Ground Loops in San Antonio, TX, Geothermal Applications

You’ve finally gotten, or are considering getting, a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re weighing the advantages of a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the circumstances, you probably want to know a little bit more about how such a system 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,in essence, just a system of pipes buried in the ground. Various basic kinds of geothermal loop systems are used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

The way it works is, antifreeze fluid travels through the pipes to move heat effectively and efficiently down to a heat pump in the house.

There exist four different sorts of 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 appropriate system for your home is determined by your structure and the property on which it sits. Residential systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of each kind of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are the most common type used residentially because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t need a lot of space. They’re set in place by drilling small holes in the ground to a depth of 100-400 feet. Then pipes are inserted into the holes and connected under ground to form the vertical loop. Next, extra pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the needed temperature from the ground.

When compared to a vertical loop system a horizontal system has to have significantly more space but generally costs less since it uses only 2 straight pipes inserted 6 inches underground within an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to have a pond loop system, you obviously must be near a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and
secured to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transported through more pipes belowground 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 never be be acidic or else pipes will decay and filters will need to be replaced often.

The major difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for a sufficient source of groundwater, like 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.

Generally speaking, used water is taken care off in either of these 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 minor change in temperature.

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