Check windows and doors this fall to make sure that the home is properly sealed and insulated.

Mr. Handyman sees autumn as the ideal season to prepare your home before temperatures dip and seasons change.

Leaves can cluster in valleys on a home's roof and cause water damage later on.

Responsible homeowners should also clean out their gutters in the spring and fall. Todd Mailloux, owner of Mr. Handyman of Bloomfield/Birmingham, said those leaf-clogged gutters could later contribute to ice dams when winter comes.

"You generally want to wait until the leaves have fallen so that you're ready for the winter," he added. "If you do it too early, they're going to be clogged up again."

Mailloux also warned homeowners to pay attention to the home's insulation. Doors and windows are frequently culprits for heating and cooling leaks.

"You want to make sure you've got a good seal on your windows or doors," he said. "The caulking of your doors may have cracked. The weather stripping around the door may either need to be added or repaired, just to make sure that it's functioning properly."

A professional home inspection can detect problems not normally on home owners' radars.

"You may have some rotted wood that is going to create drafts and things like that to your attic or around your windows or around your doors," he said. "You definitely want to replace any rotted wood."

Once the insulation leaks are minimized, homeowners should further maximize the efficiency of their heating systems, Mailloux said. Fall is a good time to change furnace filters so that the furnace doesn't have to work so hard, he said.

"Your furnace had been sitting all summer long, and your air conditioning has been working," he said. "As you're firing up that furnace for the winter, you want to make sure you have a good, clean air filter."

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