Ground Loops in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Geothermal Applications

You’ve finally gotten, or are considering getting, a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re partial to the idea of a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you undoubtedly want to know a bit 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 basically just a system of pipes buried in the ground. A few basic sorts of ground loop systems are used for heating and cooling conventional residential and commercial]26] buildings.

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

Typically used are four different sorts of ground loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. All four are split into two distinct categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The right system for you is contingent on the structure and the property on which it sits. Household systems typically use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each kind of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are used typically in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t take up much 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 below the ground to form the vertical loop. Next, additional 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 actually doesn’t cost as much since it just uses 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the earth in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to install a pond loop system, you plainly must be near 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 Water is then conveyed through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is returned to the pond. That said, in order for this system to work, the water can not be acidic or else pipes will decay 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, such as a well or pond. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit for use in heating and cooling your house or other structure.

Typically, 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 must be pointed out that there is no pollution generated. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a negligible 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 drain a neighbor’s well source. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water on hand to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.