What is a Closed Loop Geothermal System?

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Michigan homeowners looking to install a geothermal heat pump system will need to consider whether to install a closed loop or open loop system. The closed loop system is the most commonly installed and, depending on the circumstances, may be the best option for your home. A closed loop system is an efficient means of heating homes in Michigan during the colder months of the year. Learn about the features of a closed loop system and the factors to consider when choosing which type of system to install.

How the Closed Loop System Works

In a closed loop system, a series of pipes are installed underground. These pipes are filled with a liquid that rapidly transfers heat to and from the piping into the ground. The liquid is circulated into the HVAC system where the warmer liquid from underground is pumped up to the house and used to warm the home during wintertime. The liquid is then pumped back underground, circulating more fluid to warm the home. Because the energy expended in heating the home comes from the steady temperatures underground, the closed loop system is very energy efficient.

Two Types of Installation

With a closed loop system, the underground piping is either installed vertically or horizontally. The choice of which installation you choose is usually determined by whether enough space is available to lay the pipes horizontally. Vertical pipes are usually installed by a drilling contractor boring the holes in the ground for the piping. These pipes require adequate spacing from each other in order to maximize the heat exchange from the ground. Horizontal pipes are laid by digging long trenches on the surface of the ground. The vertical loop is more common due to the smaller space requirements, but tends to be more invasive.

Factors to Weigh in Choosing a Closed Loop System

The closed loop system is typically costlier for the initial installation, but does not depend on a source of water to supply the system, as an open loop system does. If a horizontal pipe is feasible, the initial installation cost may be somewhat lower due to the ease of laying horizontal pipes versus the need for a drilling rig to bore holes for a vertical system. Like the open loop system, the closed loop is a very efficient system for heating your home during the winter.

Give us a call today and one of our technicians will come out to help you determine the best system for your needs.