Ground Loops in Medina, Ohio, 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. Whatever the circumstances, you probably want to know a little more about how one works.

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

Ground loops are pretty much just a series of pipes buried in the earth. There are various basic kinds of geothermal loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

Antifreeze fluid travels through the pipes to transfer heat fast and efficiently to a heat pump in the building.

There are four different sorts of geothermal ground loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. All four are split into two distinct categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The right system for your home is contingent on the specific building and its surroundings. Home systems typically use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each kind of ground loop.

Closed systems, which consist of 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 set in place by drilling tight-diameter holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are placed into the holes and connected below ground to form the vertical loop. Next, more pipes are attached that carry fluid to the indoor system to transfer the necessary temperature from the ground.

In comparison with a vertical loop system, a horizontal system needs much more space but typically is less pricey considering it uses only 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground in 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 anchored to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transferred through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is pulled out and cool water is reintroduced to the pond. That said, in order for this system to work, the water can not be acidic or else pipes will corrode and filters will need replacing often.

The key difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for an adequate source of groundwater, such as a well or pond. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit for use in heating and cooling your home 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 noting that there’s no pollution. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a slight change in temperature.

Before you install an open loop system, it is essential to know whether a well or pond has 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 in the vicinity to justify installing an open loop geothermal heating system.