Ground Loops in Lexington, Kentucky, 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. Whatever the circumstances, 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 system of pipes buried in the ground. Various basic kinds of ground loop systems are used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

Antifreeze fluid goes through the pipes to get heat effectively and efficiently to a heat pump in your house.

Typically used are 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 best system for your house is contingent on the structure and its environment. Home systems usually use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each type of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are used commonly in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t take up a significant amount of space. They’re installed by drilling small holes in the ground to a depth of 100-400 feet. Then pipes are inserted into the holes and connected below the ground to form the vertical loop. Next, more pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the necessary temperature from the ground.

When compared to a vertical loop system a horizontal system requires significantly more space but is generally not as expensive because it just uses 2 straight pipes placed 6 inches underground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

If you’re thinking of getting a pond loop system, you plainly must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and fastened 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 Water is then moved through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is put back into the pond. However, 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 big 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 example. 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 pointed out that pollution is not a by-product. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a minute change in temperature.

Before you install an open loop system, it is critical to know whether a well or pond has enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t use up a neighbor’s well source. Make sure you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to support installing an open loop geothermal heating system.