Ground Loops in Atlanta, Georgia, Geothermal Applications

You’ve got to have 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 little more about how geothermal 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,in essence, just a series of pipes buried in the earth. There are various basic kinds of ground loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

It works when antifreeze fluid flows through the pipes to move heat fast and efficiently up to a heat pump in your house.

There exist four different types of 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 contingent on your structure and the environment surrounding it. Residential systems primarily use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are additional details on 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 need much of space. They’re positioned by drilling small 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, more pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired 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 inserted 6 inches down in the ground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to make use of a pond loop system, you obviously 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 Water is then moved through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is returned to the pond. Still, in order for this system to work, the water must not be acidic or else pipes will erode and filters will need replacing often.

The key 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 dispose of used water: 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 modest change in temperature.

Prior to installing an open loop system, it is vital to know whether a well or pond contains enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t drain a neighbor’s well source. Make certain you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water on hand to justify installing an open loop geothermal heating system.