Although the idea of using a solar collector as the evaporator in the traditional heat pump cycle was first proposed in the year 1955, studies on the subject began in the late 70s. One of the keystones for obtaining sustainable development is also the use of exergy analysis. In this regard, the main objectives in doing the present study are twofold, namely (i) to review studies on direct-expansion solar-assisted heat pump systems (DX-SAHPs) and (ii) to present a mathematical model along with an illustrative example, which is used for heating an office space in Solar Energy Institute of Ege University, Izmir, Turkey, by floor heating with a DX-SAHP system. The system uses a 4m(2) bare flat-plate collector as the evaporator, while the working fluid is chosen to be R-22. Water is heated by the heat pump and heat is delivered to the office space by floor heating. Exergy equations for the system are derived, while exergy calculations are made. The exergy efficiency values for the individual components of the DX-SAHP system are found to range front 10.74% to 88.87%. It is expected that this study will be very beneficial to everyone involved or interested in the exergetic design, analysis and performance assessment of DX-SAHPs. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.