Ground Loops in Tennessee Valley, Alabama, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just 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 very likely want to know a little more about how geothermal works.

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

Ground loops are essentially just a system of pipes buried in the ground. A few basic sorts of geothermal loop systems are used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

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

There are four different types of 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 best system for your home is dependent on the building and the environment surrounding it. Household systems primarily use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each kind of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are the most common type used residentially because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t need a significant amount of space. They’re positioned by drilling small holes in the ground that go 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected below ground to form the vertical loop. Next, extra pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up a lot more space but is generally less expensive considering it uses only 2 straight pipes set 6 inches down in the ground within an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

If you’re partial to a pond loop system, you plainly must be near a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and
secured to the bottom of the water source. Water is then moved through more pipes underground to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is reintroduced to the pond. That said, 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 prime difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for an ample source of groundwater, a well or a pond, for example. 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’s worth mentioning 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 you install 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. See that you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water available to support installing an open loop geothermal heating system.