Ground Loops in Southwest Michigan, Michigan, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just gotten or are looking into getting a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the case, you undoubtedly want to know a little bit more about how one works.

Geothermal HVACs take consistent temperature from the ground to put hot or cool air into your home. This works because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are,in essence, just a system of pipes buried in the ground. There are several basic types of geothermal loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling ordinary residential and commercial]26] buildings.

It works when antifreeze fluid flows through the pipes to get heat effectively and efficiently down to a heat pump in the house.

There exist four different kinds of loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. All four fall into one of two categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The appropriate system for you is determined by the building and the environment surrounding it. Home systems usually use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each kind of ground loop.

Closed systems, which include vertical, horizontal, and pond loops, continuously circulate water through them.

Vertical ground loops are used most often in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t need a significant amount of space. They’re positioned by drilling small holes in the ground to a depth of 100-400 feet. Then pipes are placed into the holes and connected below ground to form the vertical loop. Next, more pipes are attached that convey fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

When compared to a vertical loop system a horizontal system requires much more space but usually is less pricey considering it just uses 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground over an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to have a pond loop system, you obviously must be near a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and affixed to the bottom of the water source. Water is then moved through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is returned to the pond. That said, in order for this system to work, the water must not be acidic or else pipes will corrode and filters will need to be replaced often.

The essential difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for a sufficient source of groundwater, a well or a pond, for example. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit for use in heating and cooling your house or other structure.

Used water is disposed of in one of two ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it must be pointed out that pollution is not a by-product. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a minute change in temperature.

Prior to installing an open loop system, it is critical to know whether a well or pond contains enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t drain a neighbor’s well source. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to support installing an open loop geothermal heating system.