Ground Loops in The Hudson Valley, New York, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just gotten or are mulling over buying a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you very likely want to know a little 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 pretty much just a series of pipes buried in the earth. A few basic kinds of ground loop systems are used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

Antifreeze fluid goes through these plastic pipes to move heat effectively and efficiently to a heat pump in the house.

There exist four different types of loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. These are divvied up into two categories categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The right system for your house is dependent on the structure and its surroundings. Household systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each kind of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are used most often in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t have to have 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 driven into the holes and connected below ground to form the vertical loop. Next, additional pipes are attached that convey fluid to the indoor system to transfer the necessary temperature from the ground.

In contrast to a vertical loop system, a horizontal system needs much more space but is actually not as pricey considering it uses 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the earth over an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to install a pond loop system, it should go without saying 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 conveyed through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is pulled out and cool water is returned to the pond. Still, in order for this system to work, the water can never be be acidic or else pipes will corrode and filters will need to be replaced often.

The essential 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 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’s worth noting that there’s no pollution. 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 essential to know whether a well or pond holds enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t exhaust a neighbor’s well source. Make certain you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water at hand to justify installing an open loop geothermal heating system.