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Bryan uses fun and inexpensive novelties to demonstrate the basic scientific principles that drive HVAC systems. These learning tools are a great way to introduce basic temperature, pressure, and motion concepts to hands-on learners and pique children’s interest in science.
The first tool is a hand boiler. The hand boiler has a bottom bulb with ether alcohol. When you hold the bulb, the liquid rises to the top and may bubble. That occurs because your hand transfers heat to the ether alcohol, and the molecules begin moving more rapidly, creating more pressure in the closed space and making the liquid occupy more of that space. The hand boiler also illustrates that boiling can happen at relatively low temperatures, not just 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). (You can find the hand boiler at
The next tool is a Stirling engine. You can put an ice cube on top of it and hold the apparatus in your hand. As you hold it, the heat from your hand transfers to the Stirling engine. When you start spinning the flywheel, it keeps going. That is because the pressure differential between your warm hands and the cool ice cube moves the bellows between them, and those bellows keep moving up and down as pressure builds and releases. The movement of those bellows turns the flywheel. (You can find the Stirling engine at
We recommend using an electrical kit with a fan motor, ammeter, voltmeter, lightbulb holders, generator, bell circuit, and more for teaching the electrical side of HVAC. The electrical kit is a fantastic way to introduce electrical basics to middle and high school students. (You can find the EUDAX electrical kit at
Another interesting novelty is the magic drinking bird. The drinking bird has two bulbs connected by an elongated glass tube. The lower bulb contains liquid methylene chloride, and the top bulb only contains invisible vapor. When the bird’s head gets wet, the water begins evaporating immediately, cooling the head. (Think about stepping into a room with a fan while you’re sweating; you cool down as your sweat evaporates.) Some of the vapor in the upper bulb condenses, reducing the vapor pressure in the top bulb. Since the vapor pressure in the bottom bulb has remained constant, the pressure differential between the bulbs will force some of the liquid will rise to the top bulb to maintain equilibrium. Then, the bird appears to drink when the top bulb gets heavy enough to tip. A similar pressure differential forces the bird back upright. If the bird has tipped its head into some water, the process will repeat itself. (You can find the drinking bird at
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All right, so the purpose of this video is just to show you some of my favorite super basic. You know training gadgets that you can get from amazon. I actually couldn't find my uh the drinking bird, but i've got another video that i'll show you of that. I've got one sitting around here somewhere, but these three items, plus that little drinking bird are really fun ways to demonstrate some basic principles in hvac, especially if you're gon na go.

You know maybe demonstrate at a high school or something like that or you've got a booth somewhere. These are just kind of fun, neat things that you can show people now before. You ask because i know a lot of you: will i'm going to have links for all of these products down in the description of this video, so you can find them all. I'm going to start with one of the one of my favorites because of its simplicity and that's the hand boiler the hand boiler just has like an ether alcohol down in the bottom and when you grab the bulb, the liquid rises up through the stem to the Top now my hand, i was just holding an ice cube, so it's not quite as quite as effective, and you will find that some people have warmer hands than others.

If you warm up your hands with the hand boiler by a little more friction, that makes it go a little faster, but it's just a pressure differential. So, as you add heat to the base, it actually starts to expand, because this refrigerant has a very low boiling point in terms of typical liquids, but actually a high boiling point for a refrigerant. It works really well just with your hand and demonstrates that kind of boiling at different temperatures, because that's a concept, a lot of people struggle with the idea that boiling can happen at a temperature different than water, so boiling isn't always super hot, that's the hand boiler. The next one is the sterling engine and there are many different sterling engines.

This is just an inexpensive one. I've set an ice cube on top here so that way we can create a temperature differential, so we've got cold on top hot on the bottom. You can do it either way and then you just get it started. Spinning and it'll just go and go so once again, you're just using a pressure differential, higher pressure air on the bottom because of the heat from my hand, lower pressure on the top.

Because of the ice cube and that moves these bellows up and down as that pressure builds and releases, so that's the miniature sterling engine. This kit here has a brand name udax on it, but i've seen a lot of different brand names. This is the kit that i actually like best because it contains so many different things in it now. This is actually two separate kits that i've thrown into the same bag, but it has a nice little guide that explains all the experiments.

It has everything from a little ammeter, inline ammeter a volt meter. It has your light, bulb holders, all sorts of connecting wires rheostat a little a little generator that you can actually crank yourself. It has a bell circuit. A little fan motor i've actually used this kit.

In several of my previous videos on electrical basics, but all kinds of really neat things that you can use to demonstrate some basic electrical circuits and especially if you're going to be maybe going to a school middle school, high school and just teaching some basics. This has everything you're going to need to do that and it's inexpensive enough that you can get a couple of them also even for helpers, who are coming in, who maybe don't have a lot of electrical experience. Maybe their install help or something like that. You could do a couple hour class and teach them the basics of building electrical circuits and give them a vision of how circuits work when they're working on things like low voltage electrical alright and that's it.

This is the udax electrical kit. We have the sterling engine and then we have the hand boiler, as well as the drinking bird, all kind of cool little things that you can use to demonstrate some basics of pressures and temperatures and electrical for our trade thanks for watching thanks for watching our video. If you enjoyed it and got something out of it, if you wouldn't mind hitting the thumbs up button to like the video subscribe to the channel and click, the notifications bell to be notified when new videos come out, hvac school is far more than a youtube channel. You can find out more by going to, which is our website and hub for all of our content, including tech tips, videos, podcasts and so much more.

You can also subscribe to the podcast on any podcast app of your choosing. You can also join our facebook group if you want to weigh in on the conversation yourself thanks again for watching you.

12 thoughts on “Demonstrate some hvac basics the fun and cheap way”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Attest411 says:

    Weight loss is noticeable! Great work!

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Micah Amox says:

    Can you message me about some training/business questions I have. Thank you!

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bob Paulino says:

    Radio shack also has several kits available for basic electrical and electronic circuits.
    Dad was a ham operator in Germany during the Korean conflict. When I was young he had several Heathkit kits. I loved watching those go together. When I started in the fire service the first siren that I had was a Heathkit. Tinkering with model railroad and the heathkit circuitry led me in to troubleshooting. One of my first fire dept captains was owner of a large union sheet metal firm that had been involved in industrial and institutional heating, then cooling and process controls. I travelled 9 states. Very nice career. Sadly, the fourth generation of owners were of the 'rape and run', rather than 'nurture long term client relationship mindset, and after merging with a corrupt pipefitting outfit, had to auction off assets and eventually close.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars mannys9130 says:

    That electrical tinkering kit is EXACTLY like this game software I used to play with as a kid!!! It's what really helped me to be one of those kids that took everything apart just to see what was inside. 😸 In the game, you had a mini game where you had to build devices for people using heaters and fans and bulbs and switches and batteries and bells and all kinds of stuff. That taught circuit design from scratch. In another minigame, characters brought you devices that were broken and you had to fix them. That taught diag and repair with test equipment because it included a volt meter and stuff to measure or test with. I forget the name of it. This was from like, Windows 98. I first remember using it when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade with my dad helping me. It worked on XP too when we upgraded from our 98 Gateway to our Compaq XP. I feel so old. 🤣 I'm not even 30 though.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars t lech says:

    That is a very affordable electrical training kit reminds me somewhere between second grade and third grade teacher for science projects.
    Immediately my eyes seeing those little spike looking things that look like tin and copper or brass mix, to stick into a lemon or a potato and make some voltage with small current to drive low current projects like we did back in my grammar school days.
    I just purchased that kit off your link for my grandson he’s a little bit too young for that at first I will have to do all the put together and hope he is amazed by movie needles flashing lights. Like I was as a child playing with grandfathers blow torch when he was gone for work. Firing up my fathers arc welder and melting things as a child and living through it.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars George Dvojacki says:

    As an educator thanks I appreciate it. I teach at the local Community College HVAC I'll definitely be getting some of these items. I have been just using the hand boiler and was looking for another way to explain pressure differences. Service area Ottawa??

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Alex Larkin says:

    FYI…Every Hobby Lobby store I have been to carries the Drinking Bird….I buy them as gifts regularly.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars cenker aktemur says:

    İ want to communicate with you because i have a question. Do u have mail adress?

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Stewart Thompson says:

    Very nice Bryan. Are you in Nepean ?

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ClickyMcbuttons says:

    Jandy was here.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Eassyheat/ Cooling says:


  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars J LO Gaming says:

    Very cool video. Great work.

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