Ground Loops in West Branch, Michigan, Geothermal Applications

You need a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re partial to the idea of a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the situation, you undoubtedly want to know a little bit more about how geothermal works.

Geothermal HVACs take consistent temperature from the ground to deliver hot or cool air to your home’s interior. This can be done 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 ground loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

Antifreeze fluid flows through the pipes to get heat quickly and efficiently to a heat pump in the building.

Typically used are four different types 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 best system for you is determined by your structure and its surroundings. Household systems typically use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each type of ground loop.

Closed systems, which encompass vertical, horizontal, and pond loops, continuously push 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 small holes in the ground that go 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected under ground to form the vertical loop. Next, more pipes are attached that carry fluid to the indoor system to transfer the needed temperature from the ground.

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

In order to install a pond loop system, it should go without saying that you must be in close proximity to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and anchored to the bottom of the water source. Water is then moved through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is pulled out and cool water is put back into the pond. Nevertheless, in order for this system to work, the water must not be acidic or else pipes will corrode and filters will need replacing often.

The big difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for an ample 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.

Generally speaking, used water is taken care off in either of these ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it must be said that pollution is not a by-product. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a minor 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. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to go ahead with installing an open loop geothermal heating system.