Ground Loops in Abilene, Texas, Geothermal Applications

You’ve finally gotten, or are contemplating getting, a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the situation, you very likely want to know a little 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 is possible because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are basically just an underground pipe system. There are various basic kinds of these systems that can be used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

Antifreeze fluid flows through the pipes to move heat fast and efficiently down to a heat pump in your house.

There are four different types of geothermal ground 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 appropriate system for your house is determined by the structure and the property on which it sits. Home systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each kind of ground loop.

Closed systems, which include 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 require a lot of space. They’re installed by drilling tight-diameter holes in the ground to a depth of 100-400 feet. Then pipes are inserted into the holes and connected under ground to form the vertical loop. Next, additional pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the needed temperature from the ground.

In contrast to a vertical loop system, a horizontal system needs much more space but generally doesn’t cost as much since it uses 2 straight pipes inserted 6 inches underground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to install a pond loop system, it should be evident 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 transferred 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 erode and filters will have to be replaced often.

The major difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for an adequate 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 house or other structure.

Used water is disposed of in one of two ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it must be said that pollution is not a by-product. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a minor change in temperature.

Prior to installing 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 deplete a neighbor’s well source. Make certain you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water on hand to go ahead with installing an open loop geothermal heating system.