Do Portable Ice Makers Use?

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Portable ice makers are perfect for your home and business. They give you ice whenever you need it, keeping your beverage chilled. Yet, how much does it cost to run a portable ice maker? To figure out how much a portable ice maker will cost to operate, we have to figure out how much electricity they use.

In this article, we’re going to break down how much electricity a portable ice maker uses and how much it costs to operate one.

How Much Electricity Do Portable Ice Makers use?

Today, there are so many different brands, types, and models of portable ice makers on the market. The amount of electricity that a portable ice maker uses varies from each brand and model.

Below we listed the top portable ice makers on the market today and their voltage, and amps.

Portable Ice MakerVoltageAmps
NewAir Clearice401202.6
NewAir AI-215R1202.1
Frigidaire Extra Large Ice Maker1203.2
NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker1202.3
Opal Nugget Ice Maker1202.5
Ikich Portable Ice Maker1202.0
KBice Nugget Ice Dispenser1152.5
Costway Portable Ice Maker1153.1

Though portable ice makers are not known to be energy efficient (no portable ice makers on our list is EnergyStar certified), they cost far less than under-counter, fridge, or commercial ice makers. According to the numbers above, portable ice makers that produce nugget ice use a little more electricity than the regular bullet ice. Most portable ice makers use the most electricity when freezing the ice because it has to use more elements to complete the process.

The average amps for a portable ice maker would be about 2.5 amps.

What Voltage Do Portable Ice Makers Use?

All portable makers use a standard 120V wall outlet to operate. These are the most common in most homes and businesses.

Most local portable ice makers have to apply to particular regulations before being sold in the country. If you have further questions about any product’s compatibility with your home, I would suggest that you talk to an electrician who will guide you further.

If you’re looking to run a portable ice maker on a 200-watt inverter or generator (the Generac 7117 is what I have used; you can click here to head over to Amazon and check out its low price), I would suggest purchasing the Ikich Portable Ice Maker. The Ikich Portable Ice Maker is small and compact and doesn’t use a lot of electricity. This makes it the perfect ice maker for trips, boats, and camping adventures.

Price to Operate a Portable Ice Maker

At 350 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in a month—at a typical rate of $0.06 per kWh, that would cost around $10-$21 a month to run a portable ice maker.

How to Save Money With Your Portable Ice Maker

There are several ways that you can save money on the operation costs of your portable ice maker.

The suggestions below are tips and tricks that I use to help the portable ice maker operate more efficiently.

Don’t Use The Portable Ice Maker Directly in Sunlight

When you use your portable ice maker directly in sunlight it takes more electricity to produce ice. The sun will heat up the unit and will slow down the ice production or melt the ice in the ice storage bin.

If you have to use your portable ice maker outside (which I do a lot), try to keep it in the shade or only take the ice maker outside when the sun isn’t directly on it. When we have gatherings at our house and use our portable ice maker, we use a canopy to shade the drinks and ice maker. I find that this works great.

Use Cold Water

Another tip to saving money on your electricity bill is to use cold water in your ice maker. The process of making ice is different from ice maker to ice maker. Nugget ice is made completely different than bullet-shaped ice and the same is true with clear ice. Yet, though the process of making ice differs from unit, the concept is the same. Every ice maker cools the water using a compressor unit it becomes ice.

The longer the ice maker runs, the colder the water will become. It only makes sense that you can speed up the process by adding cold water into the portable ice maker, instead of Luke-warm water.

It doesn’t take a long time to let the water run for an extra couple of minutes to get access to the cold water, and by doing so, you can shed some cents off the operation costs.

Keep Your Ice Maker Clean

A dirty ice maker isn’t very efficient.

When ice makers become dirty the ice production process is dragged out and the result is more money to operate. Keeping your portable ice maker clean, doesn’t take a long time, but it’s worth it overall.

Not only does a dirty ice maker affect the efficiency of the unit, but it also impacts maintenance costs. I have seen many ice makers become damaged because it wasn’t properly maintained. This doesn’t just add to the cost of operation from day to day, but the overall cost to operate the ice maker.

I have created an excellent article on the steps of cleaning a portable ice maker. This article is full of illustrations and step-by-step instructions that will walk you through the entire process.

Click here to check out that article.

Let the Air Flow Properly

You’ve probably noticed that your portable ice maker has vents on the back and the side. These vents keep air flowing through the unit which is essential to the ice-making process.

If your ice maker is too close to a wall or cabinet, the air will not flow properly and this will impact the efficiency of the unit.

It’s suggested that you leave 2 inches of clearance. This will impact which ice maker you decide to purchase because they all come in different sizes.

I listed below the top picks for portable ice makers and their dimensions to help you choose which one will fit best in your home.

Portable Ice MakerDimensions
NewAir Clearice4014.50″D (15.25″ w/drain plug) x 11.40″W x 13.75″H
NewAir AI-215R 17.20″D x 15.30″W (w/drain) x 16.50″H
Frigidaire Extra Large Ice Maker19 x 16.5 x 18.5 inches (LARGEST)
NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker16.50″D x 10.60″W x 16.30″H (w/feet)
Opal Nugget Ice Maker17″ H x 14.25″ W x 15″ D
Ikich Portable Ice Maker8. 7 x 12. 3 x 12. 6 inches (SMALLEST)
KBice Nugget Ice Dispenser12” W x 16” D x 17.5H inches
Costway Portable Ice Maker14.5″ x 10″ x 12″ (L x W x H)

The chart above will help you perfectly fit a portable ice maker in your kitchen. Use the dimensions listed above to ensure that you’ll have the room to allow the air to flow around the unit properly.


Portable ice makers do not cost a lot of money to operate; in most cases, it’s less than $1 a day. We have discovered that the price of operation and even the initial cost of the unit itself is still cheaper than purchasing bags of ice each week.

We have put together a comprehensive list of the best portable ice makers on the market today. You can check out the list by clicking here.

If you have any questions or comments, you can use the comment section below.


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