Ground Loops in Michigan, Michigan, Geothermal Applications

You’ve finally gotten, or are considering getting, a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re weighing the advantages of a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the circumstances, you very likely want to know a bit more about how such a system works.

Geothermal HVACs variously cool and heat your home by extracting ground temperature. This works because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are essentially just an underground pipe system. Various basic sorts of these systems are used for heating and cooling conventional residential and commercial]26] buildings.

It works when antifreeze fluid flows through plastic pipes to transfer heat effectively and efficiently down to a heat pump in your home.

There exist four different kinds of geothermal ground 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 right system for your home is dependent on your structure and its surroundings. Residential systems usually use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each kind of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are the most common type used residentially because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t need much of space. They’re set in place 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, extra pipes are attached that convey fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up a lot more space but actually is less pricey since it uses only 2 straight pipes placed 6 inches down in the ground over an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to have a pond loop system, it should be evident that you must be near a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and attached to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transported through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is reintroduced 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 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 an adequate source of groundwater, a well or a pond, for example. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit to be used in heating and cooling your home or other structure.

There are two ways to dispose of used water: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it must be said that pollution is not a by-product. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a modest 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 drain a neighbor’s well source. Make certain you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to support installing an open loop geothermal heating system.