Ground Loops in Columbus, Ohio, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just gotten or are mulling over buying a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you very likely 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 an underground pipe system. Various basic kinds of geothermal loop systems are used for heating and cooling common residential and commercial]26] buildings.

Antifreeze fluid goes through these plastic pipes to move heat quickly and efficiently up to a heat pump in your home.

Typically used are four different types of 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 appropriate system for you is contingent on your building and the property on which it sits. Residential systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each type of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are used typically in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t take up a significant amount of space. They’re installed by drilling small holes in the ground that go 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are placed into the holes and connected under ground to form the vertical loop. Next, more pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal loop system requires significantly more space but typically doesn’t cost as much considering it just uses 2 straight pipes inserted 6 inches underground within an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to make use of a pond loop system, you obviously must be in close proximity to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and fastened to the bottom of the water source. Water is then moved through more pipes underground to a pump, where the heat is extracted 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 erode and filters will need replacing often.

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

Before installing 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 in the vicinity to support installing an open loop geothermal heating system.