There are several options when considering residential geothermal HVAC systems. The deciding factor in what works best for you will be determined by how much property you have and how it is laid out. Closed loop systems can be the best options in many situations. It isn’t that complicated but I would advise consulting with an experienced geothermal expert before making any final decisions.
A closed loop system consists of an underground or underwater piping system that circulates an environmentally friendly antifreeze-like solution. That piping system is self-contained so it is never exposed to the ecosystem. As the solution circulates through the tubing from the home it captures heat from the ground or water. That heat is transferred from the solution utilizing a heat exchanger and/or a heat pump which will be used to heat and cool the home. That heat can also be used to create hot water for the home. Once installed it is a cheap, clean, and renewable energy source.
There are three basic designs for residential applications: horizontal, vertical, and pond loop. The size of your property and if you have a pond will dictate which works best for you.
If you have plenty of acreage on your property then a horizontal system may be best for you. The amount of labor and equipment necessary can be considerable and will most certainly inflate the cost. Depending on the size of your home and space available pipes are buried in trenches 6′ to 8′ feet deep and range in lengths from 100′ to 400′.
Vertical loops are ideal when available space is limited. Because of the versatility vertical loops are the most often used. Be aware of how rocky your soil is. Contacting a local geologist could save you a lot of trouble. Well drilling equipment is used to bore small holes straight down from 100′ to 400′ deep.
A pond loop is by far the most economical. The cost is significantly lower due to the lack of excavation that needs to be done. Coils of pipe are placed at the bottom of a pond or lake to capture heat to be transferred back to the home.
These systems transfer heat to and from the structure regardless of the temperature outside to provide year round comfort to your home. Closed loop geothermal HVAC systems are the most versatile and can be applied in almost any situation no matter what the size of your property. Geothermal is renewable and clean. It will, over time, pay for itself.