How Much Room Outside Do I Need For A Geothermal System?

If you’re already exploring a geothermal heating and cooling system, you know that such a system requires adequate yard space and digging. While this process is more comprehensive than installing traditional HVAC equipment, the savings and comfort are worth it, especially with the 30 percent federal tax break now being offered that includes landscaping costs. Geothermal heating and cooling systems use up to 50 percent less electricity and 44 percent less energy than traditional ones and maintain a comfortable humidity level within the home.

There are two common types of systems used to install a geothermal system: vertical loop and horizontal loop. Both require a good deal of yard space, but horizontal loops are generally used with new home construction because of increased space availability.

For either system, you need to know approximately how much space is necessary and the process required. Requirements depend on things like the home’s heating and cooling load, soil conditions, landscaping, and climate. For example, a large home will need larger loops, as will a home with more severe weather. Smaller homes require smaller loops and less land space.

Horizontal Loops

  • Are used when ground is pliable and trenches are relatively easy to work out.
  • Trenches 3 to 6 feet deep are dug underground.
  • Generally, about 400-600 feet of looping is needed for each ton of energy required to heat or cool.
  • A mid-sized home would require a 3 ton unit, so looping would run from 1200-1800 feet.

Consequently, a larger home would require more space and more digging.

Vertical Loops

  • Are used when less space is available or the soil composition makes digging more cumbersome. In situations where landscaping inhibits digging, vertical looping is also used.
  • Generally, narrow trenches are dug from 150-450 feet in depth, and long single loops are threaded through the holes, like a “U.”
  • This method is typically more costly to install but uses less piping because the system is able to access more stable temperatures below the earth’s surface at these depths.

A geothermal heating and cooling system is generally accessible to any homeowner who is committed to the process after choosing a cost-effective means within the available yard space. If you have questions or need some expert advice, give the professionals at New River Heating and Air a call today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

New River Heating and Air services the New River Valley area in Virginia. To get started, check out our website or see our current specials.

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    Terry Lawson Terry Lawson, has been with New River Heating and Air for 20 years... More »