It may not feel like it yet, since it’s still barely September, but winter is just around the corner! The temperatures outside still say summer, so it’s hard to think about things like your home’s heater, but now is the perfect time to make sure your furnace is in tip-top shape to keep your home toasty warm through the colder months. If it’s been a while since your last furnace tune-up, there may be some funky noises or smells — which may or may not be cause for concern. If you experience something unusual when you turn your furnace on this fall, it’s important to know when you should call your local furnace repair service. Signs of trouble include:

Unusual Sounds

When your furnace is running, your heating system will give off a very low-level noise as it pushes heat throughout the house. That low whooshing sound of forced air is perfectly normal, and is in fact a sign that your heating system is doing its job. Anything more than a soft whooshing, however, is probably not a great sign. Clanking, thumping, scraping, or banging sounds are a signal that something has gone wrong. It may be an issue with the furnace itself, or elsewhere in your HVAC system. Either way, you’ll want to call in an experienced furnace repair service to check it out — yes, even if your system is still pushing out warm air. Letting the noise continue means that damage could continue to get worse (and more expensive).

Weak or No Heat

This is a pretty obvious sign something isn’t right. If your heating system is no longer providing heat, something has gone wrong. Start by checking the furnace’s pilot light. If it has gone out, follow the directions on your furnace to relight it — unless you smell gas, which would make relighting your pilot light dangerous. If your HVAC system is pushing out some heat, but it’s minimal, this could be a problem with the belts, motors, or other components in your system, rather than the furnace.

Odd Smells

You know the smell that wafts through the kitchen when you turn on a gas burner on the stove but it doesn’t ignite? If you smell that same sort of scent coming from your furnace, this is a big danger sign. Smelling gas implies that there’s a gas leak, so if you smell gas, turn off your furnace immediately. Whatever you do, do not light matches or lighters, as this can ignite the leaked gas. You should avoid turning on lights in your home as well. It might sound crazy, but the electricity from turning on a new light can be enough to ignite the gas in the air.

Once your furnace is off, open up your furnace and turn off the gas supply valve. If the weather permits, open windows and let the gas clear out of your home. Then, get out of the house and call your local furnace repair company to come check your system as soon as possible.

Liquid Leaks

If you’ve noticed a pool of water collecting around your furnace, this is another signal of leak issues. Fortunately, leaking water isn’t quite as dire as a gas leak, but it’s still something that will need to get checked by a professional heater service. A water leak is typically caused by a clog in the condensate line. It may mean your furnace still puts out heat, but you’ll want to call your local furnace repair to take a look before more extensive damage happens.

Frequent Cycling

Do you hear the click and uptick in noise when your furnace kicks on? That’s generally no problem if you’re in a room near your furnace. However, if you can hear your heater kick on then turn off quickly, over and over again, something isn’t right. It might be as simple as a clogged filter, so start by checking there. If a new filter doesn’t provide the solution and your thermostat is working properly, it could be any number of other mechanical problems in your HVAC system. Let your local furnace repair suss out the issue.

If your furnace, or any portion of your heating system, has been showings signs of trouble, get help before the damage gets worse. Contact the experienced professionals at Comfort Pros Heating and Cooling in Lee’s Summit for furnace repair and more.