Difference Between AC and Refrigerator (With Table)

People living in the 21st century have made people of the century become habitual with many tech friendly inventions. From a small mobile phone to a big aircraft, things are made in keeping in mind the use and need for them by the citizens of the country. Thus, the goal is to how life can be made easier for them.

The inventions of AC and Refrigerator is a big one. They are used all around the world, especially in the summertime. From time to time, they get upgraded with the newest and the best features and functions to make them more efficient. Their main principle is the conversion of gas to liquid to reduce the temperature of the air.

AC vs Refrigerator

The difference between AC and Refrigerator is that both of the inventions are helpful in different situations. AC is used in order to provide relief during a heated temperature. On the other hand, the use of a Refrigerator is done for chilling food and liquids, preserving them from getting hot and rotten. Their principle is the same but not their application.

Ac is a short form for Air conditioner. The purpose of this gadget is to provide people with cool air when the weather or the temperature of the environment is hot. It is mostly used in the summertime. Ding Huan was the first one to think about it and also by Benjamin Franklin, but the title as the father of air conditioning is given to Willis Haviland Carrier as he was the first one to apply those principles into a practical modern.

A refrigerator is a machine that is made for the purpose of keeping any type of food and liquid cool and chill. Not only this but it is also used to protect things to last longer and turning bad or getting rotten by bacteria. It is also helpful in research and industrial experiments and development.

Comparison Table Between AC and Refrigerator

Parameters of ComparisonACRefrigerator
Another nameAir Conditioner Cooler
DefinitionMachine used to provide cool air and remove humidity at a place. Machine used to keep the things chill in a confined space like liquids and food solids.
Year of discovery19021755
Discovered byWillis Haviland CarrierWilliam Cullen
Use of Themal Energy ln the process of a working of AC, thermal energy is used to keep the air at a cool temperature. In the process of Refrigerator, there is a transfer of thermal energy from a colder to higher temperature.
Main parts Condensing coil, expansion valve, evaporator coil, compressorCompressor,
condenser, expansion device, evaporator

What is AC?

Ac is an abbreviation for Air conditioner. The idea for AC was first thought by Willis Haviland Carrier. He was an engineer and inventor and made this discovery in Brooklyn, the USA, in 1902. He took inspiration from mechanical refrigeration from earlier years and made a practical model from studying them. Thus, he is known as the father of air conditioning.

AC helps in maintaining the balance of humidity and purity in the air. Aside from the use in home and offices to preserve food and safeguarding them from bacteria, it is also used for scientific and industrial research. The supply of gas in an AC is from built in chemicals but also from the air in the room it is being used in. Now, ACs can be divided into six different types: The basic central AC, ductless ones, window unit, portable unit, hybrid, and geothermal ones.

Though it is a very useful invention, the refrigerants that are released by Air Conditioner is quite harmful; it has been established that they are one of the main reasons for causing damage to the ozone layer and the reason for climate change.

What is Refrigerator?

The name “Refrigerator” came from the Latin verb “refrigerate”, derived from the Latin adjective “frigus”, that translates into “cold”. The idea of Refrigerator was first thought of by William Cullen in the year 1755. He was a Scottish professor who made the first artificial refrigerating machine. It is a machine powdered by electricity to keep the food items and liquids cool while storing in it. A Refrigerator takes gas from installed tubes within the machine. HFC-134a is the main gas that is used in them.

It retains materials in a confined, cool place. It has four basic parts in its compression cycle: A compressor, a condenser, an expansion device and then an evaporator. R134a is a refrigerant that is used in domestic Refrigerator as well as in automotive ACs.

Main Differences Between AC and Refrigerator

  1. Both of the functions of the machines are different. Air conditioning is used whenever a cooling environment is required by people, and the function of the Refrigerator is to keep cool the things and liquids for use.
  2. In a Refrigerator, compressor and condenser are used as a single part. On the other hand, in an AC, the condenser and the compressor are considered separate units.
  3. The main concern for the purpose of Ac is to balance out humidity. While in comparison, the main concern of a Refrigerator is coil freezing at sub-zero temperature.
  4. The use of a Refrigerator is to preserve food, usage in industrial processes and in scientific research. Compared to it, Ac’s main use is for human comfort, cooling out for equipment, infection control, artefacts preservation by balancing out the humidity in an environment.
  5. Refrigerators have to have a De-ice mode in them as to so that the heat exchanger doesn’t clog with ice. Eventually, a point of time will come when one has to thaw the ice while pressing that mode button. While ACs, generally, do not have this feature in them.


Both of these modern inventions have a lot of use in our daily lives, and people can not think to live without them in this generation. They have become an everyday part of our normal lives. In the year 2000, Air conditioning/Refrigeration was named in the “10 greatest mechanical engineering achievements” of the 20th century.

In a nutshell, the use of the machines are based on the same principle, but they use different machines and parts. AC is used to keep cool the temperature in the air for the comfort of people, and Refrigerator is used to keep cool the temperature of solids and liquids used for various reasons.


  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?id=gniJE5lK0YAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Refrigerator+and+ac&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjs3uT4_K3wAhX13zgGHWpUA-QQ6AEwAXoECAIQAw
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?id=KX9XDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Refrigerator+and+ac&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj5qI6c_q3wAhWwumMGHbm4Cn44ChDoATAAegQIBRAD#v=onepage&q&f=false
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