Geothermal Heat Pump Selection: Is A Larger Loop Size Better?

2 January 2015
 Categories: Technology, Articles


Geothermal heat pumps are far more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly than other alternatives with the capacity to circulate 3 to 5 times more energy. Its functionality has contributed to its growing popularity with over 600,000 geothermal heat pumps already installed in American homes at a rate of approximately 60,000 more each year. Geothermal heat pumps have different components, and understanding the role that each part plays can help homeowners better determine which design is better for their home. In particular, most homeowners are left with the question wondering whether they should install a larger loop size or not.

What Is a Loop?

The loop is one of the most important components of the geothermal heat pumps. It functions similarly to a rechargeable battery, as energy is drawn from the heat underground through the loop and distributed inside the home. The size of the loop makes a huge difference to the energy efficiency of the heat pumps in a sense, as a larger loop will have more surface area to draw up the energy needed to be distributed to the heat pumps. Although more energy efficient, larger loops are harder to install and tend to be more expensive, which leads up to the question: Which size is best?

What Are Some Factors that Affect the Loop Size That Should Be Chosen?

To determine which loop size is most appropriate for your home, you should consider the following factors:

  • the heating and cooling requirements that have been set for your home. This will be dependent on the size of your home, and the volume of space that will need to be heated. Naturally, a larger home will require a larger size loop.
  • the moisture content and type of the soil that the geothermal heat pumps will be installed in. Light and dry soil cannot conduct heat as quickly as soil that is moist and dense. In short, if the soil is constantly light and dry, a larger loop may be required.
  • the amount of snow that covers the ground during the winter based on the geographic location that you reside in and the climate. As surprising as it may sound, heavy snow can actually help insulate the earth so that it retains more heat. However, if the climate without snow is generally quite cold, a larger loop will be required to retain the heat for longer periods of time.
  • the depth at which the loop may be installed in. This will be dependent on the data provided after a thorough survey. If possible, install the geothermal heat pumps deeper, as they will be more efficient in drawing heat.
  • the size of the loops and the system that they are installed in. 

It is the contractor's responsibility to spend a significant amount of time surveying the land in order to determine the size of loop that will be most appropriate for your needs. Most contractors from places like Greensleeves Energy Solutions will input all of the data that they have collected into a computer system that helps calculate all of the variables. 


Familiarizing yourself with all of the components that are needed in geothermal heat pumps can help you make better decisions for your home and heating system. A loop that is too large will take up too much space, and will be much more expensive to maintain and install. On the other hand, a loop that is too small will not be able to keep up with the geothermal system. Spending time and money on a thorough survey will pay off in the long run as the loop that will be installed will have the ability to cater to all of your home's needs.