What is a Geothermal Open Loop System?

open loop geothermal system

When considering a geothermal heat pump system to heat and cool your home in Michigan, there are several factors to consider. Homeowners generally must decide between an open loop system or closed loop option. Open loop systems are typically the most efficient and least costly to install. Learn more about the open loop system, and some of the pros and cons of installing an open loop system for your home.

Ample Source of Water Required

The open loop system pumps water from a well or pond as the source of steady temperature underground water. Once the water is pumped into the system, it either is used to cool the home in the summer or warm the air in the winter. Once the water has served its purpose it is then pumped back out.

With an open loop system, then, you need a source of water that provides sufficient flow to serve the HVAC system, in addition to any other uses you may have for that source of water. It will be necessary to find out whether the water source is also serving nearby neighbors as well before choosing an open loop system.

Water Discharge

When pumping the water back out, it may be possible to divert to a surface drainage such as a pond or other low-lying area. Another option may be to pump the water back into the original water source through a separate discharge pump. There is no pollution introduced through pumping the water back into the water source or surface drainage. The only change to the water is a small change in the water temperature.

Determining If an Open Loop System Is Right for You

One of the main benefits of the open loop system is they tend to be the most efficient means of geothermal heating. No piping needs to be installed, and the energy is taken directly from the earth. This also means that installation of an open loop system is often significantly less costly and invasive than other geothermal heating options. The challenge is finding an adequate water source for the system that can reliably supply water without depleting the source and impacting its other uses. If an adequate source is available, and a method to pump the drainage water is feasible, this may be the most efficient way to heat your home.

Give us a call today and one of our technicians will come out and determine together with you what the best system is for your needs.