While knocking down entire trees can be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, not everyone likes to occupy their day chopping up fireplace-sized chunks of wood. For the lazy woodsman with a strong back and plenty of space in their living room, there's this Spruce Stove ($TBA). Built to accommodate an entire tree trunk (so long as it's straight and has been pruned of all its branches), this stove features a camera-aperture-like opening that allows you to slowly feed in a log as it burns. All you need to do is find an appropriately-sized log, set it up on a couple of saw horses, and watch as the stove consumes anything you feed into it.
If you've got a really large space that needs a more efficient way to stay cool in summer and warm in winter, then Big Ass Fans ($TBD) are for you. These high volume, low speed ceiling fans are truly ginormous, ranging in size from 6 to 24 feet in diameter (now you know where their name comes from). One 24' fan can cool a 20,000 sq. ft. space on its own, using in-line helical gear reducers for nearly frictionless power transmission. These giants are engineered to move air without noise or wasted energy, providing over 25 times the airflow of a standard industrial ceiling fan. Since we first wrote about the company, they've added the award-winning Haiku fan (shown above), which is a slightly smaller fan with an integrated LED option that's perfect for rooms for lower ceilings.
It's got a deadly-sounding name, and for airborne nastiness, it's certainly lethal. Airocide ($800) uses NASA-developed photo-catalytic process to destroy Volatile Organic Compounds — harmful gasses emitted by products like paint, cleaning supplies, and even dry-cleaned clothing — that other cleaners miss. It's also FDA approved, and gets rid of all mold, fungi, viruses, and bacteria that enters its cleaning chamber. Of course, none of that means a whole lot if you don't want to put the thing in your house, but luckily it sports a clean design that will blend in with nearly any decor.
"It's like jeans for your house." Okay, so maybe no one ever says that about Recycled Denim Insulation ($6 and up), but it is made from jeans, and it does go in your house. This unique building product is made out of recycled denim and other cotton textiles, and features a natural fire retardant that also helps to inhibit mold and mildew. And thanks to the fact that it contains no chemical irritants and has no fiberglass itch, you can install the stuff easily without having to don a Hazmat suit. Available at most home improvement stores.
Okay, so maybe you're too late to get these in before Nemo drops a foot of snow on your doorstep, but at least you can be ready for next time. Available in 100- and 200-square foot models, these Mr. Heater Buddy Propane Heaters ($50-$90) promise to provide hours of safe heat using nothing but standard propane tanks. The smaller of the two stands just one foot tall and uses a 1-pound propane cylinder for fuel, while the larger model cranks out up to 9,000 BTUs of heating power and runs off grill-sized propane tanks. No matter which model you choose, you can rest easy knowing both have low oxygen sensors and a tip over switch that will shut things down if the unit gets knocked over.
When Apple updates a product, it typically improves it in small but noticeable ways, while making it slimmer and sleek. Considering the company's background, it's no surprise then that the same thing has happened with the Nest 2.0 ($250). This second-generation learning thermostat features a design that's 20% thinner, with a new, single solid stainless steel ring, a smooth lens to cover the sensors instead of a grille, and updated software. Most importantly for us, though, is the new asterisk connector that opens up compatibility with far more heating and cooling systems, meaning we can finally put some of these in our homes.
Ensure that you're getting just the right amount of heat for your living space with one of these Stack Stoves ($TBA). Designed by Adriano Design and built in Italy by Castellamonte, these ceramic stoves come in round and rectangular styles, with a variety of bases and finishes available. Need more heat? They're also modular, letting you add heating modules for power and height variations. If you want one, prepare to travel — they're not available stateside just yet.
The problem with most bedroom fans is an obvious one: even the most powerful can't penetrate the barrier of covers that keeps you warm. The Bed Fan ($100) avoids this issue by using its unique design to slip in between the covers, directing air to where you need it the most. It includes an oversized, backlit wireless remote for easy control, and can also supply a nice "outdoor" feeling should you be doing more under there than just sleeping. [via]
Tired of getting up and crossing the room just to change the settings on your AC unit? The Kuhl Air Conditioner ($TBA) causes no such problems. Thanks to a built-in Wi-Fi connection, you can control any new Kuhl — or, if you're a slum lord, a whole friggin' bank of them — directly from your phone, significantly cutting down the time you need to spend away from your beloved Barkalounger.
Keep cool while keeping your abode looking cool with the Witold Szostak Black Fan ($TBA). Featuring a '50s-ish streamlined shape, the handmade Black Fan's body is built from wenge wood, which is supported by a stainless steel leg that allows the tilt of the fan to be adjusted and housed the stretched dacron-encased propeller. Limited to just ten pieces, it's a limited edition conversation starter that'll look great in any industrial setting.
Short of starting a fire where ever you happen to be, heat isn't the most portable of commodities — as a matter of fact, you normally need to seek out the great indoors to keep yourself comfy on cold winter days. Unless, of course, you have a Mr. Heater Hero ($170). Powered by a standard propane tank and an integrated battery that runs for eight hours without the need to recharge, the Hero provides 35,000 BTUs of heating power, while its QBT burner system makes sure you retain your sanity with 50% less total noise than traditional forced air heaters. Great for the garage, tailgating, or remote man caves/camps.
When we heard the iPod's creators were planning a new product, we surely weren't thinking about HVAC systems. Yet here we are, staring longingly at the Nest Learning Thermostat ($250). This gorgeous, intelligent gadget learns from your habits, programming itself in about a week and using its colorful display to help you learn more energy-efficient and money-saving habits, while sensors keep track of whether or not you're at home, and a Wi-Fi connection makes sure every Nest in your home is aware of the other and the weather outside, so it can understand how the changing temperatures affect your heating and cooling needs. You can even control it over the web via a computer or iOS device. Sure, $250 sounds like a lot for a thermostat, until you realize that it's controlling half of your heating and cooling bill.
[Scouted by Andrew & Jeremy]