Ground Loops in Rochester, NY, 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. If so, you probably 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,in essence, just a system of pipes buried in the ground. There are a few basic kinds of these systems that can be used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

It works when antifreeze fluid travels through the pipes to get heat quickly and efficiently to a heat pump in your house.

Typically used are four different types of 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 home is determined by your building and the property on which it sits. Household systems primarily use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each sort of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are used most often in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t take up a significant amount of space. They’re positioned 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 convey fluid to the indoor system to transfer the needed temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up a lot more space but is generally not as costly considering it 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 anchored to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transported through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is drawn out and cool water is put back into the pond. Nevertheless, in order for this system to work, the water can never be be acidic or else pipes will erode and filters will have to be replaced often.

The primary 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 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’s worth noting that there’s no pollution. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is an insignificant change in temperature.

Before you install 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 use up a neighbor’s well source. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water available to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.