Ground Loops in Traverse City, Michigan, 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 very likely want to know a little more about how one works.

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

Ground loops are pretty much just a series of pipes buried in the earth. A few basic sorts of geothermal loop systems are used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

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

There are four different sorts of geothermal ground 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 right system for you is dependent on your structure and its environment. Household systems primarily use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each sort of ground loop.

Closed systems, which include vertical, horizontal, and pond loops, continuously circulate 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 positioned by drilling small-diameter holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are placed into the holes and connected below ground to form the vertical loop. Next, more 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 requires a lot more space but actually is less pricey since it just uses 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground over an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

If you want a pond loop system, it should be evident that you must be in close proximity 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 drawn out and cool water is put back into the pond. Nevertheless, in order for this system to work, the water must not be acidic or else pipes will decay and filters will have to be replaced often.

The primary difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for a plentiful source of groundwater, such as a well or pond. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit for use in heating and cooling your home or other structure.

Generally speaking, used water is taken care off in either of these 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 you install an open loop system, it is critical 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. See that you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water available to go ahead with installing an open loop geothermal heating system.