Geothermal heat pump systems are becoming more and more popular with homeowners in the Cincinnati area. Here at RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning, we get a lot of questions about the installation process and the differences among the different types of geothermal systems.
One of the more common questions we get is about open loop geothermal systems and how they are different from closed loop systems. First, we’ll explain how the geothermal system works and then compare the different styles.
Like air source heat pumps, geothermal heating and cooling systems use a heat pump to provide the warm or cool air to your home; however, ground source heat pumps utilize the ground temperatures, which are stable all year long. This constant temperature makes for an efficient heat pump system because it uses very little energy to distribute the air.
The ground temps are absorbed through a series of pipes that contain a mix of water and refrigerant, and these are called loop fields. You can have the loop fields installed either vertically or horizontally depending on how much room you have on your property. There are also closed loop and open loop systems.
While an open loop system is less common, they can be effective if there’s a water source near your home, such as a pond, lake, or well. The pipes are open so that it can directly pump the water into your home to be used for heating and cooling; however, there are special considerations for how to dispose the water, and this is partially why they are installed less often than closed loop systems.