Heat Pump

Geothermal Heat Pumps: Horizontal v. Vertical Loop Installation

geothermal heat pump installationJust to keep you up to speed, a geothermal heat pump is one of the most energy efficient heating, cooling and ventilating systems you can install in your home. Geothermal heat pumps do the job of a traditional air conditioner and gas furnace combination in one unit while reducing your seasonal energy costs through high performance operation. To get such excellent operating efficiencies, geothermal heat pumps use the stable subsurface environment as a heat sink and source. There are many ways to install a geothermal heat pump, and while they all use the same mechanical principles, there are some significant choices to make when it comes to putting one in your own home.

One of the biggest choices the average homeowner will make is the kind of ground install they want done. Every geothermal heat pump has to interact with the subsurface environment in some way. There are many different ways to do this, but the most common are a horizontal or a vertical loop. The two are similar in that they both utilize buried piping where heat can be exhausted or absorbed. They differ in how they are laid. As the name implies, a vertical loop installation consists of vertical shafts dug outside the home. A horizontal loop installation consists of horizontal ditches that are much more shallow than the vertical shafts. Which is better?

Like most things: it depends. When it comes to cost, many homeowners will prefer a horizontal loop installation for their home. Horizontal loops are easier to do from an engineering standpoint and usually cheaper. That being said, not every lot can accommodate a horizontal loop, since the method does require a significant surface area for digging. If you live in a dense urban area or own a small lot, then a vertical installation may be the best choice. A vertical ground loop would allow you to enjoy the benefits of geothermal heat pumps where a horizontal loop or other installation type is impossible.

So, how do you know which is best for you? We recommend you talk to an expert. Contact an Ingram’s Water & Air specialist today. They can give you the information you need to make an educated decision about what kind of geothermal heat pump is best for your home.

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