Ground Loops in Oswego, New York, Geothermal Applications

You need a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re partial to the idea of a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the case, you undoubtedly want to know a little bit more about how one works.

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

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

The way it works is, antifreeze fluid flows through these plastic pipes to get heat quickly and efficiently down to a heat pump in the house.

Typically used are four different sorts of 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 contingent on the building and the environment surrounding it. Residential systems typically use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are additional details on each sort of ground loop.

Closed systems, which consist of vertical, horizontal, and pond loops, continuously circulate water through them.

Vertical ground loops are used most often in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t take up a significant amount of space. They’re positioned by drilling small holes in the ground that go 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are placed into the holes and connected under 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.

In comparison with a vertical loop system, a horizontal system needs much more space but is typically not as pricey because it uses only 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

If you’re partial to a pond loop system, it should be evident that you must be near a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and affixed to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transported through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is drawn out and cool water is reintroduced to the pond. Still, in order for this system to work, the water must not be acidic or else pipes will decay and filters will need replacing often.

The big difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for an ample source of groundwater, like a well or pond. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit for use in heating and cooling your dwelling 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’s worth noting that there’s no pollution. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a modest change in temperature.

Before installing 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. Make certain you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water at hand to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.