May 9, 2013

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Geothermal Heating and Cooling has What Type of Systems

According to the Inter-NACHI, (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors), there are four geothermal systems.  The type of system you choose depends on the climate of the location you live, the condition of your soil, how much land you have, and what the local installation costs are.  All four of these systems can be used for both residential and commercial establishments.  They include the following:

  •   Horizontal: This system is often the most cost-effective for residential, especially for a new home and if there is sufficient land that the home has been built on.  The most available layouts use either two pipes (one buried at 6 feet, and the other at 4 feet), or two pipes buried side-by-side 5 feet in the ground in a trench that’s 2 feet wide.
  •  Vertical:  This system is often used for large commercial buildings because the land required for horizontal loops is excluded.  This system is also used where the soil is too shallow to dig a trench so the existing landscape is hardly disturbed.  The vertical system calls for holes approximately 4 inches in diameter and is drilled about 20 feet apart and 100 to 400 feet deep.  Two pipes are placed in the holes and at the bottom, they are connected to form a loop.  Then the vertical loops are connected to the heat pump in the building.


  •  Pond/lake:  This system runs a supply-line underground from the building to a body of water and coiled into circles at least 8 feet underground.  This body of water must meet minimum volume, depth, and quality in order for it to be sufficient.


  • Open-loop:  In order for the water to circulate directly through the GHP system the system must use well or surface water as the heat exchange fluid.  Once the water circulates through the system, it then returns to the ground through the well.  As long as there is a sufficient amount of clean water this system will work.  Also, it must conform to local codes and stipulations that affect groundwater discharge.

For additional information on these systems and or general information on geothermal heating and cooling systems contact Scott-Lee Heating and Cooling Company (314) 200-0788.