Ground Loops in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just purchased or are thinking about buying a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the situation, you probably want to know a little bit more about how geothermal works.

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

Ground loops are,in essence, just a series of pipes buried in the earth. There are a few basic sorts of these systems that can be used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

Antifreeze fluid goes through the pipes to get heat fast and efficiently up to a heat pump in your home.

Typically used are four different types of 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 your house is determined by your structure and its environment. Home systems mostly 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 circulate water through them.

Vertical ground loops are the most common type used residentially because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t need much of space. They’re positioned by drilling small holes in the ground that go 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are placed into the holes and connected under ground to form the vertical loop. Next, additional pipes are attached that carry fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

When compared to a vertical loop system a horizontal system requires much more space but usually is less pricey considering it uses only 2 straight pipes placed 6 inches down in the ground within an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to make use of a pond loop system, you obviously must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and affixed to the bottom of the water source. Water is then conveyed through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is drawn out and cool water is returned to the pond. Still, in order for this system to work, the water can never be be acidic or else pipes will corrode and filters will need replacing often.

The key difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for a plentiful 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 disposed of in one of two ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it must be noted that pollution is not a by-product. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is an insignificant change in temperature.

Before you install an open loop system, it is essential to know whether a well or pond holds enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t drain a neighbor’s well source. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water at hand to support installing an open loop geothermal heating system.