No matter what the weather is like outside, you probably depend on your thermostat to keep the air in your home cool and comfortable. You come home from a long day at work and expect your home to be at a certain temperature that you find comfortable. It can be a shocking experience if you walk into a home that feels either frigid or frighteningly hot. What happens when your thermostat clicks, but there’s no heat or air?

Unfortunately, professional HVAC technicians often get calls from homeowners who have a thermostat that clicks but no heat. They can actually hear the thermostat click, but nothing happens after that initial sound. What is the most likely culprit for this annoying and uncomfortable scenario? Here are the top ways you can solve the problem on your own.

Replace the air filters

When is the last time you changed the air filters in your home? If you are like most people, those air filters haven’t been changed in months. Experts actually recommend that they get changed every sixty to ninety days.

If you have multiple pets or allergies, you may even want to consider changing them each month. When the air filters are too clogged with dirt, dust, pet hair, or other debris, the airflow into your furnace is restricted.

The furnace has a difficult time generating heat if there isn’t enough airflow into the unit. Invest a few dollars in new high-quality air filters before you try anything else. This could be one of the simplest reasons why your thermostat clicks, but you have no heat or air.

Clean the pilot ignitor

Over time, the pilot ignitor might collect too much debris and buildup to ignite the furnace when the thermostat clicks on. Without this ignition, you’ll never be able to heat up your home for those long winter nights.

You can check to see if the pilot ignitor is the cause by removing the front panel of your furnace and looking around inside. Identifying if this could be causing the thermostat to click but give no heat could help guide your repair work in the right direction.

The key here is that you should just be inspecting the pilot ignitor in your furnace. The actual work of cleaning should be left to a professional technician. Taking care of this component can be extremely challenging and unsafe for the average layperson to handle.

Correct the thermostat setting

The thermostat clicks but nothing happens. This might be because your thermostat is actually on the wrong setting. In order for the furnace to start running, you need to set the thermostat for a temperature that requires the air to be warmed up. You can try to turn up the set temperature significantly, just to test the system.

The other settings on your thermostat matter too. Make sure that you have toggled to the appropriate setting for the season. The system switch should be on either “heat” or “auto” for the winter months. The fan should also be turned to “on” or “auto.”

Check the breaker

One of the most basic causes for a thermostat that clicks, but the furnace doesn’t start is that there is no power. It seems like one of the first things you should check, but many homeowners forget this step.

If you had a recent electricity surge, it is quite possible that the breaker has been flipped. Without power, it’s no wonder that the thermostat clicks, but you have no heat or air. After you check the breaker box for your home, you also need to make sure that the furnace is turned on.

Turn on the gas supply

Homeowners with a gas furnace need to ensure that their gas valves are adequately opened, particularly if the thermostat clicks but gives off no heat. Turn it on gently and see if the furnace begins to start.

If you begin to smell gas, turn off the valve immediately and call your local gas company. This is a sign that you may have a leak, and it can be extremely dangerous. Handling gas leaks should always be left to the professionals because it can cause long-term damage to your health and your home. This is one area where a DIY fix should never be recommended.

Calling the professionals

There are plenty of things you can try on your own at home to correct a thermostat that clicks but gives off no heat or air. Most of these tasks take just a matter of minutes, but they could save you hundreds of dollars in repair bills.

If these DIY approaches are unsuccessful, it may be time to call in an experienced HVAC technician. There may be a much larger issue at play that can’t be addressed by the average homeowner.

Don’t be afraid to give your local HVAC company a call. It can be uncomfortable to live in your home when your thermostat clicks but nothing happens. Get it under control sooner by reaching out for help!

Michael Joseph

Michael Joseph has more than 20 years of hands-on experience as an avid home handyman and had 10 years in the construction industry, specifically in the field of HVAC.
Michael Joseph
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