This is a common point of confusion for anyone researching Geothermal energy, and for good reason.
Many articles fail to explain that the same heating and cooling exchange that takes place in any traditional condenser still occurs within the Geothermal system’s Heat pump; just with the air pumped from underground.
The biggest difference, is that rather than heating extremely cold air or cooling very hot air, you are always using air that is a consistent temperature; putting much less strain on the system and using far less energy.
To put it into monetary perspective, a traditional heating unit provide $0.65 to $0.95 of heat for every dollar spent on heating/cooling. In contrast a geothermal unit provides $3-$4 of heating/cooling for every dollar spent.