Ground Loops in Elizabethtown, KY, Geothermal Applications

You’ve got to have a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re partial to the idea of a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you probably want to know a little more about how such a system works.

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

Ground loops are,in essence, just a series of pipes buried in the earth. There are a few basic kinds of geothermal loop 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 quickly and efficiently up to a heat pump in your home.

Typically used are four different sorts of ground loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. All four fall into one of two categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The appropriate system for your home is determined by the specific structure and its environment. Home systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each type of ground loop.

Closed systems, which consist of 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 much of space. They’re positioned by drilling small-diameter holes in the ground to a depth of 100-400 feet. Then pipes are inserted 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 necessary temperature from the ground.

When compared to a vertical loop system a horizontal system requires significantly more space but generally is less pricey considering it uses only 2 straight pipes placed 6 inches in the ground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

If what you want is a pond loop system, you plainly must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and
secured to the bottom of the water source. Water is then conveyed through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is drawn out and cool water is reintroduced to the pond. That said, in order for this system to work, the water must not be acidic or else pipes will corrode and filters will have to be replaced often.

The essential 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.

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 pollution is not a by-product. 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. 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.