The earth absorbs about 47% of the sun's energy that reaches it, storing that energy in the ground. A geothermal system extracts that free energy for heating during winter. For cooling, the system removes heat from the home and dumps it into the cooler earth. This transfer of heat energy is done through a series of pipes buried in the ground, or sunk in a pond, or by using well water. Because a geothermal system simply moves heat instead of burning a fossil fuel to generate it, it's more energy-efficient.
One of the main reasons many homeowners choose geothermal is the benefit of lower operating costs. In most homes, the cost for heating, cooling and hot water combine for about 70% of the total utility costs. You can realize up to 60% energy savings vs. traditional systems. There is no flame, no flue, no odors and no loud outdoor equipment. Heating, air conditioning and hot water can all be attained from a single compact unit.