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HVAC Systems Aren't a Fan of That Pleasant Autumn Breeze

How Does Fall Weather Negatively Impact an HVAC System?

The golden late-afternoon sun, the crunchy colorful leaves, the brisk evening air - these are just a few of the simple pleasures autumn brings. But in many regions, autumn also brings plenty of windy days and chilly nights as it comes into full swing. While this is mostly just a pleasant and welcome effect of the transition to winter, it can do a lot to interfere with a home’s HVAC system.

Certain aspects of fall weather can not only hinder an HVAC system’s performance, but they can also cause major damage to the unit. So as the breeze picks up and the leaves come dancing down to earth, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Falling Leaves Can Choke the System


The seasonal shedding of leaves is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and enchanting aspects of the autumn months. But as the leaves fall, they pile up very quickly all around the yard, and with the breezier weather, thick drifts of dead leaves will begin to form against fences, hedges, and the sides of the house. Most HVAC units are installed at ground level on one side of the house - just where the wind causes leaves and other debris to end up.

The leaves then get sucked against the unit’s intake vent, constricting airflow and putting undue strain on the blower motor. This can occur even with roof-mounted units where leaves collect on the rooftop. It doesn’t take many leaves to suffocate a unit to the point of failure (especially if they’re damp), so it pays to be vigilant.

Wind-Blown Dirt and Debris Can Get Inside the Unit

More than just leaves can be drawn to the unit’s intake vent. Dirt, grit, and other debris kicked up by the breeze also tend to make their way to the unit’s location. Instead of being stopped by the intake grate, this particulate matter will go right into the unit. The HVAC filter will trap the vast majority of this, but it won’t take long for it to become saturated with so much extra filth, and more and more will escape into the system.

Dirt and grit on the breeze can also make their way into the unit when it’s off. In either case, the buildup can damage or interfere with electrical and mechanical components within the unit, requiring some expensive repairs.

Why Heater Maintenance Is So Important

Keeping the yard and the area around the HVAC unit clean and free of debris goes a long way but should not be considered the ultimate safeguard. Professional maintenance and cleaning are essential to ensuring peak performance and preventing costly damage. An expert can safely clean and tune up the heater’s delicate inner-workings and advise the homeowner on their specific circumstance’s best protective measures.


Autumn heater maintenance will not only let homeowners enjoy the lovely fall weather with ease and peace of mind; it will also ensure the heater is in good shape and ready to handle the coming winter.

About Rupcoe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

RupCoe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has provided South Plainfield, New Jersey, with exceptional service for over 30 years. As a family-owned and operated business, their commitment to customer relationships, punctuality, and quality workmanship is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact them for HVAC maintenance services in South Plainfield, NJ today!