Ground Loops in Greater Cincinnati, Ohio, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just gotten or are mulling over getting a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re weighing the advantages of a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you very likely want to know a 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 pretty much just a series of pipes buried in the earth. There are several basic types of ground loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling common residential and commercial]26] buildings.

Antifreeze fluid flows through these plastic pipes to get heat effectively and efficiently down to a heat pump in the building.

There exist four different kinds of ground loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. These fall into one of two different categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The appropriate system for your home is contingent on your structure and the environment surrounding it. Household systems primarily use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each kind of ground loop.

Closed systems, which encompass 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 positioned by drilling small-diameter holes in the ground that go 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are inserted into the holes and connected below ground to form the vertical loop. Next, extra pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system requires a lot more space but is typically not as costly because it uses only 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to have 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
secured to the bottom of the water source. Water is then moved through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is pulled out 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 erode and filters will need to be replaced often.

The essential difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for a plentiful source of groundwater, a well or a pond, for instance. 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 take care of used water: 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 minute change in temperature.

Before installing an open loop system, it is vital to know whether a well or pond contains enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t exhaust a neighbor’s well source. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.