Given the approaching winter, falling leaves and changing temperatures, there are many maintenance duties that should be on your to-do list this autumn.

Whether you're a new homeowner or a veteran who's never given much attention to fall maintenance, you'll want to ensure your home is in tip-top shape. Not only does prepping your house for winter prevent costly damage, such as burst pipes and roof leaks, but it also helps you save on your energy expenses. To get started, check out these 10 tips from a new WIN home inspection infographic:

  1. Roof: Head up to your roof and look for missing or damaged shingles and holes. You don't want these issues leading to leaks and lost heat once the snow starts to come down. Consider a property inspection for a more thorough review.
  2. Gutters: Hop on a ladder and remove leaves and other debris from your gutters and downspouts. If you leave clogs, ice dams can form when the temperatures drop, increasing the risks of leaks and icicle formation.
  3. Furnace: A professional can clean and inspect your furnace. Also, replace the filter when it gets dirty and check it at least once a month. You also want to clean your ducts and vents, as dust can present a fire hazard.
  4. Chimney: If you have a chimney, ensure it is ready for more extensive use. A building inspection can determine if there are creosote or fuel blockages.
  5. Fireplace: After your chimney is clear, clean out the fireplace. This reduces the risks of fire and carbon monoxide.
  6. Smoke detectors: Speaking of fire risk, test your smoke detectors. Change the batteries if necessary and remove any dust from the devices.
  7. Attic: Check the insulation in your attic. Replace thinning insulation and ensure vapor barriers face down toward the house.
  8. Pipes: Water must be drained from all exterior pipes so they don't burst in freezing temperatures. Also, consider insulating pipes in unheated or uninsulated parts of your house.
  9. Windows: There are various ways to prevent heat from escaping through your windows. First, inspect them for drafts. Then, replace screens with storm windows and install weather stripping. If you still feel a draft, you can seal your windows with shrink wrap.
  10. Caulking: Check around your windows and doors for air leaks. Seal these gaps with caulk, and you can see a 10 percent reduction in your heating bill.