Happy Fall, friends!

Hard to believe, but cooler temps, fall colors and football season are just around the corner! In a nationwide survey, nearly 30% of Americans chose fall as their favorite season -- and it isn't any wonder why. Cincinnati is drop-dead gorgeous in the fall -- our skies big and blue, trees rich orange and red hues and weather perfectly cool-but-not-cold-nor-hot-nor-humid.

However. If you're a homeowner, you might not be singing the praises of fall quite so... enthusiastically. While mowing season might soon be drawing to a close, the weekly grass cut is replaced by raking, leaf blowing, branch trimming, gutter cleaning and more! Don't get overwhelmed -- here's our list of six important things every homeowner should do this fall:

1. Clean the gutters.
The leaves can pile up, become wet, block and damage gutters and your roof. Just be safe when climbing the ladder (having someone hold the base is always a good idea)

2. Check your windows and doors.
If there are any drafts or leaks, bugs can get in, warm air can get out and your heating bill can go up.

3. Make sure your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors work!
This is especially important as the holidays/Christmas tree season approaches.

4. Invest in a programmable thermostat.
You can get a good one for less than $100, and it will pay for itself. Nowadays, there are some you can manage from your smartphone!

5. Rake your lawn.
Once every few days. Or, go over your lawn with your lawn mower to mulch up the leaves.

6. Store your summer equipment properly.
Grills, mowers and hedge trimmers should all be stored with empty gas tanks. Clean your lawn mower's blades to prevent rust/corrosion.

7. Change your furnace filter.
You should aim to do this monthly during air-conditioning season; every 4-6 weeks when your heat is on.

8. Review your homeowner's policy.
We like to remind people do check in with their insurance agent every once in awhile, just to make sure everything is up-to-date and in good order.

See -- nothing too crazy! Do these things, and your house will be in good shape for fall!

Source: Department of Energy, Thermostats.

Photo Credit: Ian Sane, Fall Back.

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