So long summer! Hello fall and winter weather!

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer. The kids head back to school and the weather slowly begins to chill. As tempting as it might be to crank up the heater as the first cold front moves in, pay attention to the following tips to make sure your home is fall and winter ready.

Be kind to your furnace: Scheduling an annual furnace maintenance will help ensure your trusty, warm friend is in shape to keep the home cozy all winter. And while you’re at it, go ahead and change your furnace filters, too!

Program your thermostat: When you’re running your furnace or heater in the winter, bringing the temperature down just two degrees at night and during the day when no one is home can save up to an average of 4% on annual energy costs.

Update your equipment: For a home spending approximately $1,883 a year on heating bills, updating your equipment from a conventional furnace to a high efficiency furnace could save as much as $565 per year on heating costs.

Boost your insulation: Save up to and average of $195 on your annual energy bill when you add insulation in the attic and basement. Doing so can save as much as $120 a year.

Seal your home’s leaks: Sealing air leaks around the baseboards and attic hatch, caulking drafty windows and air sealing along the basement headers can result in a savings of up to approximately $245 on the annual energy bill.

Thank you flikr user ViaMoi for the beautiful photo of a tree transitioning into autumn.