Ground Loops in Bloomington, Indiana, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just bought or are mulling over purchasing a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re weighing the advantages of a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the circumstances, you very likely want to know a bit more about how such a system 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 essentially just a system of pipes buried in the ground. There are several 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 plastic pipes to get heat quickly and efficiently up to a heat pump in your house.

There exist four different types of ground loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. These are divvied up into two categories categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The right system for you is determined by the structure and its surroundings. Residential systems typically use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each kind of ground loop.

Closed systems, which encompass vertical, horizontal, and pond loops, continuously push water through them.

Vertical ground loops are used typically in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t have to have much of space. They’re set in place by drilling tight-diameter holes in the ground to a depth of 100-400 feet. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected below the ground to form the vertical loop. Next, extra pipes are attached that convey fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

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

If you want a pond loop system, you plainly must be near 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 Water is then moved through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is reintroduced to the pond. Still, in order for this system to work, the water can in no way be be acidic or else pipes will erode and filters will need replacing often.

The big 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 house or other structure.

Used water is taken care of in one of two ways: 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 minor change in temperature.

Prior to installing an open loop system, it is vital to know whether a well or pond holds enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t deplete a neighbor’s well source. Make sure you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.