Ground Loops in Columbus, Ohio, Geothermal Applications

It’s time for you to get a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re partial to the idea of a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the case, you undoubtedly want to know a little bit more about how such a system 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 essentially just a system of pipes buried in the ground. Several basic types of ground loop systems are used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

The way it works is, antifreeze fluid goes through the pipes to transfer heat quickly and efficiently up to a heat pump in your house.

Typically used are four different types 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 right system for your home is dependent on your building and the environment surrounding it. Residential systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each type 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 lot of space. They’re installed by drilling small holes in the ground that go 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected below ground to form the vertical loop. Next, additional pipes are attached that carry fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up much more space but is usually not as expensive considering it uses 2 straight pipes placed 6 inches down in the ground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to install a pond loop system, you obviously must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and fastened to the bottom of the water source. Water is then moved through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is put back into the pond. Nevertheless, in order for this system to work, the water can not be acidic or else pipes will corrode and filters will need replacing often.

The big difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for an ample 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.

Used water is taken care 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’s no pollution. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a minor 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 available to support installing an open loop geothermal heating system.