Ground Loops in Annapolis, MD, Geothermal Applications

You’ve finally gotten, or are contemplating 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 one works.

Geothermal HVACs variously cool and heat your home by extracting ground temperature. This can be done because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are basically just a series of pipes buried in the earth. There are various basic kinds of these systems that can be used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

The way it works is, antifreeze fluid travels through the pipes to transfer heat fast and efficiently up to a heat pump in your home.

There exist four different types of 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 house is determined by the specific structure and its surroundings. Residential systems primarily use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each type of ground loop.

Closed systems, which include 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 lot of space. They’re installed by drilling small holes in the ground to a depth of 100-400 feet. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected under ground to form the vertical loop. Next, extra 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 a lot more space but is actually not as pricey since it uses only 2 straight pipes placed 6 inches down in the ground over an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to install a pond loop system, you obviously must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and affixed to the bottom of the water source. Water is then conveyed through more pipes underground 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 never be be acidic or else pipes will decay and filters will need to be replaced often.

The primary 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 instance. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit to be used in heating and cooling your dwelling or other structure.

Used water is taken care of in one of two ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it must be noted 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.

Before you install an open loop system, it is essential to know whether a well or pond contains enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t use up a neighbor’s well source. See that you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water available to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.