Heating your home with cloud servers could be bigger in Germany than David Hasselhoff

cloud storage servers can be used to heat buildings server
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/traftery/
When you think of cloud storage, the last thing that probably comes to mind is the amount of heat that the servers used to power such services generate. Currently, most of this heat goes to waste, but some cloud storage companies are coming up with creative ways to re-purpose this unused energy.

A German firm called simply (and aptly) Cloud & Heat is one of those companies. The company developed an inventive method of simultaneously offering cloud service along with an alternative energy source for German households.

In a nutshell, Cloud & Heat allows people to store its servers in German homes in exchange for heat and hot water. High-capacity servers generate a great deal of heat, which normally goes unused.

In this instance, all that excess hot air is collected, fed into a buffer tank, and then exploited to raise the temperature of water and your surroundings. It’s as simple as that. All Cloud & Heat needs from you is space to spare, but there is a catch.

You’ll need 12,000 euros, or $15,000, upfront to cover installation costs. It sounds expensive, but for at least 15 years, you won’t be paying a penny extra. In the long haul, it’ll be like spending €66 ($82) a month on heat and hot water. As Bloomberg reports, energy prices in Germany are among the highest in the E.U. However, it’s unclear whether the costs associated with Cloud & Heat’s offering makes it a good deal for the average consumer.

In the summer time, or whenever heat isn’t needed in your home or office, the Cloud & Heat system can transport it out of the building via a bypass. You can also combine it with existing heating systems if you feel it’s not up to the task by itself. Plus, the servers are hosted inside a massive fireproof safety cabinet that’s virtually unbreakable.

A French corporation titled Qarnot is working on a similar solution, and Microsoft has hinted at using the thermal power generated by data servers for this exact same goal three years ago.

Maybe a way to lower user bills will also be found once others join in on this. In the meantime, you can check out Cloud & Heat’s website for full details regarding their server-powered heating system, and contact them if you’d like to volunteer.

Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Smart Home

The best oven ranges, whether you’re a chef or just need to heat up a pizza

Finding an oven that is right for you is hard. Whether you're a novice looking for an entry-level gas oven or a master chef looking to upgrade to the best, here are some of the best oven ranges available now.
Smart Home

Have Siri control your home with the best devices that work with Apple HomeKit

Though they've been slow to trickle out, the list of HomeKit smart home products continues to grow and will only continue to do so now that the HomePod is available. Here's a list of the best Apple HomeKit-compatible devices.

A new Mac Pro is supposedly coming in 2019, but what will it be like?

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the top news, leaks, and rumors about the new Mac Pro set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what's likely to show up with the new Mac Pro.

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.