Getting the most from home tech – Fox 59

Fox 59
Close-up of a smart digital touch screen thermostat in the hallway of a residential home.
INDIANAPOLIS – When it comes to saving money, you can always bundle your home and car insurance, but there’s another key way to save that many don’t think about.
You should consider bundling your home technology.  You’ll find your tech often works best if it’s all compatible.  That doesn’t mean you have to use everything from the same company or start over.  It just means check to make sure whatever you have works together. Many people don’t.
Some of the best buys on technology come during or right after the holiday.  Household integration is key to stretching your dollar.   There are many home tech items this applies to, from doorbell cameras to Wi-Fi extenders. 
“It’s important that everything is working together in the household.  So you want to make sure that your router is working with the PCs and laptops that you have in your system,” said Michael Wilson, PR Director of Comcast Indiana.
To make sure your Wi-Fi goes all throughout your home or apartment, consider getting Wi-Fi extenders, especially if you have dead spots in your home.  Most Wi-Fi extenders are almost plug and play and are very easy to set up.  Another simple tech item are new smart thermostats.  They can literally pay for themselves in heating and cooling costs and convenience.
“Nobody wants to get up at night if you’re house is already cold and you’re in bed and everything is warm and you’re like, ‘Oh this is so nice but I have to get up and change the thermostat.’  Not anymore.  Just pick up your phone and dial it around to a warmer temperature and you’ll be a lot happier,” said Wilson.
And most smart thermostats now work with Alexa or Google, just tell it what you want.  That way, you won’t even have to go to your smart device to change the settings.  After all, we go on vacation or to work for a long period of time, but maybe you forget to set the thermostat for being away.  If you can do it remotely, you can save a lot of money by not wasting heat or air conditioning.
When thinking about home tech, don’t forget about phones.   If you don’t protect them because you like the look better without the protective device coverings, you run the risk of wasting your money.
“You’ve got to get a phone case, otherwise you are going to end up breaking your phone.  I’ve got two teenagers.  They’ve got the cracks in the glass and everything, but you can get protectors to save them from damage.  That includes protecting your phone from damage to the guts of your phone and thin screen protectors that protect the glass,” said Wilson.
Now to the cords in your home or apartment.  Once they get frayed, your signal can often become degraded and the device won’t work as well, or at all.  But there’s another factor concerning cords.  Did you know cords of all kinds in your home get eaten or chewed on more than you’d expect.
“So you have to watch out for that.  You can get cord protectors and you can actually get cord protectors that are specialized for pets too.  These protectors taste bad so pets will be less likely to chew on them,” said Wilson.  
The final way to stretch your dollar on home technology is to protect the bigger electrical items you’ve already purchased.  There’s a simple solution.  Surge protectors are always a good thing to have to save your TV, amplifiers, sound systems and video gaming systems.  A lightning storm can blow through your area and without a good surge protector, your expensive electronics can get zapped in a matter of seconds.  Normally you can get a good surge protector for maybe $20.  That’s a lot less than a ruined electrical items you have and value. 

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INDIANAPOLIS – Emergency crews are investigating after a car crashed into a building and caught fire on the city’s near west side.
According to Indianapolis Fire Department officials, crews responded to the intersection of North Harding Street and West Washington Street shortly after 2 a.m. There, firefighters found an inverted that crashed into the building. The vehicle was reportedly speeding down Washington Street and flipped before making impact with the building.
INDIANAPOLIS — Once families are done celebrating, IMPD and Indy DPW have some tips to help keep you and any new presents safe. This includes the best ways to dispose of any extra holiday waste, as well as other things to watch out for. 
One of the big things is to be careful about what you leave out with your trash this weekend. Boxes of items you’ve recently purchased or received during the holidays could attract thieves. 
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A celebration this week for a group of dedicated youth in Indianapolis. Over the past nine months, the Indianapolis Youth Commission met every two weeks, sometimes every week, with the goal of making positive changes in the city.
This group of eight young people gave city leaders their perspective on issues like violence prevention, IMPD policies and public transportation. For them, the youth perspective is critical in decision-making.