The leaves are starting to change color and the summer’s heat wave is behind us — all signs that the fall season has finally arrived. With more time spent at home this year, taking on a few preventative home maintenance projects will not only keep your family living space comfortable; it will help safeguard your home investment. Here are a few areas of your home to pay special attention to in the next couple of months:

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You want to make sure your home has sufficient insulation, especially if you have an older home. If you notice your attic insulation is level with or below the attic floor joists, you probably need to add more. To help you measure and check your insulation levels, visit Energystar.gov or consider hiring a home energy professional.

Investigate Air Leaks

Heated air can escape from gaps that develop where building materials meet. Check places where exterior siding meets windows and doors, around roof and foundation lines, around chimneys and where pipes protrude through walls or roofs. By working to stop or minimize drafts, you can save on annual energy costs. The Department of Energy notes that consumers could save ten percent to 20 percent per year.

Inspect Your Heating System

To keep your heater functioning at an optimal level, have your unit checked and cleaned by a professional. Make sure ducts and pipes located in unheated spaces are insulated. Dirt streaks around your ductwork, especially near the seams, are evidence of leaks.

Examine Windows

Ensure your windows and doors are effectively keeping warm air in and cold air out. Look for any cracks around glass, sashes and window frames. Apply adhesive foam weather strips to the top and bottom window rails or nail felt weather stripping where window sashes and frames make contact.