(WTNH) — We have been dealing with really cold temperatures this week, which serves as a reminder that the extreme cold is not too far away.

Fall is more than just the pretty leaves and good eats at festivals. It’s also time to prep your home for what’s ahead: the winter.

Consumer Reports says to start with your chimney. Clean it out now, so it’s safe when it comes time to use it. You should also stay on top of the leaves as they fall, as they can kill your grass if they’re matted down by snow.

Consider having a professional look for leaks, because that will cause major problems when temperatures drop below freezing. Also, keep an eye on your gutter as leaves begin to fall.

And when you’re done with them for the season, remember to close your hoses! Pipes can burst and when the water inside freezes it expands, creating an expensive mess to clean up.

It’s also the season to replace your furnace filter and program your thermostat to adjust while you’re not home. That alone can save up to roughly $1,000 per year, experts say.

And plugging leaks and cleaning up around your home are easy chores that will turn into costly problems we can’t afford to ignore.

Don’t forget it’s a good idea to clean out your oven since the holidays, comfort cooking, and the baking season are ahead.

Lastly, remember to test your winter equipment. Yes, that includes the snow blower, and do it before the first snowflakes fly.