Tag Archives: closed loop

geothermal heat pump installation

Geothermal Heat Pump Installation for Fun & Profit!


Geothermal heat pump installation is the biggest HVAC project any homeowner can undertake. Not only are they just as complicated as regular heating and air units, but the earthwork adds, no pun intended, a whole new layer of potential problems.


Should you still install one? Is it going to be worth it? What don’t you know?


Geothermal Heat Pump Installation – What You Should Know


The first thing you should know is that there are two main geothermal heat pump installations available.


Closed loop systems rely on a literal closed pipe and refrigerant loop to move heat. They are by far the most common kind of geothermal unit. By contrast, open loops ground water or another body of water as the heat exchange medium. They’re relatively uncommon, since most homeowners do not have high enough quality groundwater or their municipal government does not allow unfiltered water discharge.


Open Loop

Is an open loop legal for your home? That’s really the big question you need to ask. If the answer is yes, then you can start checking water quality. If the answer is no, then it doesn’t matter what your local water table is like.


Provided an open loop is not verboten in your area, you will need a reliable amount of ground water or a large body of surface water to run an open loop geothermal heat pump. You also need to check local water quality. This can vary across different parts of the country. Ground water with a lot of contaminants will ruin a heat pump very quickly.


Now, if you do have legal access to high quality water, an open loop unit is the way to go. They can be a lot cheaper to install than closed loop systems. More importantly, open loop heat pumps tend to operate at much higher efficiency.


Closed Loop

Open loop geothermal heat pump installation is great, but not an option for most homeowners. Chances are that you don’t have access to enough water, the water quality is too low, or your local government does not allow open discharge into ground water.


You’re not alone. The majority of geothermal heat pump installations in the United States are closed loop systems. Fortunately, a closed loop geothermal heat pump is still a great way to get high efficiency heating and cooling.


So, what do you need for a closed loop install?


You do have two basic options with a closed loop. You can go with a horizontal loop or a vertical loop. Both are pretty much what they sound like. A horizontal loop uses shallow, horizontal trenches over a relatively wide surface area. Vertical loops use deep, vertical trenches in a comparatively much more narrow surface area.


Which should you use?


It all comes down to the size of your yard. If you’ve got a lot of yard space, go with a horizontal installation. If you don’t, use a vertical loop.


Knowledge = Efficiency

And now you know what you don’t know.


geothermal heat pump closed loop

What is a Geothermal Heat Pump Closed Loop?


Geothermal heat pumps are great HVAC systems, but they’re still very new to a lot of people. For example, if I said, “You need a geothermal heat pump closed loop for your home,” do you know what that means?


No? Don’t worry. We’re here to help.


Geothermal Heat Pump Closed Loop Installations


When it comes right down to it, you have two main choices for installing a ground-source heat pump in your home or business. You can either opt for a geothermal heat pump closed loop or an open loop system.


Don’t worry about open loop. I’m sure we’ll cover that in a future blog. For now, let’s talk about closed loops.


What is a Geothermal Heat Pump Closed Loop?


Geothermal heat pumps require a buried heat exchange network to do what they do. They dump heat from this network in summer, and absorb heat into it to keep your house warm in winter.


When we talk about a geothermal heat pump with a closed loop network, we’re talking, literally, about a closed pipe network buried underground. Think of the closed loop like an extra large condenser coil with about six feet of dirt piled on top.


This closed loop has some advantages. For one, many municipal governments require that geothermal heat pumps be installed in a closed network. That means you can’t just discharge water into the subsoil. A closed work let’s you get around that.


Why else?


Well, local water quality can be a consideration when it comes to geothermal heat pump installation. If your local water isn’t up to snuff, you would want to use a closed pipe network to protect the pump against corrosion and damage.


Simple, Right?


If you’re thinking, “Wow, that was really simple,” you aren’t wrong. Closed loops are pretty straightforward, and most geothermal heat pump owners rely on a closed loop installation.


Now you know what a geothermal heat pump closed loop is, and, remember kids, knowing is half the battle!