Ground Loops in Northern Colorado, Colorado, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just bought or are looking into getting a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the circumstances, you very likely want to know a little bit more about how such a system works.

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

Ground loops are pretty much just an underground pipe system. There are several 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 effectively and efficiently up 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. All four fall into one of two categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The best system for your home is contingent on the specific structure and the environment surrounding it. Home systems usually use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each sort of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are used typically in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t take up much of space. They’re installed 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, more pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up significantly more space but actually is less pricey since it uses 2 straight pipes placed 6 inches down in the ground within an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to have a pond loop system, you obviously must be near a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and attached to the bottom of the water source. Water is then moved through more pipes underground to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is returned to the pond. That said, in order for this system to work, the water can in no way be be acidic or else pipes will corrode and filters will need replacing often.

The prime 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 house 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 minor change in temperature.

Before you install 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 drain a neighbor’s well source. See that you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water on hand to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.