In this study, forced convection heat transfer characteristics of nanofluids are investigated by numerical analysis of incompressible transient laminar flow in a circular duct under step change in wall temperature and wall heat flux. The thermal responses of the system are obtained by solving energy equation under both transient and steady-state conditions for hydro-dynamically fully-developed flow. In the analyses, temperature dependent thermo-physical properties are also considered. In the numerical analysis, Al2O 3/water nanofluid is assumed as a homogenous single-phase fluid. For the effective thermal conductivity of nanofluids, Hamilton-Crosser model is used together with a model for Brownian motion in the analysis which takes the effects of temperature and the particle diameter into account. Temperature distributions across the tube for a step jump of wall temperature and also wall heat flux are obtained for various times during the transient calculations at a given location for a constant value of Peclet number and a particle diameter. Variations of thermal conductivity in turn, heat transfer enhancement is obtained at various times as a function of nanoparticle volume fractions, at a given nanoparticle diameter and Peclet number. The results are given under transient and steady-state conditions; steady-state conditions are obtained at larger times and enhancements are found by comparison to the base fluid heat transfer coefficient under the same conditions. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.