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Difference between Heat Pumps and Refrigerators

written by: Haresh Khemani • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 11/22/2008

All the components of the heat pumps are same as the refrigerator and even they perform the similar functions; the only difference is that in the heat pumps the components work in a reverse manner. The heat pump is the reverse refrigerator.

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    All the components of the heat pumps are same as the refrigerator and even they perform the similar functions; the only difference is that in the heat pumps the components work in a reverse manner. The heat pump is the reverse refrigerator.

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    Difference between Refrigerator and Heat pumps

    1) Transfer of heat: Both the refrigerator and the heat pumps carry the heat from low temperature reservoir or the sink to the high temperature reservoir or source. The main purpose of the refrigerator is to chill or cool or freeze the substance, by maintaining very low temperature in the freezer. It absorbs the heat from the freezer or evaporator and throws it to the atmosphere which is at high temperature.

    The main purpose of the heat pump is to heat the room during winter seasons or when the atmospheric temperature is very low. It absorbs the heat from the atmosphere which is at low temperature and throws it to the room which is at high temperature and which is to be heated.

    2) Location of the evaporator: In the refrigerator the evaporator is located in the freezer section. The evaporator absorbs the heat from the substance, which is to be cooled. In the heat pump the evaporator is located outside the room which is to be heated. The evaporator absorbs the heat, which is later thrown inside the room for heating it.

    3) Location of the condenser: In the refrigerator the condenser is located outside the refrigerator and it is exposed to the atmosphere. It is through the condenser that the heat is thrown to the atmosphere. In the heat pump the condenser is located inside the room and it acts as the heating devise.

    4) Working of evaporator and condenser: In the refrigerator the evaporator performs the main function of chilling or freezing, while the condenser performs the function of delivering the heat to the atmosphere. In the heat pump, it is the condenser that performs the main function of heating the room, while the evaporator performs the function of absorbing the heat from the atmosphere.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are the devices that are used for heating the room. The heat pump consumes less power than the electric room heater, however their initial cost is high. This series of article describes the various parts of heat pump, its working and comparison to refrigerator and air conditioner.
  1. What is Heat Pump?
  2. Difference between Heat Pumps and Refrigerators
  3. Various Components of the Heat Pump - Part 1
  4. Various Components of the Heat Pump - Part 2
  5. Various Components of the Heat Pump - Part 3
  6. Various Components of the Heat Pump: Part 4
  7. Coefficient of Performance of the Heat Pumps
  8. Difference between the Heat Pump and the Air-Conditioner

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