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Open Loop vs. Closed Loop Efficiency – Read Your Data!

The debate about open loop systems being more efficient than closed loop systems has been discussed for years. We batted it around here at the office for a while until we realized the only way this argument could be settled would be through something with which you could not argue….data!

This chart shows entering water temperatures, or EWT’s, for a 12 month period. The red line across the middle represents an EWT of 55° from an open loop system. (Typical ground water temps range from 56° to 59° here on the Peninsula). The blue and green blocks illustrate the swing, or pendulum effect, of a closed loop system. Starting in January, the EWT of the closed loop is at its least efficient when compared to the EWT of an open loop system during the same month. Continue along and those low EWT’s, when entering into a new season, are now super efficient for the cooling months, much more so than the 55° EWT of the open loop system. By the time you get to July, though, so much heat is being extracted from your home and being pushed into the ground that the EWT is increasing and surpasses the 55° mark of the open loop system. While it was at its least efficient to cool your house, it will now be super efficient taking you into the heating months. Bottom line? If you add up the monthly EWT’s over the course of a year, the average EWT for a closed loop system is 55°.

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