GeothermalVertical or Horizontal Installation: Which Is Best for My Geothermal Unit?

Geothermal units heat and cool the air by using one of the most efficient means possible. Geothermal systems are a type of heat pump, and heat pumps do not need to generate any heat at all. Instead, heat pumps move heat from one place to another, usually from the air. However, with a geothermal heat pump, the source of heat comes from the fixed temperature underneath the ground, a reliable source of temperate conditions. Because of this, you probably realize that geothermal installation will require a little bit of digging. A very long loop system must be installed in the ground during the installation process, but whether the trench is dug horizontally will depend on the conditions around your home.

How It Works

Geothermal systems use heat pump technology to move heat from the ground into your home in the colder months and from your home back into the earth during the warmer season. This is an effective way to heat up a home because the earth’s temperature is nearly constant when you dig deep enough into the ground—around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A transfer medium, usually water, moves through the loop system, and refrigerant in the indoor unit uses the temperate starting point of the water to heat or cool the air.

Outside Installation

This closed loop system obviously involves some excavation, so many homeowners worry about the potential level of damage to the landscaping. You can install an underground system either vertically or horizontally, and, given the choice, most homeowners would likely pick vertical installation. Installing the loop system straight down into the ground seems like an ideal situation as it would not muss up much of your yard. However, this isn’t possible in every situation.

For one, vertical installation may be more costly as it requires special equipment to drill into the earth rather than dig a large trench. More important, however, is whether the composition of the earth can even accommodate drilling vertically, as the makeup and density of the soil sometimes makes drilling too complicated. Vertical installation is ideal for homeowners without much space on the property, but may not always be viable.

Call the geothermal heating and cooling experts at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. to learn how you can get geothermal in Everett.


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