TECH BYTE: Products to Help You Save Energy This Summer

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — It’s summer. It’s hot out.

Use tech to your advantage, and save some money on your electric bill.

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Best Buy’s Nathan Roach says the smart thing to do this summer to save yourself money, is to get a smart or learning thermostat.

“Learning thermostats actually will start to learn your habits, and will adjust the temperature based off of whether you’re home, when you come back home,” Roach said. “On average, those save consumers anywhere from 10 to 20 percent on their total HVAC costs throughout the year.”

And Roach says you can control the temperature anywhere in the world through your smartphone app.

“Let’s say you forgot to turn the temperature down before you left for vacation, you could literally pull out an app, adjust it right then and there anywhere that you have Internet connection,” he said.

Roach recommends brands like Nest or Ecobee.

You can control smart light bulbs with an app, as well.

It makes it easy to put your lights on your schedule, whether you’re at home or away.

“You can tell it to go on and off at a certain time, and that’s just another way to continue to reduce your lighting bill,” Roach said.

They also can add a bit of color and decorations to your home.

“With your light bulbs, not only can you save energy, but you can have some fun with it, and do a lot of cool colors. Kids love them. It’s a great addition to go into a kid’s room.”

With normal light bulbs, you have to change them out every few months or so.

With smart or LED lights – like Philips Hue or LIFX – you only need to do it every few years.

And they plug right into a regular outlet.

“The bulbs will screw in just like a regular light bulb, and then, of course, you can add other pieces like the tiles, or other lighting accessories that you can plug into a regular one ten outlet.”

Roach says both the smart light bulbs and thermostats can also be paired up with your voice assistant if you have one.

Roach says the thermostats are easy to set up, but the manufacturer recommends you have a licensed electrician do it for you.

It just depends on your comfort level. Most people do it on their own.

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You can watch Emily Cassulo weeknights on News 12 Now at 6 and Prime News at 7 with John Mercer. Emily also does stories on different tech products and issues for Tech Byte, which airs Mondays on News 12 Now. She joined the WDEF news team in September 2016 from News 12’s sister station in Columbus, Mississippi, where she worked as an anchor, producer and reporter. Emily is no stranger to the Volunteer State. Before moving to Mississippi, she worked at WBBJ-TV, covering crime and severe weather throughout West Tennessee. She loves living in Chattanooga, and exploring what the Scenic City has to offer. Emily is a Florida native, graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism and minor in political science. While in college, Emily worked part-time as a reporter/web producer at News/Talk 96.5 WDBO. She broke her first news story there, which made national headlines, and covered the 2010 Central Florida congressional elections and the high-profile Casey Anthony trial. When she’s not busy reporting, Emily enjoys shopping, reading, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends. Feel free to e-mail her at ecassulo@wdef.com if you have any story ideas or just want to say ‘Hi.’