NewAir AI-215SS 50-lb. Portable Ice Maker Review
NewAir AI-215SS is among most popular portable ice makers currently. It’s medium priced and what makes it special is the ice output – it makes 50 pounds of ice per 24 hours, whereas most portable ice makers made for home use make just 26 lbs.
NewAir AI-215SS makes 12 bullet shaped ice cubes per batch. It offers three ice size options: small, medium and large. They differ in thickness and obviously the thicker ones melt slower so you can choose setting depending on how fast you want your ice to melt. Time to make each batch depends on size setting you have chosen: 12 small ice cubes take 6-7 minutes to make, medium sized ones around 10 and large – about 13.
Ice quality is good. Ice cubes are thick and dense. Ice bin isn’t refrigerated so naturally ice cubes will melt, but it seems to be well insulated and ice cubes melt slower than in smaller ice machines. Melted water from ice cubes go back into water reservoir.
Be aware that just like with other ice machines the first batch of ice cubes might be slightly smaller than following ones.
NewAir AI-215SS 50-lb. portable ice maker is surprisingly quiet at least when compared to other portable ice makers. While making ice it barely makes any noise at all, the fan is quiet too. It’s does make a bit more noise when it drops a batch of ice cubes in ice basket but still does it quieter than other ice machines.
Interface is very simple – NewAir AI-215SS has easy to read LCD display that shows all of necessary information (whether machine is on; which ice cube size is selected; how much time remaining on timer; self-cleaning mode; whether water needs to be added; whether ice bin is full; whether there is different problem) and 4 buttons – on/off; select; timer and clean.
Timer function allows you to set after how many hours (from 1 to 18) NewAir AI-215SS should start or stop producing ice, so you can have ice any time you need it like when you come home from work or have a bin full of ice by the time your guests arrive and party begins.
Self-Cleaning functions make cleaning NewAir AI-215SS ice machine simple and quick:
- Fill water reservoir with 1:1 mix of water and vinegar
- Run cleaning cycle (5-6 minutes)
- Drain the mixture
- Fill the water reservoir with water
- Run another cleaning cycle (to wash away any vinegar that might be still in machine)
- Drain water
- That’s it! Now you can either let the ice maker dry or fill the water reservoir again with water and if you want to make ice right after cleaning NewAir AI-215SS.
Despite NewAir AI-215SS being a portable ice maker it barely feels that way – it’s heavy and large. It weighs 37.6 pounds (with empty water reservoir) and measures 17.2 inches deep, 15.3 inches wide (including the drain) and 16.5 inches tall. It does have two built-in handles for carrying though.
Although most consumer feedback about NewAir AI-215SS 50-lb. portable ice maker is positive it does have relatively more complaints about reliability than some of its competitors. Chances that you will run into some kind of problems and it won’t last long are small, but they might be higher than with competitor models.
Overall NewAir AI-215SS is a good ice maker. It can produce lots of good quality ice fast, isn’t loud and is simple to use. It’s does have some downsides too – it’s large, heavy and might be less reliable than others models.
NewAir AI-215SS offers good value for money. If you are repelled by possible reliability issues then Vremi Countertop Ice Maker might be a good alternative – it’s cheaper and has better reliability feedback, however it lacks some features, is louder and produces about half of ice NewAir does. Or you can just read our Best Portable/Countertop Ice Maker Machines article.
NewAir AI-215SS 50-lb. Ice Machine Specifications:
- Ice output: up to 50 lbs per 24 hours
- Ice cube size options: 3
- Weight: 37.6 lbs
- Water reservoir capacity: 1.5 gallons
- Dimensions: 17.2″ x 15.3″ x 16.5″ (D x W x H)