Ground Loops in Central New Jersey, NJ, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just bought or are thinking about purchasing a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the case, you undoubtedly want to know a little more about how one 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 essentially just a series of pipes buried in the earth. Various basic kinds of these systems are used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

Antifreeze fluid flows through the pipes to move heat quickly and efficiently up to a heat pump in the building.

There are four different kinds of geothermal ground 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 determined by the specific building and the property on which it sits. Household systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of 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 take up a significant amount 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 necessary temperature from the ground.

When compared to a vertical loop system a horizontal system requires much more space but typically doesn’t cost as much because it uses only 2 straight pipes inserted 6 inches down in the ground within an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

If you want a pond loop system, you plainly must be near a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and anchored to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transported through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is put back into the pond. However, in order for this system to work, the water can never be be acidic or else pipes will decay and filters will need to be replaced often.

The essential difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for a sufficient 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.

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 must be said that pollution is not a by-product. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a negligible 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 exhaust a neighbor’s well source. Make sure you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water available to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.