Ground Loops in Kansas City, Missouri, Geothermal Applications

You’ve finally gotten, or are thinking about getting, a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re weighing the advantages of a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you undoubtedly want to know a bit more about how geothermal 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 basically just a series of pipes buried in the earth. There are various basic kinds of geothermal loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling ordinary residential and commercial]26] buildings.

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

There are four different kinds 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 home is dependent on your building and its surroundings. Residential systems typically use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each kind of ground loop.

Closed systems, which include 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 have to have much of space. They’re set in place by drilling tight-diameter holes in the ground that go 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are placed into the holes and connected below the ground to form the vertical loop. Next, additional 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 takes up much more space but usually costs less since it uses 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground within an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to make use of 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 affixed to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transported through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is put back into the pond. That said, in order for this system to work, the water must not 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 adequate 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 home 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’s worth mentioning that there’s no pollution. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a negligible change in temperature.

Prior to installing 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 drain a neighbor’s well source. Make sure you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to go ahead with installing an open loop geothermal heating system.