A couple of French designers have recently come up with a very interesting table that literally blows hot and cold and it is a must have for anyone who wants to both cut the cost of energy bills and do something useful for the environment.

So here it is – the Z.E.F. table that promises to take in and release heat with zero costs. This is where the initials come from – Zero-Energy Furniture. Needless to say that this could be a huge step forward into eco friendly furnishings, since its designers have already announced that they are not willing to stop here. The table might be followed by wall panels, chairs or wardrobes.

So how does this very “cool” table work? The design behind it is not of the do-it-yourself type but it shouldn’t be too complicated for someone who is in tune with technology.

The table allows the heat exchange and air flow enhancement through the anodized aluminum placed at its bottom. Between the aluminum layer and the oak table there is a wax-like substance which basically acts like a sponge. Thus, it absorbs the heat whenever room temperature reaches 71.6 degrees (Fahrenheit) and releases it when it goes below 71 degrees. The aluminum layer is the one that helps preserve the heat inside the table.

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The phase-changing materials (PCM) employed in creating this cooling table will create a comfortable temperature in the room. Imagine having a party with many guests sitting around the table. It will obviously get hot after a while, but this table’s job is to cool the atmosphere in no time and warm it up just before everyone starts putting jackets and sweaters on.

The futuristic piece of furniture is the result of a collaboration between French engineer Raphael Menard and designer Jean-S├ębastien Lagrange. They definitely haven’t reinvented the wheel by using phase-changing materials, as these have been used for quite a while now.

However, according to them, their invention is not only good looking and practical but it also promises to save up to 60 percent on heating bills and 30 percent on air conditioning. They are both confident that such furniture is not only appropriate for homes but also for other environments, such as restaurants and hospitals.

However nice the table may seem, it might take a while until it is available for purchase and becomes part of the furniture. The creators are hoping to release the first items by the end of the year. The climatic table is not expected to be too cheap but it probably won’t cost an arm and a leg.

It still remains to be seen if it is a useful and functional invention worth the investment or just a flash in the pan.

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