Ground Loops in Big Rapids, Michigan, Geothermal Applications

You need a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you undoubtedly want to know a little bit more about how such a system works.

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

Ground loops are basically just an underground pipe system. Various basic sorts of ground loop systems are used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

The way it works is, antifreeze fluid flows through these plastic pipes to get heat quickly and efficiently down to a heat pump in your home.

There exist four different types of geothermal 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 best system for your home is contingent on the specific structure and the environment surrounding it. Home systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each sort 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 much of space. They’re set in place by drilling small holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected below the ground to form the vertical loop. Next, more pipes are attached that carry 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 is usually not as expensive since it uses only 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

If you’re partial to a pond loop system, you obviously must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and
secured to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transferred through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is reintroduced to the pond. That said, in order for this system to work, the water can never be be acidic or else pipes will corrode and filters will have to be replaced often.

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

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 a minute change in temperature.

Before you install an open loop system, it is essential 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. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water at hand to justify installing an open loop geothermal heating system.