Official PVA training provider for the 2024 NABCEP Conference ☀️

Heat Pumps
HVAC Design

Application of Air-to-Water Heat Pumps for Hydronic Heating & Cooling

John Siegenthaler • Last updated 04/2022

4.6/5 (view ratings)
102 students
5 modules
8:02 hours
35 assignments

Course description

Modern air-to-water heat pumps are an emerging renewable energy heat source. They can also provide cooling. When combined with a hydronic distribution system, these heat pumps provide unsurpassed year-round comfort. They can also serve ancillary loads such as domestic water heating and pool heating. The efficiency of modern “low ambient” air-to-water can approach that of geothermal heat pumps on a seasonal basis, and usually at an installed cost that’s less than half that associated with geothermal heat pumps. This course introduces the technology used in modern air-to-water heat pumps and shows how to build complete systems around them.

Ready To Sign Up Today? Click Here to Enroll

Learning Objectives

Participants in this course will upon completion of this course, be able to:

  • To understand the benefits offered by modern air-to-water heat pump systems relative to other heat pump systems.
  • To learn the technical details needed to successfully build heating and cooling systems around air-to-water heat pump systems.
  • To explain the options and advantages of low temperature hydronic heating delivery systems when used with air-to-water heat pumps.
  • To learn the advantages and available options for small scale chilled water cooling using air-to-water heat pumps.
  • To see how air-to-water heat pumps can be combined with an auxiliary boiler to provide two stage heat delivery.
  • To comprehend the operation of complete heating / cooling and domestic water heating systems that use air-to-water heat pumps.

Preview the course material

Check out a free preview of the course by clicking the button below. This is a live assignment from the course and will give you a good sense for what the course will be like.

Free course preview!

Full course outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
Module 1 - Introduction & Brief History of Air-Source Heat Pumps

This week provides an overview of the course, learning objectives, and background information on air-source heat pumps. It discusses the benefits of air-to-water heat pumps, and trends that point to a growing market in North America.

  • Module 1 - Part A (17:56 minutes)
  • Module 1 - Part B (40:20 minutes)
  • Module 1 - Part C (15:18 minutes)
  • Module 1 - Part D (15:22 minutes)
  • Module 1 Part E (40:54 minutes)
  • idronics #12 - Hydronics Fundamentals (.pdf)
  • All Module 1 Presentation Slides (.pdf)
Module 2 - Working With Air-to-Water Heat Pumps

This week presents the “nut & bolt” details of working with modern air-to-water heat pumps. It examines the thermal performance of modern vapor/compression air-to-water heat pumps, freeze protection options, use of buffer tanks, modulating versus fixed speed heat pumps, and integration of an auxiliary boiler. They details will all be applied in the example systems described later in the course.

  • Module 2 - Part A (34:12 minutes) Preview
  • Module 2 Part B (REV) (28:24 minutes)
  • Module 2 - Part C (27:34 minutes)
  • Module 2 - Part D (25:47 minutes)
  • Module 2 - Part E (21:25 minutes)
  • Module 2 - Part F (11:44 minutes)
  • Module 2 (REV) all presentation slides (.pdf)
  • (Module 2 Part D) Revised slide #100 (.pdf)
Module 3 - Low-Temperature Heat Emitters & Distribution Systems

This week focuses on heat emitter options and the important of designing the heating distribution system to operate at low supply water temperatures. Several heat emitters are discussed, and preferred piping layouts are shown.

  • Module 3 Part A (01:03:18 hours)
  • Module 3 Part B (24:56 minutes)
  • Module 3 all presentation slides (.pdf)
  • heat emitter retrofit possibilities (.pdf)
Module 4 - Small-Scale Chilled Water Cooling Using Air-to-Water Heat Pumps

The week is devoted to smaller scale chilled water cooling, which allows air-to-water heat pumps to provided zoned cooling and dehumidification. Both sensible and latent cooling are described along with terminal unit options including radiant panel cooling.

  • Module 4 Part A (the only part) (31:45 minutes)
  • Revised slide 173 (.pdf)
  • Module 4 all slides (REV 10-10-16) (.pdf)
Module 5 - Example Systems

This week presents several complete system designs for heating cooling and ancillary loads. They include piping schematics, control concepts, electrical wiring, and descriptions of operation.

  • Module 5 Part A (35:42 minutes) Preview
  • Module 5 Part B (15:39 minutes)
  • Module 5 Part C (09:03 minutes)
  • Module 5 Part D (12:10 minutes)
  • Module 5 Part E (11:10 minutes)
  • Module 5 all presentation slides PDF (.pdf)
  • Final Quiz
Conclusion - Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate


John Siegenthaler

P.E., Appropriate Designs

John Siegenthaler, P.E., is a mechanical engineering graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a licensed professional engineer, and Professor Emeritus of Engineering Technology at Mohawk Valley Community College. “Siggy” has over 40 years of experience in designing modern hydronic systems. He is a hall-of-fame member of the Radiant Panel Association, and a... Learn more


26 reviews

102 students have taken this course

by Judson B 02/22/2021

by Ralph Mueller 11/25/2022

If you really want to install AWHPs, Hydronic heating and cooling systems professionally, to industry standards? You need to take this course. John is an excellent instructor; he is very thorough in explaining the fundamentals of these Hydronic systems from start to finish R. Mueller Plumber, Gasfitter, Boiler Service Technician

by Jeff Manney 05/03/2018

Application of Air to Water Heat Pumps for Hydronic Heating & Cooling is a superbly thorough and advanced training course that informs attendees how to properly design/install cutting edge centralized heat pump systems. Instructor John Siegenthaler has left no stone unturned.

by TJ H 10/11/2017

by Michael Willburn, President, Infloor Heating Systems 10/04/2017

I would highly recommend taking this course if you have no experience with air to water heat pumps or want to learn more about air to water heat pumps and the advances in the technology and designs. This course has given me a better understanding of air to water heat pumps and the applications in which these systems should be applied for both heating and cooling with low temperature hydronic system.

view all ratings


Rolling Admissions

Enroll and Start Instantly

Free course preview!

Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?

You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 5 module course is delivered entirely online. This course is self-paced and you can set your own schedule to complete the materials. You can begin the lecture videos and other course materials as soon as you enroll. During your year of access the instructor will be in the course answering questions on the discussion board. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.

How long do I have access to the materials?

Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.

Is there a certificate of completion?

Yes, when you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.

Can I register multiple people?

Yes please visit our HeatSpring for Teams page to get a group discount.

Show all FAQs

Free Courses on Heat Pumps, Air-to-Water, HVAC Design

The use of technology such as cookies allows HeatSpring to operate and improve the functionality of our website and derive insights about our audience.

You can read more about our privacy policy here.