Ground Loops in Omaha, Nebraska, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just purchased or are mulling over buying a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you very likely want to know a little bit more about how geothermal 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,in essence, just an underground pipe system. There are a few basic kinds of geothermal loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling typical residential and commercial]26] buildings.

It works when antifreeze fluid goes through the pipes to transfer heat fast and efficiently down to a heat pump in your home.

There are four different kinds of geothermal ground loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. All four are split into two distinct categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The right system for your house is determined by the structure and the environment surrounding it. Residential systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each type of ground loop.

Closed systems, which consist of vertical, horizontal, and pond loops, continuously push water through them.

Vertical ground loops are used typically in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t have to have a lot of space. They’re installed by drilling tight-diameter holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected below ground to form the vertical loop. Next, extra pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up much more space but is usually less costly considering it uses 2 straight pipes inserted 6 inches underground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to make use of a pond loop system, you obviously 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 conveyed through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is reintroduced to the pond. That said, in order for this system to work, the water can never be be acidic or else pipes will erode 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 example. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit to be used in heating and cooling your house or other structure.

Normally, used water is disposed off in either of the following ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it is crucial to note that there is no pollution generated. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a slight change in temperature.

Before installing an open loop system, it is vital to know whether a well or pond contains enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t use up a neighbor’s well source. Make certain you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water on hand to justify installing an open loop geothermal heating system.