Preparing your home for fall should be an annual ritual. It is also a great time to make simple improvements which can save you money on repairs down the road.

Service Your Heater

Hire a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company to come to your home and perform a "clean and check" service on your heater. Many companies will offer a discount if you have your air conditioning cleaned and checked at the same time. Also, be sure to change your filter often. An article on states that it is important to have your condenser coils cleaned, which is the exterior air conditioner unit. If you have your furnace and air conditioner cleaned and checked annually, you'll prevent the need for future repairs and you'll extend the life of your HVAC system.

Seal Your Driveway

If you have an asphalt driveway, it's important to have it sealed annually. This will prevent the asphalt from crumbling. This service will extend the life of your driveway and it's also more aesthetically pleasing.

Have Your Roof Inspected

Late Summer is a great time to have your roof inspected. If there are any missing shingles of other defects, they can be repaired to prevent future leaks. The roofing company can talk to you about the life of your roof kand it's current condition. Keep in mind if your roof is in poor shape, it will lower your home value.

Paint Your Exterior Trim and Other Exterior Wood Surfaces

While the weather is warm, it's a good idea to paint or stain the exterior trim and any other wood surfaces on the exterior of your home. Other wood surfaces can include your shutters, soffits, facia, front door and garage doors. This is especially true if you see any peeling paint or rotted wood. Putting a fresh coat on your deck and wood siding will also do wonders.

Treat Your Lawn

If you didn't have a lawn "weed and feed" treatment in the summer, be sure to get it done now. If weeds get out of control, it can destroy your lawn over time. Feeding your lawn with fertilizer on a regular schedule will keep it healthy.

Refresh Your Landscaping Beds

Fall is a great time to refresh your landscaping beds with perennials. Clear out weeds. Trim bushes and trees. It's important to keep bushes and trees from growing too close to your foundation and roof. Put a new layer of mulch or other landscaping material in your beds. This helps retain water and also protects plants, bushes and trees in the cold winter months.

Wash Your Windows

Clean windows look and feel great. Let the light shine in your home by getting rid of the dirt and residue on your windows. When you're washing them, be sure to look for any rotted wood or gaps that may reveal the need for caulking or repairing.

Clean Out Your Gutters

Get all the leaves, sticks and dirt out of your gutters. The water should flow smoothly through your gutters and downspouts.

Power Wash Your Siding and More

Power wash your siding to remove the dirt and mildew. You can also power wash any concrete surface such as walkways, the driveway, the patio and sidewalks. Remove the mildew off your deck by power washing it as well.

If you go through the above punch list, your home will be ready for fall and winter. Taking care of your home will undoubtedly increase your home value as well.