Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated in the Earth, but when it comes to residential homes, it always refers to a system that uses piping buried in the ground to extract heat from the earth.
Geothermal system uses loop of piping that is buried outside of the home in order to extract heat from the ground, or deposit heat to the ground, depending on which mode the system is, heating or cooling. The loop piping is typically installed in a series of trenches.
Geothermal systems can be used instead of furnaces, air conditioners, boilers and domestic water heaters. They can also be used for driveway snow melting systems or swimming pool heating systems.
Components of geothermal heating and cooling systems always include a heat pump, recirculation pump and ground loop. If it is used to heat water for drinking, bathing and other purposes the system would include one water storage tank or more. Some water heating systems use a dedicated heat pump for heating domestic water.
The benefits of geothermal heat pumps. Compared to natural gas, the cost to operate geothermal systems can present a 50% savings in heating costs over a year.