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Ground Loops in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just bought or are looking into getting a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, 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 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. There are various basic kinds of geothermal loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling most residential and commercial buildings.

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

There are four different kinds of 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 appropriate system for your home is determined by your building and the environment surrounding it. Household systems primarily use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each kind of ground loop.

Closed systems, which include vertical, horizontal, and pond loops, continuously circulate water through them.

Vertical ground loops are used typically in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t have to have a significant amount of space. They’re set in place by drilling small-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, additional pipes are attached that carry fluid to the indoor system to transfer the necessary temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system takes up much more space but is actually less costly since it just uses 2 straight pipes inserted 6 inches underground over 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
secured to the bottom of the water source. Water is then transported through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is returned to the pond. That said, 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, 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.

Most often, 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 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 minute 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 deplete a neighbor’s well source. Be sure to check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.