In the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning) industry, a remarkable transformation is underway, bringing change to a traditionally mature field. There is a steadily increasing demand for energy-efficient, reliable, and adaptable heating and cooling solutions in cold climates. However, a persistent challenge remained – the lack of a consistent, controllable heat energy source. This void persisted until Dan Jung, Founder and CEO of Northern Lights Solar Solutions, known as Arctic Heat Pumps, set out to fill it.
Moreover, the task came with its challenges. As the saying goes, “You can’t teach an old dog new trick,” and this saying seemed tailor-made for the HVAC industry. Nevertheless, thanks to breakthrough technologies like energy-efficient hydronic heating and cooling systems, consumers in residential and commercial markets have begun to realize their potential and embrace these innovations.
Imagine a heat pump designed to operate flawlessly in bone-chilling temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit). Such an innovation would be an ideal fit for the freezing climates of residential and business properties.
Dan Jung, an experienced entrepreneur with a remarkable career, has been at the forefront of this transformative journey. His exploration of alternative heating solutions led him to experiment with a relatively new heat pump technology, Enhanced Vapor Injection (EVI). This pioneering Air to Water Heat Pump technology promises energy savings of up to 80% compared to traditional heating systems.
In this feature, we explore Dan Jung’s exceptional achievements and insightful contributions to the industry. Join us as we explore the revolutionary progress made by Arctic Heat Pumps and the leadership that guides them into a new era of HVAC excellence.
From Cedar Tubs to Solar Thermal Innovations
Dan, a business studies graduate, spent much of his career as an entrepreneur, exploring various business ventures and assisting companies in their development. In 1996, he took a significant step by founding Northern Lights Cedar Tubs & Saunas, a unique venture that blended traditional barrel wood hot tubs and saunas with modern spa features. This niche venture achieved remarkable success and remains one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cedar hot tubs and saunas.
The turning point in Dan’s journey arrived in 2005 when his company, Northern Lights Cedar Tubs, began searching for alternative heating solutions. This exploration led to the investigation of solar thermal technologies, marking the start of a new phase in his career. The initial steps in solar thermal experimentation soon transformed into an entirely new entity dedicated solely to solar thermal solutions.
In 2008, Dan recognized the need for operational excellence. He welcomed Alan Anderson as a partner and co-founded Northern Lights Solar Solutions Inc. Alan’s extensive experience in the plumbing industry, working with major plumbing manufacturers, brought valuable expertise to the company. Consequently, Northern Lights Solar Solutions quickly became North America’s top solar thermal company, focusing on hydronic heating solutions for residential and commercial markets.
Northern Lights Solar Solutions: Pioneering Cold Climate Heat Pumps
Founded in 2008 in West St. Paul, Manitoba, Canada, Northern Lights Solar Solutions has become a leading producer of Cold Climate Air to Water Heat Pumps in North America. They proudly hold the highest performance ratings on Energy Star’s Emerging Technology scale. Each heat pump undergoes rigorous 3rd party testing and UL certification, with individual water testing before leaving the factory.
However, the company’s journey began with a different vision, initially focusing on using solar energy for heating hot tubs. Unfortunately, this venture didn’t achieve the expected success due to the lack of a consistent, controllable heat energy source. There was a gap in finding the ideal green energy solution for heating hot tubs.
In 2015, the company took a transformative step by embracing a relatively new heat pump technology, Enhanced Vapor Injection (EVI). This groundbreaking technology enabled heat pumps to extract energy from the air, even in bone-chilling temperatures as low as -22°F (-30°C). Drawing on their expertise in hydronic heating and solar thermal, Northern Lights Solar Solutions applied the same formula that had led to their previous niche market success.
This newly adopted Air to Water Heat Pump technology proved revolutionary, offering energy savings of up to 80% compared to traditional heating systems. Like Geothermal Heat Pumps, it harnessed free energy from the air and efficiently channeled it into the hydronic system through a refrigeration cycle. This innovation found a significant market in radiant floor space heating and domestic hot water systems, effectively heating and cooling while playing a crucial role in energy conservation.
This shift in focus led to the birth of a new brand – Arctic Heat Pumps. Simultaneously, Northern Lights Solar Solutions achieved a long-standing goal of an energy-efficient heating solution for the hot tub and pool industry. The Arctic Heat Pump’s revolutionary pool heater and chiller system emerged, capable of heating and cooling pools and hot tubs while maintaining heat energy down to -5°F (-20°C) during the winter months. This innovation aligned perfectly with the needs of the spa industry, which primarily thrives in colder weather, providing a year-round solution. Additionally, it allowed users to combat hot summer temperatures by cooling their pools and hot tubs for a refreshing summer experience.
The transformation of Northern Lights Solar Solutions into Arctic Heat Pumps embodies innovation, perseverance, and adaptability. Their journey has redefined the renewable energy landscape and heralded a new era of possibilities for the industries they serve.
Navigating Entrepreneurial Challenges and Leading with Vision
At its core, Dan embodies the essence of an entrepreneur. He enjoys nurturing new ideas and turning them into tangible reality. When a concept matures, he entrusts it to his exceptional team, allowing them to nurture and expand upon it. His background in internet marketing has proven to be a significant asset, enabling him to harness the vast potential of the digital realm, especially in niche markets.
However, Dan’s entrepreneurial journey has encountered a significant challenge – the art of letting go. With time, he realized that delegating responsibilities to individuals with stronger skill sets can yield even greater results. This change in perspective has been a valuable lesson that has paid off many times over. “I used to think I was the only one that could do it… Now I look to leverage great employees to help take the ideas and business to the next level,” Dan affirms.
Elevating Standards in Heating and Cooling Solutions
Under the leadership of Dan, Arctic Heat Pumps now has an extensive distribution network with a team of skilled sales agents covering a significant part of North America. What makes them stand out is their dedication to providing a complete design service for new homeowners who want to use Arctic Heat Pumps for their spaces. This service goes beyond the ordinary, offering customers full assessments for heating and cooling needs and detailed layouts for radiant floor heating and cooling. With great precision, this design service ensures that each Arctic Heat Pump system is optimally sized, providing contractors with detailed blueprints for easy installation.
Behind the scenes, Arctic Heat Pumps makes substantial investments in research and development, maintaining its leadership in energy-efficient hydronic heating and cooling systems. Their dealer network continues to expand, and each Arctic Sales Agent undergoes rigorous training, including enrollment in the Arctic Training University. This emphasis on education equips their customers with the confidence and support required for successful heating or cooling projects.
Looking ahead, Arctic Heat Pumps is preparing for even greater accomplishments. They are currently testing higher output temperatures, reaching a remarkable 185°F (85°C). Additionally, the company is actively exploring solar thermal phase-changing batteries that offer an extraordinary four times the energy density of traditional storage systems. This commitment to innovation and sustainability ensures that Arctic Heat Pumps remains at the forefront of technological advancements in the industry.
Dan’s Insights on 2024 and beyond
Dan emphasizes that the shift toward electrification will gain even more momentum in 2024 and beyond. Currently, a select few states and provinces are driving this trend. However, Dan envisions a future where electrification will be mandated at the highest governmental levels, marking a significant change in the energy landscape. In Dan’s view, hydrogen will play a crucial role in the renewable energy sector. Additionally, he highlights the resurgence of safer nuclear energy as a significant contributor to filling the gaps left by the phase-out of coal and natural gas for utility grid production. The renewed interest in nuclear energy arises from its potential to provide a stable and low-carbon power source.
Dan’s perspective reflects a growing awareness of the need for diverse energy sources to meet the world’s energy demands while minimizing environmental impact.
Quest for Work-Life Harmony
When asked about his secret to maintaining a perfect work-life balance, Dan’s answer is simple: he loves the outdoors. This deep-seated love has been with him since his childhood in Canada.
In 2019, Dan relocated his family to Baja California, Mexico, to take advantage of the ocean and the warm year-round climate. During winter, he becomes an avid kiteboarder, skillfully harnessing the power of the wind and waves. When the winds calm down in the summer, he enjoys surfing, humbly seeking out waves to conquer. Additionally, snorkeling and spearfishing are also among his favorite activities, as is mountain biking.