How the Geology of Your Land Affects a Geothermal Installation
Geothermal energy is a clean, quiet and very energy-efficient way to heat and cool homes in the Delaware area. If you are interested in making the switch to geothermal, though, you will first need to determine what type of geothermal installation would make the most sense for your property.
The geology of the land around your house plays a big role in planning out a geothermal installation. It affects the type and size of the geothermal system to be installed, as well as the method for installing it.
Open vs. Closed Loop
For starters, the presence of water in the local geology determines whether you can choose an open loop or a closed loop geothermal installation. An open loop system uses water from an underground aquifer, or from a sufficiently deep body of surface water, to transfer heat between the ground and your home. It is usually cheaper to install than a closed loop system, especially for larger homes, so you will want to see if there is a sufficient water source on your property.
Vertical vs. Horizontal
Closed loop systems can be installed either vertically, by drilling a deep hole, or horizontally, by digging a shallow trench. If you have deeper topsoil and more land area, a horizontal geothermal installation could make sense. If you have less land or live in a rocky area, a vertical loop system may be the better choice.
The size of your house and its heating and cooling needs largely determine how big your geothermal installation needs to be. Geology also plays a factor, though; some soils are better at heat transference, and allow you to save money by installing a shorter loop. For vertical loops, the local geology determines how deep you can drill, and therefore whether you need to dig more than one hole.
For an expert assessment of your home’s geology and geothermal needs, please contact us at Sobieski Systems in Wilmington. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Kaibab National Forest