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Humidifiers 101

Benefits of Humidification Humidifiers gently disperse moisture into your home environment, alleviating dry air and making your home more comfortable throughout the year. In arid regions or during the dry winter months, dry indoor air can be detrimental to your home and to your family’s well-being: What Humidifiers Do and Why This Is Important Add moisture in dry months and maintain a healthy level of humidity throughout the year. Relieve scratchy throat and hay fever symptoms: moisture helps relieve dry skin and eyes, coughs, and scratchy throats, helping you breathe better and sleep more comfortably. Reduce static electricity: beneficial to people, computers, and other home electronics. Maintain your home’s interior: consistent moisture level protects wood floors, plant life and even furniture, musical instruments, paint, and wallpaper. Increase freshness: adding humidity can increase the freshness in your home, alleviating stale “indoor air.” Lower energy bills: moist air feels warmer than dry air, so you can set your thermostat lower while still feeling warm and comfortable. Types of Products   Additional features: Look for these added features on your Holmes® humidifier. Humidistat – a humidity thermostat measures the moisture in the air and automatically disperses moisture to achieve the setting you select. Contains an Antimicrobial Product Protection Additive – This information is based upon standard laboratory tests and is provided for comparative purposes to substantiate antimicrobial activity for nonpublic health applications. The antimicrobial additive is not designed to protect users from disease-causing microorganisms. Antimicrobial additive inhibits the growth of microorganisms that cause stains and odors. Antimicrobial action limited to the product surface. Filter Change Reminder – an indicator light takes the...

Does Your Home Have Pet Odors?

Does your home have pet odors? You love your four-legged friends, but you might not leave their scents in your home. Luckily, there are ways you can keep your home smelling fresh, before lingering pet odors set into your home and belongings. Follow these tips to keep your home smelling fresh: 6 Steps to an Odor-Free Home Vacuum first! Begin with a thorough vacuum of the area to remove pet hair and dander. Sprinkle on a little baking soda. Sprinkle some on to your carpets after a thorough vacuum. Let it sit for several hours, and then vacuum it again. Baking soda neutralizes trapped odors, just as it does when used to remove funky smells in a refrigerator. Sunlight and fresh air This tip is for upholstered furniture, throw rugs, or any portable fabric-covered items. Take those items outdoors to expose them to fresh air and a little sunshine. A clothesline is a great way to avoid bugs, and expose the piece to the wind and fresh air. Leave them outside for several hours on a dry, non-humid day. Sunlight and airflow help remove all types of odors stuck within fabric fibers. Sunshine and fresh air (if the air is dry) are great for the rental unit, too. Open the curtains and windows to air the place out for several hours a day. Toss it in the wash. Area rugs, throw blankets, and machine washable draperies and linens are easily deodorized in the washer. Start by adding a 1-lb box of baking soda to your regular detergent, air-drying items in the sun when possible. If you can still smell pet odors, rewash with an...

Drones Are Transforming the Insurance Industry

The insurance industry is transforming at a bewildering rate and there are changes in the way consumers are purchasing insurance. According to a recent survey of U.S. consumers, more than 32% of all respondents—and 50% of those aged 18–25— said they prefer to work directly with insurance carriers. In today’s world, we are experiencing rapid changes in the amount of data that insurers are gathering and analyzing. The number of internet-connected devices and sensors is projected to reach 50 billion by 2020, which will have a significant impact on the availability of real-time information that insurers can use for better pricing/underwriting. Finally, we can’t forget about drones, which are expected to have a $6.8 billion impact on the insurance industry. Ways that we see drones are impacting the insurance industry. Drones already play an important part in the insurance claims process Customer experience is paramount and the ability to shorten the claims timeframe is a crucial part of maintaining competitiveness in the insurance industry. Today, one claims adjuster on site and equipped with a drone can set up an automated flight plan around multiple insured locations; evaluate the properties using sensors, and capture images. According to Cognizant, drone usage is predicted to make claims adjusters’ workflow 40– 50% more efficient. Drones can improve the speed with which customers receive settlements and give claims managers a better sense of where and how many staff should be deployed. There is also less risk involved for claims adjusters, who no longer need to climb ladders or go on roofs to assess damage; by using drones they can remain in a safe area...

Why Add Water Backup Coverage?

If you asked homeowners to create a list of situations they hoped to never have to deal with at home, a sump pump failure and water backup would likely rank just underneath having a fire. Why? It’s a disaster. Typically, when a sump pump fails it causes water to backup into your home, sometimes bringing all kinds of water-borne materials with it. A water backup can create costly damage. And homeowners have to quickly arrange for cleanup and repairs to avoid further damage. While all of that may be a good enough reason to take a second look at water backup coverage, here are four more: Reason #1: It’s not included in a standard homeowners insurance policy. Water backup coverage is an optional endorsement that must be added onto a standard homeowners, condo or renters insurance policy. Without the endorsement, you would be stuck paying for the cost of cleanup or damages caused by a sump, sump pump or similar equipment that’s not considered a plumbing system or household appliance. Reason #2: It’s fairly inexpensive. The average cost of water backup and sewer coverage is $50 to $250 annually, depending on your risk exposure and the limits you select. Different limits are available to match people’s different needs. For example, think about what’s in your basement—it’s an area that’s more likely to flood during a water backup. Is it partially or fully finished? Is your basement a storage area for expensive or hard-to-replace items? Work with your insurance agent to choose a limit that matches your unique coverage needs. Reason #3: Water backups can happen to anyone. There are...

Are You Vulnerable To Identity Theft?

It was only a few years ago that identity theft happened when someone lost a purse or wallet, or their mail was stolen. With the recent explosion of database hacking, security precautions have become one of our top priorities. To have a measure of peace of mind, we now spend nearly $300 per year on a subscription service that will notify us of unauthorized activity on our credit reports or checking accounts. “Sadly, it is not a matter of if you are going to be a victim of identity theft – it’s a matter of when.” Remember Target Stores – 110 million records were hacked and stolen in 2014. Anthem Health – almost 80 million records, Home Depot nearly 50 million and Chase Bank about 83 million accounts! These are just a few businesses that sustained major credit card and identity theft hacking during 2014 – totaling hundreds of millions of account combined! Yes, you figured it out – identity theft affects everyone. If hackers can break into the computers of high profile organizations, including federal agencies, they can break into smaller businesses’ databases as well. It should be no secret to you that data breaches today are the biggest threat to identity security. How serious is the threat of identity theft? Everyone needs to realize they are vulnerable, and they can never fully prevent identity theft. No agency can guarantee it will absolutely protect a person’s credit. The only thing that can be done is to be proactive and to mitigate the damage. How can individuals be proactive in protecting their identity? Anything that contains a Social Security...

Risk and Vulnerability Assessment of Your Business

How to Conduct a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment of Your Business Major disasters shut down almost 50% of small businesses permanently. This happens either because the disaster itself is so extensive that the business is simply unable to recover, or because recovery afterward left the business at a reduced capacity where reopening was simply a losing proposition even if it were possible. The best way to avoid becoming a part of that statistic is to get real world, detailed analysis of your risk and vulnerability as a business. These assessments can help you to identify not only potential sources of loss if an emergency takes place, but they can also help you to know more about the costs involved so that you can properly plan recovery budgets and insurance profiles for your business. What Does Risk Assessment Involve? The simplest way to think about risk assessment is to compare it to baby proofing a home; you will need to look at all of the different ways that a baby could become injured, and then take the time to fix those problems accordingly. In your workplace, you’ll have different considerations to take into account, but the general principles remain the same. It’s about understanding what could go wrong, and making the effort to prevent it pre-emptively. Identifying natural hazards is usually one of the easiest to do, but manmade hazards also need to be taken into consideration. In a restaurant, for example, a manmade disaster may be the spilling of grease near an area where a slip could lead to injury by fire. The way to combat this is to...

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