Ground Loops in Reading, Pennsylvania, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just gotten or are mulling over purchasing a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re partial to the idea of a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you very likely want to know a bit more about how one works.

Geothermal HVACs take consistent temperature from the ground to put hot or cool air into your home. This works because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are basically just a system of pipes buried in the ground. There are various basic types of geothermal loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

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

There are four different sorts 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 house is determined by your building and the environment surrounding it. Household systems usually use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each sort of ground loop.

Closed systems, which encompass vertical, horizontal, and pond loops, continuously move water through them.

Vertical ground loops are the most common type used residentially because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t require a significant amount of space. They’re positioned by drilling small-diameter holes in the ground to a depth of 100-400 feet. 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 needed temperature from the ground.

When compared to a vertical loop system a horizontal system requires much more space but is generally not as pricey because it uses only 2 straight pipes inserted 6 inches down in the ground over an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to make use of 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 Water is then conveyed through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is put back into the pond. Nevertheless, in order for this system to work, the water must not be acidic or else pipes will erode and filters will have to be replaced often.

The primary difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for a sufficient 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 dwelling or other structure.

Generally speaking, used water is disposed off in either of the following ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it is important to note that there is no pollution generated. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a slight change in temperature.

Before installing an open loop system, it is critical to know whether a well or pond holds enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t use up 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.