Ground Loops in Maryville, TN, Geothermal Applications

It’s time for you to get 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 more about how geothermal 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 an underground pipe system. There are various basic sorts of ground loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

The way it works is, antifreeze fluid goes through plastic pipes to move heat fast and efficiently to a heat pump in your home.

Typically used are four different kinds of geothermal 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 your house is dependent on your building and the property on which it sits. Household systems typically use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each type of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are used commonly in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t take up a significant amount of space. They’re installed by drilling tight-diameter holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected under ground to form the vertical loop. Next, extra pipes are attached that carry fluid to the indoor system to transfer the needed temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up a lot more space but generally doesn’t cost as much since it just uses 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground over an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

If you’re thinking of getting a pond loop system, you plainly must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and fastened to the bottom of the water source. Water is then conveyed through more pipes underground to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is returned 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 to be replaced often.

The major difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for a plentiful 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.

Used water is disposed of in one of two ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it must be noted 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 vital to know whether a well or pond has enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t deplete a neighbor’s well source. See that you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water available to justify installing an open loop geothermal heating system.