If you have gutters on your house, consider adding the unenviable chore of cleaning your gutters to your fall to-do list. It won't cut your heating bill, but it's an inexpensive way to save yourself a serious headache and some major expenses—and is a core part of winterization.
Leaves trapped in your gutters can collect water and clog the downspouts, which are supposed to direct water away from the house. Gutters clogged with leaves overflow and send water spilling down along your foundation.
When that water starts to freeze, that mild annoyance can become a serious problem. The added weight from that ice can damage gutters, potentially leading to a costly repair or replacement. And the ice can back up under the roof's shingles, starting leaks in your ceilings.
This story originally appeared on American Home Shield and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.