HeatSpring Membership now includes

"Electric Utility Distribution Equipment"
Heat Pumps
Design & Installation

Heat Pumps 101 - Self Study

John Siegenthaler • Last updated 05/2023

4.8/5 (view ratings)
125 students
1 module
46 minutes
15 assignments

Course description

Heat pumps are a foundational technology in the plan to meet decarbonization targets. The market for heat pumps will double in the next five years. You should know how a heat pump works because they are going to impact your career.

Learning how they work is a great start. “Heat Pumps 101” is a new free course from John Siegenthaler. It takes less than an hour to complete. You’ll learn the very basics of heat pump technology, including heat transfer, refrigeration, and what applications are commonly used. At the end you’ll be able to speak intelligently about heat pumps and what they do.

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Full course outline

Module 1 - How Heat Pumps Work

  • John Siegenthaler's Introduction (01:46 minutes)
  • The difference between "energy" and "power" (07:04 minutes)
  • Thermodynamic basics (04:08 minutes)
  • Three modes of heat transfer (03:31 minutes)
  • Heat movement: "natural" vs. "artificial" processes (02:46 minutes)
  • Moving heat from lower to higher temperatures (how is that possible?!?) (06:42 minutes)
  • The four most common types of heat pump configurations (02:42 minutes)
  • Air-to-Air Heat Pumps (AAHP) (03:00 minutes)
  • Water-to-Air Heat Pumps (WAHP) (03:01 minutes)
  • Water-to-Water Heat Pumps (WWHP) (01:46 minutes)
  • Air-to-Water Heat Pumps (AWHP) (03:14 minutes)
  • Map of heat pump products and applications (07:05 minutes)
Conclusion - Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • Knowledge Check - Heat Pumps 101
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate (members only)


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


23 reviews

125 students have taken this course

by Bill Nowak 05/29/2023

This class does a great job of assuming the student has no knowledge of heat pumps and imparting some of the basic concepts needed to understand heat pumps.

by Glen Suhren, Engineer, Self 05/22/2023

Basic course describing the many variations in heat pump system.

by Frank Smith, Gate House Watch 05/18/2023

This really helped be design a system for my own house. I have a electrical background and have been in and around cnstruction most of my working life. Rarely does someone take the time to stop what they are doing and explain something in such great detail. John does not "Dumb it Down" with the technical terms, but takes the time to explain what they mean and the differences of each.. It kind of reminds me when I was in trade school. Especially like the part where he explained energy and power as it relates to heat pumps. This is a really well thought out course and delivered in plain language anyone can understand. Can't wait for the next one.

by clyde winter 05/04/2023

Mr. Siegenthaler is like a really great coach - always reinforcing and emphasizing mastery of the basic knowledge and skills that are necessary to achieve top performance. And like a really great teacher, he never confuses, never over-complicates. If you didn't quite get what he just said, don't just brush it off. Listen to it again. Or read it again. Don't give up. Listen and read carefully. Sometimes you have to work hard to be able to understand something. When you really understand something, that becomes a powerful tool in your hands.

by William C 06/03/2023

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Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?

This is a free course. Enroll today and get access to all of the materials instantly. This is a self-study, self-paced course 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.

How long do I have access to the materials?

For free courses there is no guarantee for how long the course materials will be available.

Is there a certificate of completion?

Certificates of completion are only provided to HeatSpring Membership subscribers. This course has not been approved by any credentialing organizations (NABCEP, AIA, USGBC etc) for Continuing Education Credits (CEUs). This course is for self education purposes only and completion does not indicate a level of professional expertise or credential.

Can I register multiple people?

Yes, this is a free course so you can share this page with other people from your team.

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