CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If you’re a homeowner, there are fall chores you should not ignore to keep from shelling out big bucks.

First up, checking your roof before cold and rainy weather sets in is a good thing to do once a year. If you’re going to do it yourself, look for any missing shingles or any loose or missing roof flashing.

If your roof is very high and doesn’t offer you a good view from the ground, hire a handyman or roofing company. You should ask them to show you pictures of any damage they find, and while they’re up there, have them look for rodent damage. Nesting squirrels can cause a lot of chaos in your attic and pose a fire risk if they chew wires.

Keeping tabs on your roof can save you the cost of a new one or hefty repairs into the thousands. The average cost for a new roof is about $9,000, depending on the size and the types of shingles you choose.

You'll also want to check the gutters to make sure they’re clear. Falling leaves and other debris can clog downspouts. If water backs up then freezes, there could be a lot of damage to the roof line, not to mention the weight could bring the gutters down. Gutter service should run you under $200.

Inside your home, you should have the furnace checked for efficiency and make sure your filters are clean and changed often. If you lower the temperature inside the house by 10-15 degrees when you sleep and when you’re at work, and do the same in the summer, you can save as much as $100 a year.

It may seem like a pain to do these things and spend the money, but if you don’t, you’ll only end up spending more.