(BPT) - Fall is the perfect season to enjoy apple picking, pie making and everything pumpkin spice. The cooler weather will have many finding themselves embarking on fall foliage hikes and festive hayrides. It's also the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and tackle those home maintenance projects you put off all summer long.

'Conducting routine home maintenance checks is a great way to ensure that your home is looking and operating its best as we head into the cooler weather months,' said Judd Larned, President, Culligan Water. 'From having your water tested to changing furnace filters and cleaning gutters, fall is a great time to tackle these to-dos.'

Here are six projects that can help keep your home operating in top shape well beyond when the last leaf of the season falls:

1. Paint the exterior.

Paint is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to have your home looking fresh in no time. Early fall is one of the best times to paint because there is minimal rain and less fluctuation of temperatures from day to night. This will ensure that paint goes on smoothly and has adequate time to dry properly. Start selecting the ideal color and gathering paint supplies now so that when that perfect fall day arrives, you are ready to start painting.

2. Clean out gutters.

From late winter to early summer, gutters get clogged with everything from leaves and branches to dirt and debris. Get your gutters ready for fall rain and winter snow now so that they are functioning properly once inclement weather arrives.

3. Soften your water for longer lasting appliances.

Your home's dishwasher, washing machine and hot water heater all require water to function. If you have hard water running through your pipes, it can cause a buildup of calcium and magnesium when heated. For your appliances, this means major inefficiencies and higher utility costs. Not to mention, build-ups can cause corrosion that can lead to a shorter lifespan for water-using appliances. With soft water, your appliances can remain in good health. In fact, a Water Quality Association study found that soft water successfully prolongs the efficiency of water heaters over a 9-month period.

Culligan's Aquasential® Smart High Efficiency (HE) Water Softener offers high-efficiency water softening for your home and is regarded as the world's most efficient water softener*. It can optimize salt, water and electricity, with smart features that let you track water usage, set goals and receive service notifications.

4. Draft proof your home.

Check your windows, doors and attic for air leakage that can cause unwanted drafts and utilities bills to rise. Consider options like adding a door snake, caulking windows, or even adding insulation to the attic. This will eliminate unwanted cold air from entering the home and keep those heating bills under control.

5. Test and filter your drinking water.

Because water contamination can happen at any time and/or through a local municipality, an underground well or a homeowner's own pipes, it is important to have your water tested by an expert. Water treatment solutions, such as reverse osmosis systems and specialty filters, reduce specific impurities that may be found in your water. Look for options that offer multiple stages of filtration, like the Culligan Aquasential® Smart Reverse Osmosis (RO) Drinking Water System which is generally regarded as the World's Most Efficient RO Drinking Water System.** With up to seven stages of filtration and 12 different filter options, it is certified to reduce 59 contaminants including lead, arsenic, pharmaceuticals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and PFOA/PFOS plus 15 emerging contaminants that may be in your water.

Check your furnace filter.

If the filters are dirty, your furnace has to work harder. Regularly changing the filters in your central air and heating system can significantly improve its efficiency and longevity, while easing the pressure on your wallet. In most homes, filters should be changed monthly in the heating season. You should also have your furnace serviced periodically to make sure it is working properly.

For more information about water softeners, drinking water systems, whole-house systems and solutions visit www.culligan.com.

*HE Softener when configured with proportional up flow brining with Aqua-Sensor® technology.

**Efficiency is based on 3rd party testing to NSF standards.