Ground Loops in Southern Ohio, Ohio, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just bought or are thinking about getting a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you very likely want to know a little more about how geothermal works.

Geothermal HVACs variously cool and heat your home by extracting ground temperature. This works because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are basically just an underground pipe system. A few basic sorts of these systems are used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

Antifreeze fluid goes through these plastic pipes to get heat effectively and efficiently to a heat pump in the building.

Typically used are four different sorts of ground 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 best system for your house is determined by your structure and the property on which it sits. Residential systems primarily 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 move water through them.

Vertical ground loops are used typically in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t take up a significant amount of space. They’re installed by drilling tight-diameter holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected under ground to form the vertical loop. Next, additional pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the needed temperature from the ground.

In comparison with a vertical loop system, a horizontal system requires a lot more space but actually costs less because it just uses 2 straight pipes inserted 6 inches down in the ground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

If you want a pond loop system, you plainly must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and affixed to the bottom of the water source. Water is then conveyed through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is put back into the pond. Nevertheless, in order for this system to work, the water can in no way be be acidic or else pipes will decay and filters will need replacing often.

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

There are two ways to dispose of used water: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it is important to note that there is no pollution generated. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a modest change in temperature.

Before installing an open loop system, it is vital 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.