My last change in procedure was to eliminate two pumps from my regular brewing activities. I got rid of a sub-pump used to recirc ice-water through my IC in the warm-weather months and the march pump for general recirculation and transfer of wort.
Now I just use frozen 20oz PET (soda) bottles to chill the wort down to ale or lager temps. Have found it to be more effective and just as fast if not quicker in cooling the wort down to desired pitching temps!
Through these changes I have accomplished savings in time and effort and have removed the need to make ice, and use a cooler/bucket, two pumps and corresponding hose. I no longer have to move, hook-up or clean these particular pieces of equipment. Also there has been a reduction in mess and spilled wort or water.
I've thought of using frozen soda bottles. I live in CO and my water temp out of the hose is mid 70's right now so my IC will only cool down to about 80-85 after 20 minutes or so (5 gallon batches). I've had to close it up and put it in one of my fridges to bring down to pitching temp but that actually takes longer than you would think.
How many bottles do you use?