While your community’s residents might not be spending as much time on their gardens and landscapes in the winter, it’s still a good time to perform seasonal homeowner chores and make sure that your landscapes are being properly prepped for spring, and that the home is ready to provide a warm, safe haven all winter long. Here are a few homeowner tips that apply even in our mild Southern California winter:
- Got Ceiling Fans? Change Directions: If your ceiling fans are still set for summertime temperatures, they may be spinning in the wrong direction for the winter season. Switch your fan’s direction so it’s pushing air toward the ceiling (most likely to clockwise, assuming a typical orientation of the blades). This updraft will move the warmer air and push heat downward into the room.
- Doing Your Own Mowing? Mow the Leaves, Too: Those dry leaves that accumulate on your lawn make a great free wintertime mulch for your grass. Just mow with a mulching blade and no bag, and let the resulting small pieces of leaves settle into the turf, where they’ll decompose over the winter and feed your lawn, helping it prepare for spring.
- Safety Check Everything that Produces Heat: Is the air filter in your furnace clean? Not only does accumulated dust and dirt make your furnace less efficient, it can also be a fire hazard. Also, check your fireplace and chimney — since this is the season to use the fireplace, it’s a good idea to make sure everything is clean, clear and in good, safe working order. It’s also a good idea to install a home carbon monoxide detector.
- Yes, It CAN Get Cold Here: Homeowners should be on the lookout for any plants and shrubs that are especially vulnerable to cold temperatures, and if an overnight freeze is in the forecast, take appropriate steps to cover and protect the cold-sensitive plants.
Need more tips? Check out Stay Green’s Winter Landscape Services for ideas. Or, contact your Stay Green team member and we’ll be glad to provide landscaping and homeowner tips or answer specific questions you may have.