Business Profile
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • December 2013
Written by 

Van’s Refrigeration & Services Geothermal Specialists Since 1981

Lower your carbon footprint with renewable, green energy!

Van’s Refrigeration & Services was founded in 1981 by Joe and Kris VanKauwenberg after Joe was laid off from his full-time refrigeration job. He placed an ad in a local newspaper and started repairing coolers, freezers, bulk tanks, ice machines and many other items that are refrigeration related. Soon after starting his business, he found a need to lower his energy bill at home. Being from the refrigeration field, he knew that a geothermal heat pump made perfect sense. He installed his first heat pump, a Tetco brand, in his own home. Joe realized the savings right away and started talking about it to his friends and family. Word of mouth spread, and Joe found himself steadily installing heat pumps all around northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Joe Van’s dedication to customer satisfaction and longevity in the geothermal field is what keeps this company head and shoulders above the competition.

Geothermal heating and cooling is a clean, efficient way of heating and cooling your home. It absorbs heat stored just below the earth’s surface, compresses it to a warm temperature and delivers it to the home using any distribution system the home owner would like. “We can absorb the heat in a several different ways. One way is to bury a mat of tubing in the ground, and circulate a water and antifreeze mix through these tubes to absorb the heat in the earth. This is called a closed-loop system. Another option would be to use water from your well system. We run it thru the heat pump, absorb heat from it, then we discharge it out into a pond, stream or road ditch. This is called an open-loop system,” explains Joe.

Van’s can also distribute it to the home using several different distribution systems. “In a forced air system, we would use duct work just like a gas furnace. In a hydronic system, we would use the floor or radiant baseboards as the distribution system. No matter which distribution system is chosen, geothermal is still the most efficient choice on the market. On top of its efficiency, it also has unparalleled comfort and safety,” shares Kris.

A geothermal heat pump delivers a consistent, comfortable heat throughout the home. It does this by using a lower delivery temperature and a highly efficient fan motor. The geothermal system will run longer and more often. This mixes the air through the house, and eliminates hot and cold spots. “A standard gas or oil furnace comes on, gives you a blast of hot air and satisfies the thermostat very quickly. This can leave hot and cold spots in the home,” Joe says.

The safety comes in with no flame or combustibles being delivered to the home. A geothermal heat pump relies on electricity only to operate small circulating pumps, a fan and a compressor. “This means there is no chance of carbon monoxide build up, no chimney to maintain and no combustion air brought into the home, drying it out in the winter,” says Kris.

Joe started out with the Tetco brand heat pump, but in the early ‘90s he was introduced to the WaterFurnace® brand heat pump. He installed a few and liked the style and innovations WaterFurnace made to their heat pumps. Some of the innovations are an electronic control board, onboard diagnostics, an extremely quiet operation and a dual capacity system, just to name a few. Currently WaterFurnace is the only manufacturer able to offer a variable capacity compressor in their residential line of geothermal heat pumps.

Van’s has been a leader in geothermal technology in northeastern Wisconsin for over 30 years. No other installer can come close. With 1800 to 2000 successful installations and a list of customers for anybody to contact, you’re sure to be satisfied with Van’s. Give them a call at 920-869-2196 with any questions you may have about geothermal heating, or if you’d like a free quote for your home. You can also visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 

Van’s Refrigeration & Services

W1081 Pearl St., Oneida



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