Are Fridges With Ice Makers Worth The Extra Money?

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If you’re eager to enjoy a cold drink on a hot day, you know how frustrating it can be when you reach for the ice tray and it’s empty. Even with a powerful freezer, refilling trays and waiting for the ice to set can also take a while. While an ice maker could quickly solve this problem, are fridges with ice makers worth the extra money?

Fridges with ice makers are worth the extra money if you regularly consume large amounts of ice and want instant access to fresh ice. Fridges with ice makers are convenient because they make ice quicker than traditional ice trays, and they deliver higher quality ice by using filtered water.   

To learn more about whether or not you should invest in a fridge with an ice maker, and if they’re worth the extra money, read on.

Why Are Fridges With Ice Makers More Expensive?

When shopping around for a refrigerator, you may have noticed that the ones with built-in ice makers are significantly more expensive than other models.

Fridges with ice makers are more expensive because the ice makers must be professionally installed and connected to a water line. The ice makers are built into the fridges using advanced technology and may also require more repairs or maintenance than fridges without ice makers.  

Some fridges that come with ice makers will have a water dispenser as well. Both are connected to the same water line. They work together to produce filtered water and fresh ice that you can consume directly from the fridge.

These added features, along with other factors, contribute to the higher cost of modern fridges with ice makers.

Here’s a closer look at these factors in more detail:

They Require a Water Line Connection

Fridges with ice makers typically cost more because the ice maker requires a separate water line connection to access water and make ice. If your home doesn’t already have a water line near the fridge’s output, you may have to hire a professional plumber to install a new one that connects to the fridge. 

Do Fridges With Ice Makers Need To Be Plumbed In?

Fridges with ice makers need to be plumbed in because the ice maker requires a water line to operate. Once connected, the ice maker will be powered by electricity and pull water from the water line. This water then gets filtered and later becomes the ice you can enjoy.

On the other hand, refrigerators without ice makers can run on electricity alone. They don’t need an outside water source to keep them cool, or to produce ice and dispense filtered water. 

To get a better idea of how ice makers work and why a water line is important, check out this YouTube video:

Their Repairs and Maintenance Are Costlier

Although ice makers can last up to 10 years or more, they will require occasional maintenance and repairs to keep them in working order. Most high-end fridges come with warranties, but they are limited in length and what they cover. Therefore, some of the fridge’s repair and maintenance costs will inevitably come out of pocket.

Suppose you use your ice maker frequently. Eventually, the ice maker will require a filter replacement to keep the water it uses clean and pure. You’ll need to continue replacing the filter whenever it starts to wear down, which can depend on how much use your ice maker is getting. Purchasing filter replacements can add to the overall cost of operating the ice maker.

Other times, the water line could potentially leak, causing a big mess around the base of your fridge. To stop the leak or fix any other malfunctioning components, you will likely need to make a service call to repair the issue. 

Those same water leaks can lead to large amounts of food to spoilage or damage the flooring, which can be expensive to replace.

They Use Advanced Technology 

Fridges with ice makers use enhanced technology that older units don’t have, enabling them to turn water from the water line into fresh and filtered ice. The automatic system works by transporting filtered water into an ice mold to set quickly. Then, the ice gets deposited into a storage bin. As the bin’s levels fluctuate, the ice maker will replenish its supply or temporarily pause production to prevent overfilling. 

Several ice makers can even dispense customized ice in the shape of wedges or cubes, and others offer crushed ice as an option.

Most ice makers can make up to 10 ice cubes every hour so it’s easy to maintain a consistent supply. Their advanced technology also means they can make ice much faster than your standard fill-and-freeze ice trays.

There Are Different Types of Ice Makers

Lastly, there are a few different types of ice makers built into modern fridges, which can influence their higher prices.

Some models come with the ice maker built into the door, so ice can easily be dispensed from the storage bin into your cup via an external dispenser. Other fridges may have the storage bin sitting on the inside of the freezer, requiring the user to reach in and scoop out ice manually. 

Fridges with ice makers connected to an external dispenser often have wide french doors, and the ice bin is attached directly inside the freezer door. These fridges are typically much larger, more expansive, and costlier because the ice can be extracted conveniently from the outside of the unit with the push of a button. 

However, some top freezer fridges don’t offer this luxury, so the ice will need to be removed manually from the bin. Top freezer fridges tend to be smaller and more affordable. 

Should I Buy a Fridge With an Ice Maker?

Investing in a fridge with an ice maker will depend on your lifestyle, budget, and the kitchen space you have available. For some, having a tray of ice is enough to cool a few beverages. Others, such as those with large families or who need excess ice, may find that having a reserve of ice is more convenient. 

You should buy a fridge with an ice maker if you want large quantities of fresh ice delivered quickly. Fridges with ice makers are designed to make high-quality ice rapidly and maintain consistent supply levels, so you have access to enough ice at all times.

If you still aren’t sure whether or not an ice maker is a worthy investment for you, consider the following pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Fridges with ice makers can produce ice quicker than traditional freezer trays.
  • They usually come as a combination with a water dispenser. 
  • They have a constant reserve of fresh ice. 
  • Certain models can dispense customizable ice cubes.

Cons:

  • Fridges with ice machines are more expensive.
  • They can take up more freezer space, which means less storage for your food.
  • They need a water line connection to function.
  • They require filter replacements. 

If you choose to get a fridge with an ice maker, you’ll be happy to know that its water filters can be conveniently purchased online, so you don’t necessarily have to go through the fridge’s manufacturer to get the parts or pay a premium.

For a top-notch replacement filter, I recommend the EcoPure EPINL30 5 Year In-Line Refrigerator Filter from Amazon.com. It’s affordable and fits several name-brand fridges, including Samsung, Whirlpool, and GE. This filter replacement also provides up to 5 years of superb filtration, so you probably won’t need to replace it as often either.