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Types of Systems

Aug 23, 2022Geothermal Heating

Types of geothermal systems

A network of interconnected pipe tubes that serve as heat exchangers is used in every type of geothermal system. Refrigerant buried in these coils absorbs heat from the ground in the winter when the air is cold outside, carries it to a building, and releases the heat into the air inside the home. The opposite occurs in the summer when the building absorbs heat and acts as a radiator.

Different types of loop systems exist, namely: Closed-loop systems, which include vertical, horizontal, slinky, and pond loops; and open-looped systems.

Geothermal Closed-Loop Systems

Closed-loop systems are more commonly used for geothermal systems. A closed-loop system has a heat exchanger, or soil loop, that is buried in the ground. This type of loop works efficiently because it absorbs and releases heat from one point to another. When temperatures are colder outside than inside your home, the water at the bottom of the pipe will cool. While on hotter days, this same fluid will travel down the pipe and harness the cool ground temperature.

Vertical Loops

Vertical loops have an advantage in their arrangement. This can be placed in a small surface area compared to horizontal loops. However, it must be run deep into the ground.

Vertical loops are also more expensive to install than horizontal ones because of their construction and depth requirements.

This type of loop should not be used for homes in areas with a lack of soil or water resources below the surface.

Horizontal Loops

This loop system is suited for areas with a lot of water or soil below the surface.

It is less expensive to install than vertical loops and can be installed in a large area due to its horizontal layout.

Horizontal loop systems also require much smaller pipes, which means that more holes will need to be drilled into the ground for installation.

Slinky Loops

The slinky loop system is more like the horizontal loop system, but it is usually one pipe just below ground level.

These are often used for homes with a basement and have the same lower installation cost as horizontal loops.

Their disadvantage to both vertical and horizontal loops is that they only cover an area directly beneath them. This means that if there is not enough room for slinky loop systems, then you’re better off with a horizontal or vertical loop.

Pond Loops

Pond loop systems are usually used when there’s a nearby body of water. It’s a closed-loop system that loops around the body of water and then returns to where it came from.

It can require more pipe than other systems but produces higher temperatures because of its proximity to the source. This also makes them less prone to dry conditions or to freeze in cold climates.

Geothermal Open-Loop Systems

Open-loop systems are the most simple forms of geothermal heating systems. It’s less common than closed loops for geothermal heating, but they have the advantage of being able to work in cold climates year-round.

To be more specific, open-loop systems use a pump and an underground reservoir that can store water when it’s colder outside and release it when it’s warmer outside.

Geothermal is very efficient and sustainable, which are two critical factors in the future of heating systems. By using geothermal energy, we can save some money on our monthly bills while doing something environmentally friendly at the same time!


  • Steve Ireland

    Steve owns Ireland HVAC, which specializes in residential and commercial air conditioning repair and installation, as well as furnace repairs and air filtration systems in the central Indiana area. Steve and his crew have decades of experience in heating and cooling repairs for practically every air conditioning and heating system in use today, allowing them to diagnose and repair residential and commercial systems quickly. Ireland HVAC is also committed to ensuring that every household and business owner receives nothing but excellent service from any AC repair company they select.