We've entered the season of crisp, cool mornings and chilly evenings. Luckily, we don't experience the full winter blast as many other areas of the country do, but there are still some steps we should take to "winterize" our homes for the cooler weather.

Prepare Your Backyard Pool

Thankfully, we don't have to "close" our pools for the winter season, but there are some important steps to take to keep your pool healthy during the offseason. Be sure to vacuum the bottom, empty filters, and remove surface debris. Take adequate precautions against algae, which can still bloom during winter months.

Inspect and Insulate Doors and Windows

Did you know that as much as 7 to 12 percent of a home's heating loss occurs around windows and doors? Before winter officially arrives, inspect your home's openings to ensure they are properly sealed, and replace worn weather stripping to prevent warm air from escaping.

Clear Dead Leaves and Brush

With the recent rain and wind we've been experiencing, chances are, your yard and gutters are due for a cleaning. Dedicate a Saturday afternoon to clear dead leaves or brush that have accumulated around your yard, in the gutters, and on your roof.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

Save up to 15 percent on your annual heating costs by reversing your ceiling fans to push warm air down during colder months. To do this, set your fan to spin clockwise at a low speed. Warm air near the ceiling will circulate throughout your home, reducing the need to use your thermostat.

Replace Air Filters

A dirty HVAC filter can cause your heating and cooling system to run inefficiently and drive up utility expenses. Prevent the buildup of dirt and dust and save money by inspecting air filters once a month and replacing them every three months, if not more frequently. Additionally, changing your HVAC filters will improve the air quality inside your home.

Inspect the Attic

Perform a close inspection of your attic for signs of water damage, infestation, or insulation problems that could cause serious damage to your home if left untreated. It's important to catch any potential problems early to prevent them from becoming a widespread problem.