One of the reasons we love living in Los Angeles is the excellent weather all year round. However, the days are shorter and the temperatures do drop at night. Another wet winter could be around the corner, as well. As a homeowner, it’s smart to take steps now for the changing Southern California weather. You can follow these simple tips to conserve energy inside, while keeping your lawn and garden healthy outside.

Staying Warm in Smart Ways

There are many ways to keep yourself warm at night without having to blast your heater. It’s nice saving money without the air conditioner running all the time. Don’t waste just as much electricity or gas with your heating system. Keep warm blankets around to stay cozy and comfy while hanging out around the house, or just wear an extra layer. Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat that will benefit you all year-round with considerable energy savings, whether running the home’s A/C or heater. Get a heating tune-up and duct cleaning for maximum efficiency. Flip the little switch and reverse the direction of your ceiling fans in the winter to keep warm air pushing downward. If you have a fireplace, stock up on wood and supplies. Just make sure your fireplace, flue and chimney are clean, and a fireplace will offer great warmth with excellent energy savings.

Lights Off

It is very common for homeowners to keep too many lights on during the winter. It gets dark early and there are also home safety concerns in some neighborhoods. Do your best to turn lights off when not in a room. Consider installing dimmers to set the right mood while giving you more control over your lighting in the rooms where you spend the most time. For added home security, you can install motion-activated outdoor lights and infrared cameras, as well as other smart technology like camera doorbells. Of course, LED lights and other energy-efficient light bulbs can also make a big difference compared to traditional bulbs. You might be amazed at how much electricity you can conserve with a few simple changes.

Check Your Pipes

Even though it rarely gets too far below freezing in LA, it can get quite cold on some nights. Be diligent about checking pipes and insulation. Take care of leaks before they become a problem and take the necessary steps to protect your pipes from freezing and flooding. This is especially important in older houses with old plumbing systems.

Better Insulation

If you are considering long-term energy efficiency home improvements, you may want to think about upgrading your windows and doors. These can often be the weakest points when it comes to home insulation. It will cost you some money now to upgrade, but the savings will add up over time. There are also state and federal rebates for certain energy efficiency improvements. You may also want to update the insulation in your walls, floors and ceilings if you are looking for another sustainable long-term energy-conserving solution.

Winter Gardening and Landscaping

Smart technology can also make quite a difference when it comes to your lawn and garden. You may not need to use as much water this time of year—especially during rainstorms—and the right smart devices can offer excellent control over your outdoor water consumption. Having native plants in your landscaping that are suitable to the California climate is another good idea. They are adapted to local weather patterns. Some plants and flowers may do better inside during the fall and winter months. There are some you can plant and care for now for a glorious spring bloom. Composting is another great idea for sustainability, plant health and reduced organic waste.

These are just a few tips to help you save energy, water and time during the colder fall and winter months in Southern California. We can all do our part to live a more sustainable lifestyle.