House-cleaning tips for allergy sufferers

Many people turn to nasal sprays and antihistamines to combat seasonal nasal allergies or hay fever, but keeping the home clean is just as important in the fight against allergies. Here are some tips to keep the allergies at bay, according to Arm & Hammer:

* Keep the outdoors out by keeping shoes and jackets limited to the entryway or mudroom, and showering before bedtime to stop the spread of pollen.

* Vacuum often, and with the right filters and bags. Replace bags every couple of months and filters at least every six months.

* Wash bedding with hot water once a week and consider protective covers.

* Keep air dry by using a dehumidifier.

* Minimize indoor plants. And make sure the plants you have are those that are least likely to increase pollen or mold exposure indoors.


Simple solutions for a safe home

Protect your valuables by following these tips.

* Evaluate your insurance. Standard homeowners or renters insurance places relatively low limits on jewelry, cash, and many other items. It also does not cover losses from flooding, earthquake, and hurricane unless you insure your valuables by a special endorsement or policy. Inexpensive safe deposit box insurance covers any property stored in your box against virtually all events. Using an insured safe deposit box can significantly reduce your insurance costs and give you the ability to insure items that are not covered under your homeowners policy.

* Have a disaster plan. Know what you would take if you needed to flee your home, what you would place in your safe deposit box and where you would store items left behind. Place your important documents in your safe deposit box and store them digitally in the cloud where they can be accessed at any time.


Worried about getting hacked? Get a password manager

Here are three ways a password manager can help you better protect your accounts and personal information, according to Steve Schult, senior director of product at LastPass.

Create stronger passwords: Most password managers offer a secure password generator that allows you to set and create a long, strong and unique password for every online account.

Share safely: You can conveniently store passwords and valuable documents in folders for flexible sharing with others in the family, while keeping private accounts private.

Plan for the digital afterlife: Laws and service can block your family from getting access to your online accounts when there’s a death or an emergency. A password manager that allows emergency access lets family members into your password vault so they can access what they need.


Rethink lighting to save money

Replacing old, less efficient incandescent light bulbs throughout the house with newer, energy-efficient options like CFLs and LEDs is one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways to reduce a home’s energy consumption and environmental impact. The Department of Energy says that these types of bulbs use 25 to 80 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs to produce the same amount of illumination.

— Brandpoint