Ground Loops in Pensacola, Florida, Geothermal Applications

It’s time for you to get a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re weighing the advantages of a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you probably want to know a little more about how one works.

Geothermal HVACs take consistent temperature from the ground to put hot or cool air into your home. This is possible because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are pretty much just a system of pipes buried in the ground. A few basic kinds of these systems are used for heating and cooling conventional residential and commercial]26] buildings.

It works when antifreeze fluid goes through the pipes to transfer heat fast and efficiently up to a heat pump in the building.

There exist four different kinds 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 you is dependent on the specific building and its surroundings. Household systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are additional details on each kind of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are the most common type used residentially because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t require a lot of space. They’re set in place by drilling tight-diameter holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected below the 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 loop system has to have significantly more space but is typically not as pricey because it just uses 2 straight pipes inserted 6 inches down in the ground within an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to have a pond loop system, it should be evident that you must be near a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and fastened to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transferred through more pipes underground to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is returned to the pond. Nevertheless, in order for this system to work, the water can in no way be be acidic or else pipes will decay and filters will have to be replaced often.

The major difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for an ample source of groundwater, such as a well or pond. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit to be used in heating and cooling your house 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 is important to note that there is no pollution generated. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is an insignificant change in temperature.

Before 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 deplete a neighbor’s well source. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water available to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.