If you are considering a geothermal heating and cooling system for your Kansas City home or business, you may be curious about which type is best for your situation (available land, soil conditions, climate, etc.) Because geothermal or “ground source” heat pumps use the constant temperature underneath the ground’s surface to heat/cool a home, they are substantially more efficient than air-source or traditional heat pumps. Placement of this type of system is the biggest concern of many homeowners, so we’ll try to shed some light on the subject below.
Basically, closed-loop systems include horizontal, vertical, and pond/lake.
Horizontal geothermal heat pump systems are ideal for residential new construction, because there is usually sufficient land for installation. This type of geothermal system requires that trenches be dug at a minimum depth of four feet. Pipes are generally placed with one buried at a depth of four feet, and another buried at six feet. Alternatively, two pipes may be place in a two-foot wide trench at five feet deep, side by side.
Pond/lake installation is a good option for sites that have a substantial body of water nearby, such as a lake or pond. This is also the most cost-effective solution in many cases. In this type of installation, the supply line pipe runs underground between the water source and the building to be heated/cooled. The supply line is placed about eight feet under ground and coiled so that freezing isn’t a problem. It is also important that the water source meets certain criteria in terms of quality, depth, and volume.
Vertical geothermal heat pump systems are often used in such applications as schools and expansive commercial buildings, because there is typically not enough land for a horizontal loop system. In addition, residential homeowners may choose this type of system in cases where the soil is not deep enough for trenching. Vertical systems generally require four inch holes drilled to depths of 100 to 400 feet, spaced approximately 20 feet apart. Two pipes are then placed in the holes, and a U-bend used to connect the pipes at the bottom which essentially forms a loop.
Even after reading this, it may be difficult for you to picture geothermal placement in regards to your home or business. There are many considerations including landscaping, tree roots, where electric or water lines are buried, sewer or septic lines, and more. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced Kansas City heating and cooling professional when considering a geothermal system.
For more answers to your questions about Geothermal Heat Pump Systems, give Schomburg Heating & Cooling a call today. We service all towns north of the river, including Dearborn, Smithville, Weston, and St. Joseph.