Back in the days when fireplaces were a common method of heating a home, houses typically consisted of a number of smaller rooms with doors between them. However, modern homes tend to have open floor plans with large rooms that cannot be sealed off by doors.
In the open-floor-plan home-design world, heating and cooling a home requires changing the temperature of a large volume of space (Fig. 1). This can be unnecessarily expensive.
We can fix this “room is too large to heat/cool” problem without requiring architectural changes. Instead, the homeowner just buys a few enormous plastic cubes with a near-vacuum inside and places these in their house (Fig. 2).
Thanks to these “vacuum cubes,” a homeowner can heat a cavernous mansion for the same cost as heating a tiny cottage (Fig. 3)!
This is a highly practical and eco-friendly addition to any modern home. Plus, if you don’t need these cubes year-round, you can just collapse them and store them in a closet or something!
PROS: Extremely eco-friendly solution to expensive heating and cooling woes.
CONS: The cube would need to be a strong material in order to resist being crushed by atmospheric pressure, so these might be impractically heavy. Maybe an air-only inflatable version would work.