Ground Loops in Kalkaska, Michigan, Geothermal Applications

You’ve finally gotten, or are thinking about getting, a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the case, you very likely want to know a little more about how geothermal 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 an underground pipe system. Various basic sorts of geothermal loop systems are used for heating and cooling commercial or residential buildings.

The way it works is, antifreeze fluid goes through plastic pipes to transfer heat quickly and efficiently up to a heat pump in the building.

There exist four different sorts of loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. These are divvied up into two categories categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The right system for your house is dependent on the structure and its environment. Household systems mostly 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 circulate water through them.

Vertical ground loops are used commonly in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t take up much of space. They’re positioned by drilling small holes in the ground that extend 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 convey fluid to the indoor system to transfer the needed temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up significantly more space but is actually not as expensive because it uses only 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground over an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

If you’re thinking of getting a pond loop system, it should go without saying that you must be in close proximity to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and attached to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transferred through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is reintroduced to the pond. Still, in order for this system to work, the water can not be acidic or else pipes will decay and filters will need 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.

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 is crucial to note 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 installing 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. Make certain you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to support installing an open loop geothermal heating system.