Ground Loops in Dallas, Texas, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just gotten or are mulling over purchasing a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re weighing the advantages of a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the circumstances, you very likely want to know a bit more about how geothermal works.

Geothermal HVACs take consistent temperature from the ground to deliver hot or cool air to your home’s interior. This works because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are basically just an underground pipe system. There are a few basic kinds of ground loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling conventional residential and commercial]26] buildings.

It works when antifreeze fluid travels through the pipes to transfer heat quickly and efficiently to a heat pump in the building.

There exist four different kinds of geothermal ground 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 best system for your house is contingent on the structure and the property on which it sits. Residential systems usually use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each sort of ground loop.

Closed systems, which consist of 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 installed by drilling small-diameter holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are placed into the holes and connected under ground to form the vertical loop. Next, more pipes are attached that convey fluid to the indoor system to transfer the needed temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up a lot more space but generally costs less considering it uses 2 straight pipes placed 6 inches down in the ground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to have a pond loop system, it should be evident that you 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 underground to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is put back into the pond. However, in order for this system to work, the water can in no way 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 an ample 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 disposed of in one of two ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it’s worth noting that there’s no pollution. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a minute change in temperature.

Before you install an open loop system, it is vital to know whether a well or pond holds enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t exhaust a neighbor’s well source. Be sure to 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.