The Geothermal Heat Pump Open Loop & You!

Whether you are attracted to the long term reliability or the energy efficiency, you've decided you want a geothermal heat pump for your home. But these are not a one-size-fits-all technology. There are lots of choices to make. For example, is a geothermal heat pump open loop a good fit for your needs?

Ground-Source Tech

For those who don't know, what is a geothermal heat pump?

Conventional air conditioners and heat pumps rely on the Earth's atmosphere as a standard part of their operating cycle. Geothermal units do not. They use the Earth itself as both a heat source and heat sink. That's the environment a ground-source system will leverage to deliver high performance all year long.

Geothermal Heat Pump Open Loops

Every geothermal system interacts with the Earth via some medium. A closed loop installation uses buried pipes with coolant running through them.

Open loop systems (obviously) don't work the same way. A geothermal heat pump open loop engages directly into a well or surface body of water. They do not require extensive buried piping. Thanks to their heat exchange medium and operating requirements, not only can they be cheaper to install, but they can also operate at higher efficiencies.

So....

Why wouldn't everyone want the higher efficiency and lower cost of an open loop?

They would, but an open loop installation isn't always possible. Local water chemistry must be gentle enough to not wear down the system over time. Water chemistry can vary across the country. and some regions simply don't have the right kind of water to support an open loop.

Many local municipal governments also restrict emissions into the water table. For these reasons there are lots of areas where an open loop is inadvisable or illegal. That being said, if local ordnance allows and your local water chemistry meets certain guidelines, an open loop geothermal heat pump installation could save you a lot of money in the coming decades.

If you have questions about open loops or other geothermal systems, just ask in the comments below.

10 comments (view/add)
  • Randy Bargen
    Randy Bargen
    Posted on 8/23/2018

    Sir, I live in the country, use a well for water, could I use that water as my grd source water and then use it in the rest of my house? On really hot days, I could run a trickle sprinkler around my wife's flowers and thru household use, would that be ok or why not? During the winter, I may have to take an extra shower or flush the toilet, what do you think? I have put extra insulation in the attic and am considering a attic fan in the garage as a way to reduce the heat in the house to reduce heat that needs to be taken away. Has anyone else thought of this of using the open loop system in the house.

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/23/2018

    Our geothermal expert, Jacob says,"You can use the water for other things, yes. I don't know if you would want to drink it, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt. You are not changing the water in anyway except the temperature of it. You just need to have a plan to discharge the water not being used after the geothermal. Diverting some of it to the garden, yard, farm animals, whatever is fine. You could put a valve on a timer to open up and allow water to go where you want it when the system is being used, then have it close outside of those times to discharge the water to the main dump area like the ditch, creek, pond, lake, or secondary well." So, yeah, your idea should work, Randy. If you have other questions, you can ask them here or you can reach Jacob directly at 800-360-1569 x103.

  • Jeff Johnson
    Jeff Johnson
    Posted on 8/24/2018

    Can I use an inground swimming pool as a closed loop system. I have a 16 X 34' pool that holds approx 25,000 gallons of water. It is 9' deep on the last 7' of the pool.

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/24/2018

    An Olympic-sized pool would be sufficient, but a typical swimming pool would not be. You would need a lot more length to accommodate the loops. Interesting idea though!

  • Brenda Johnson
    Brenda Johnson
    Posted on 8/24/2018

    My son just purchased a home that had a natural gas water heated coil heat system. However, due to the cold winter with no one in the house the coil had burst. Is this system efficient or should he change to a natural gas fired furnace?

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/24/2018

    Just about any system can be efficient, relatively speaking. Do you have the name or model number of the system he is currently using?

  • Stephanie
    Stephanie
    Posted on 10/12/2018

    We're Going to build a new home in Northern Nevada (Elko) area on a 48 acre lot. We'll Need to drill a well and a septic tank. Would like an Open Loop GeoThermal system for heating and cooling as well as hot water. Is there a GeoThermal attachment water heater tank so we don't need to get propane to heat the water? how would that work? Can't find anything on this website about Geothermal hot water attached to the air system, but did find a ClimateMaster video on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY3oGlgZRgI&t=199s No information is listed regarding Hot Water & Hot air, Cool Air.

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 10/15/2018

    There is a desuperheater. It's a component you can use to get hot water from your geothermal installation. Call us at 800-360-1569, and talk to Jacob, our geothermal expert, at x 103.

  • Thomas mulryan
    Thomas mulryan
    Posted on 12/5/2018

    Purchased a geocool 1048 thru jarrard..very happy with his service..wondering if anywhere i can find some pictures or videos of the unit installation..using or should say replacing a Trane open loop..would like to se some different ideas s7nce tbe condensation outlet is so close to the floor and the unit will be seen front and right side when you walk into the house from lower level coming into the house from garage ...the room is finished off..left hand return with top output with 15 k heatstrip from you ..thanks ..everyone there is so helpful

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 12/6/2018

    We have some geothermal install videos on iwae.com (https://iwae.com/resources/videos/geothermal-videos/). You can also check out Ingram's Water & Air Equipment on YouTube for more. Also, you can always call and talk to our in-house geothermal expert, Jacob, at 800-360-1569 x103.


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