Ground Loops in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Geothermal Applications

You’ve finally gotten, or are thinking about getting, a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re weighing the advantages of a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you undoubtedly want to know a little bit more about how such a system works.

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

Ground loops are pretty much just a system of pipes buried in the ground. There are a few basic types of these systems that can be used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

The way it works is, antifreeze fluid travels through the pipes to transfer heat fast and efficiently to a heat pump in your house.

There are four different sorts of ground loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. These fall into one of two different categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The appropriate system for your house is contingent on the specific structure and the environment surrounding it. Home systems primarily use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each type of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are the most common type used residentially because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t need much of space. They’re installed by drilling tight-diameter holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are placed into the holes and connected below the ground to form the vertical loop. Next, more pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the needed temperature from the ground.

In contrast to a vertical loop system, a horizontal system needs much more space but usually costs less because it uses 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground within an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to make use of a pond loop system, you obviously must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and attached to the bottom of the water source. Water is then moved through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is drawn out and cool water is put back into the pond. However, in order for this system to work, the water must not be acidic or else pipes will decay and filters will need replacing often.

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

Typically, used water is disposed off in either of the following ways: 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 negligible change in temperature.

Prior to installing an open loop system, it is essential to know whether a well or pond contains enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t deplete a neighbor’s well source. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water available to go ahead with installing an open loop geothermal heating system.