Ground Loops in Burlington, North Carolina, Geothermal Applications

You’ve finally gotten, or are thinking about getting, 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 bit more about how geothermal works.

Geothermal HVACs take consistent temperature from the ground to put hot or cool air into your home. This can be done because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are pretty much just a system of pipes buried in the ground. Various basic sorts of geothermal loop systems are used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

The way it works is, antifreeze fluid flows through the pipes to transfer heat fast and efficiently down to a heat pump in the building.

There exist four different kinds of 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 structure and the environment surrounding it. Residential systems usually use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are additional details on each type of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are used most often in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t need a lot of space. They’re set in place by drilling small-diameter holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are inserted into the holes and connected under ground to form the vertical loop. Next, extra pipes are attached that convey fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal loop system has to have a lot more space but usually doesn’t cost as much since it uses 2 straight pipes set 6 inches underground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to install a pond loop system, you obviously 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 moved through more pipes underground 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 in no way be be acidic or else pipes will erode and filters will have to be replaced often.

The essential 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.

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’s worth noting that there is no pollution generated. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a minute 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. See that you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to support installing an open loop geothermal heating system.