Ground Loops in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Geothermal Applications

You’ve finally gotten, or are thinking about getting, a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re weighing the advantages of a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you probably want to know a little bit more about how geothermal 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 essentially just an underground pipe system. There are a few basic kinds of these systems that can be used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

It works when antifreeze fluid travels through these plastic pipes to transfer heat effectively and efficiently to a heat pump in the building.

There are four different sorts of 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 determined by the building and its environment. Home systems usually 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 push 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 below the ground to form the vertical loop. Next, extra pipes are attached that carry fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up significantly more space but is typically not as costly since it just uses 2 straight pipes inserted 6 inches underground within an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to make use of a pond loop system, you obviously must be near a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and
secured to the bottom of the water source. Water is then conveyed through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is returned to the pond.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 replacing often.

The key difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for an ample 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 dwelling 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 mentioning 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 deplete a neighbor’s well source. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water at hand to go ahead with installing an open loop geothermal heating system.