Residential geothermal units explained

Posted on Apr 05 2023 in Heartland REMC
Garrett Keiser
Energy Advisor

Are you looking to install a new heating/cooling system this year? There are many options from which to choose; however, if you are looking for the best return on investment and the highest efficiency, you may want to talk to your installer about a geothermal unit. 

Geothermal units are a great way to heat and cool your home. There are two different types of geothermal systems — open loop and closed loop. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, which makes it important to understand the differences to determine what would best suit your needs.

Open-loop geothermal systems use water from an underground well as their primary source for heating and cooling. This means that they take in water from outside sources, use it to heat or cool the house, and then pump it back out again. The advantage of this system is that you don’t need expensive piping installation as you would with a closed-loop geothermal system, however, the downside is that over time, the water can become contaminated due to mineral deposits and other substances.

Closed-loop geothermal systems, on the other hand, use a closed-loop piping system installed underground to circulate refrigerant or water through your geothermal unit. This means that you don’t need to rely on an outside source of water like with open-loop geothermal systems, however, it can be more expensive due to the installation costs associated with this kind of setup. 

When it comes to which system is better in cold climates, most experts recommend a closed-loop geothermal system as they are designed for extreme temperatures and will provide more efficient heating than an open-loop geothermal system. Additionally, since there is no outdoor water source used in a closed-loop geothermal system, it won’t be affected by cold weather, ensuring you always have a reliable source of heat. 

Ultimately, choosing between open-loop or closed-loop geothermal systems depends on your individual needs and budget. While both can provide efficient heating and cooling for your home, understanding the differences between them will help you make an informed decision about which is best for you. 

If you would like more information about heating/cooling system options or help in choosing a new system, please contact me at the office by calling 260-758-3155.