Google reviews icon
Google Rating
Autumn leaves on an air conditioner. Depicting impact of leaves on HVAC

The Impact Of Autumn Leaves On Your HVAC System 

The weather has taken a crispy turn. As the orange, yellow, red, and brown leaves cover the ground and mesmerize your sight, a problem also comes. 

The wind-blown leaves reach the HVAC system’s outdoor unit, impacting the airflow, causing physical damage to critical components, increasing energy consumption, and affecting its performance. It requires some effort and proper HVAC maintenance to safeguard your system from seasonal challenges. 

As an HVAC owner or user, you must know about the magnitude of impact these autumn leaves bring on the HVAC system. We will also share some useful tips to reduce this seasonal impact. 

So, let’s get started! 

Reduced Airflow:

The wind-blown leaves accumulate around or at the bottom of the outdoor sub-unit of the HVAC system. These accumulations choke off the air, making it difficult for the HVAC system to diffuse heat.

Other than accumulation around the outdoor unit, the debris from autumn leaves can enter the HVAC system, clog the air filters, and obstruct the vents, reducing the net airflow of the system. The reduced airflow has a direct impact on the performance and longevity of the HVAC. 

Blocked Exhaust And Intake Pipes:

Exhaust and intake pipes play a critical role in maintaining the quality of indoor air. Their function is important in supplying fresh air and taking out unwanted odors, smoke, and pollutants. Both of these pipes are located on the outside of the building, hence more susceptible to impact from autumn leaves.

Autumn leaves can block the opening of the intake or exhaust pipes. The debris from leaves can go into the pipe and cause blockage. In either case, it will compromise the indoor air quality and affect temperature control. The blockages can also foster bacterial and mold growth, which causes health problems for the residents. 

Damage To Components:

Internal components such as tubing, coils, compressors and fans are susceptible to moisture, dirt, and debris damage. Dirty conditions trigger the rusting process, which also damages the internal components. Leaves or debris contain moisture and dirt, which triggers damage to the internal components of the outdoor unit. The damage can affect the HVAC system’s overall working efficiency, damage the components, and cause system breakdown. 

Overheating Issues:

Overheating the HVAC system is a serious concern, leading to HVAC breakdown or permanent system failure. Autumn leaf accumulation can cause the HVAC system to overheat as it restricts the airflow by clogging filters, exhaust, and intake pipes and piling up around the exterior unit.

Decreased Compressor Efficiency:

The HVAC compressor is the major component of the system, which the autumn leaves can damage. The effect can be direct or indirect. The reduced airflow due to the accumulation of dry leaves around the outer unit or inside the pipes burdens the compressor and cannot freely exchange air. This causes the compressor to work harder to maintain the required temperature. Furthermore, the accumulated leaves or the left debris can physically damage the compressor or its components. 

Increased Energy Consumption:

The autumn leaves are responsible for energy consumption in two ways. Firstly, the blockade caused by autumn leaves restricts the airflow to the HVAC system, which makes it difficult to maintain the desired temperature or indoor air quality. In such cases, the HVAC will consume more energy to perform its function.

Secondly, the blockages due to leave piling affect the internal components of the HVAC system. It decreases their efficiency. The malfunctioning components increase energy usage for declining performance. 

Reduced Performance:

Seemingly beautiful and harmless autumn leaves reduce the HVAC system performance. Due to leave accumulation, the system faces problems maintaining the airflow and suffers from physical damage such as rusting. Leaves can also cause system breakdown and permanent failure. 

Increased HVAC Costs:

Reduced airflow and increased stress on HVAC due to autumn leaves cause increased energy consumption and frequent breakdowns, which increases the HVAC costs. More energy consumption results in higher energy bills, while frequent breakdowns require frequent maintenance services. This elevates the HVAC system’s cost and causes peace of mind. 

Tips To Keep Autumn Leaves Away From HVAC System

Now that you understand the impact of autumn leaves on the HVAC system, it is essential to know how to reduce these impacts and save your HVAC system. 


Here are some tips to keep your HVAC system safe from the autumn leaves.

Install A Leave Guard Cover Year Round

Whether autumn or not, leaves are a constant hazard for your HVAC system. Installing a leave guard cover is essential so that leaves can’t enter the exhaust or intake pipes. Leave guard can also prevent debris build-up. Installing a leave guard will protect the HVAC system from probable problems. 

Keep The Clean The AC Unit

Leave accumulation around or under the AC Unit causes problems. Cleaning the outside of the AC unit from dirt and debris allows unrestricted airflow and protection from possible issues. 

Protect The Outdoor Unit With a Cover

Covering the outdoor unit with a cover to avoid leaves, dirt, and debris without restricting the airflow is the best solution to safeguard the HVAC system. The cover protects the outdoor unit from extreme weather, such as rain and direct sunlight. 

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance allows comprehensive cleaning of the HVAC system. HVAC technicians clean the filters, pipes, and other HVAC system components. They also check the HVAC system for faults, perform repairs, and ensure performance efficiency. 

If you want to minimize the impact of autumn leaves on your HVAC system and keep it running smoothly, you must schedule regular HVAC maintenance with Surrey Air. With professional experience in providing HVAC maintenance services in residential and commercial buildings, their technical experts offer extensive services efficiently. Contact Surrey Air to schedule your maintenance services today!


The number of spreading wind-blown leaves increases during autumn, posing a possible threat to the HVAC system. These leaves can accumulate above or under the outdoor unit, and leaves or their debris can enter the pipes and filters and clog them. The leaves can also damage the essential components of the HVAC system. Leave causes reduced airflow and affect the performance of the HVAC system. The system consumes more energy, overheats, faces frequent breakdowns, and may suffer failure. One should install leave guards, cover and clean the outdoor unit, and schedule regular maintenance to reduce the impact of autumn leaves on the HVAC system. 



See What People Are Saying

Ian Mackenzie
Ian Mackenzie
service request was handled very well the technician arrived within the time frame given and was courteous and efficient and the job done within a sshort time frame
Ric Hanger
Ric Hanger
Positive inter action and courteous service from the repair person.
Markandu Sivanesan
Markandu Sivanesan
On time. Service honest. Advised suggestion. All working fine. Knowledgeable. Serviced well.friendly and helpful advice. Will call again when needed
Aynsley Mitchell
Aynsley Mitchell
I discovered my central heating had failed late Tuesday night. My dealings with Surrey Air staff on Wednesday morning were exceptionally swift, courteous and professional. They had my system back online by lunchtime! It was clear that the office staff including Claire and the field staff took responsibility for fixing my problem and communicating quickly ,and thoroughly, vital information. They provided me with the opportunity to discuss, with Jason (the boss) the potential consequent scenarios following the repair. and solutions to each. I cannot recommend this team highly enough. Professional, Practical, Available and Affordable service I need more stars to reward them all
Pam Sampson
Pam Sampson
A very professional and friendly service which quickly identified the problem with our heating system.The options to correct the problem were clearly identified and the costs made known.
Mark Willing
Mark Willing
Ducted heating service was done promptly and efficiently
Greg Lawson
Greg Lawson
Very thorough work for my service and clearly understood course of action as possible remedy for problem with my Brivis Gas Heater.
Kaylene West
Kaylene West
I would recommend the Surrey Air team. Paul was able to identify the problem with the ducted heating and arranged for the replacement of parts to be installed as soon as possible. Very happy with their work.
David Russell
David Russell
Great service and very easy to deal with

Contact us Today for a Quote!

Related Posts

Request A Service

Get A Quote Today!