thermostat clicks but nothing happens

If your thermostat clicks but nothing happens, do not be afraid. I know you are used to your HVAC system providing you with the best surroundings.

And in case this issue occurs, you may be worried about how you will survive.

Below are reasons for the problem and quick fixes you can apply to get past this issue. Please read on.

If your thermostat’s air filters or pilot ignitor has dirt buildup, it may click, but nothing happens. Remove the dirt and check that the breaker is on to get your system back to normal.

Reasons Why Thermostat Clicks On but Nothing Happens

The reason for this occurrence might be one of the following:

  • You have clogged air filters
  • The breaker is off
  • The pilot ignitor is dirty
  • The thermostat has an issue
  • You have altered settings
  • The gas valve is off
  • You have defective wiring
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Note: Replacing a thermostat is quite costly. If you are not about handling these issues, kindly let an expert do it for you.

Now we know why this problem occurs. Let us see how we can fix each below.

How to Fix a Thermostat that Clicks but Nothing Happens

fix thermostat clicks but nothing happens

We have several solutions to this problem. Check each and confirm if any of them causes your thermostat to click without causing an action.

Solution #1: Check The Air Filters

When the air filters are dirty, your AC will not turn on. The filter is responsible for cleaning the air as it goes out of the system.

In this process, the filter traps dirt, pollen, and dust which clog it.

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These dirt particles build up in the filter, and when you click the system, you will see no response.

Your system will have difficulties generating heat or cool air when the air filter is clogged.

It is always recommended to change the filter at least every two to three months. Remember that you can also find high-quality filters that can screen or filter a wide range of particles. Kindly invest in such.

Solution #2: Check The Pilot Ignitor

The pilot ignitor is also another place that can cause your thermostat to fail to work.

Over time, dirt and debris can build upon this section, causing a failure to ignite the furnace.

Did you know that this ignition enables you to heat your home for more extended hours during winter nights?

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You will need to confirm the presence of debris in the pilot ignitor by removing the furnace’s front side then checking inside.

If you confirm that there is dirt inside, then you know this is the cause for your thermostat clicking but not heating. Let a professional HVAC personnel help you clean the system.

Note that you may not clean it as it should be cleaned; hence, a pro is needed to help you out.

Solution #3: Check The System’s Settings

When the thermostat clicks but nothing happens, your settings might be having an issue.

The furnace will only start running if you set it at the ideal temperature to warm the room. Check the temperature settings and significantly adjust them to test if your room will begin warming.

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Remember, no warming activity will occur if your room’s temperature is the same as the system’s temperature. To mean, neither the AC nor the heat will turn on.

You also need to ensure that the other settings are okay for the system to run well. 

You should adjust the thermostat to ‘cool’ or ‘heat’ options seasonally. Also, ensure that the fan is on the ‘auto’ or ‘on’ options for air to flow properly into your room.

Let the system switch be on the ‘Auto’ or ‘heat’ option during winter.

Solution #4: Confirm If The Capacitor Is In Good Shape

Have you cleaned the filter and the pilot ignitor and adjusted the system, but the thermostat is still not behaving?

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The capacitor might be the problem. This device stores the electrical charge that the system uses to start the compressor. So, it acts as a battery.

You may notice that the capacitor is faulty when a buzzing sound follows the thermostat click. The sound shows that the compressor is starting, but it has no capacitor’s necessary charge.

You may not be able to address this issue. But since you have a clue that the capacitor is faulty, call an expert to handle it.

Remember, the capacitor has some stored voltage. If you handle it improperly, it can cause shocks.

Solution #5: Check That the Gas Supply Is On

A closed gas valve will cause your thermostat not to heat even if you hear its click.

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You should ensure that the valve is open adequately for the furnace to generate heat to your surroundings. If it is off, try to turn it on gently and check if the system is working.

After turning on the gas valve, you should not smell any gas. If you smell, you may need to close the valve immediately and call a thermostat professional.

Remember, gas leaks are very dangerous, and in case there are any in your house, the dangers can be immeasurable than you can handle.

Solution #6: Check the Thermostat

When an AC thermostat clicks but nothing happens, it could be that it has malfunctioned.

The leading cause of your thermostat malfunctioning is often a faulty or broken relay system.

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The relay system ensures proper communication between the thermostat, the furnace, or the HVAC system. Some wires turn on the heat while others signal the flow of cool air.

To know that your thermostat is not in a good state,

1. Check Its Wiring

If they are loose, tighten the relays and confirm if they have any damage.

2. Check For New Sounds

If the thermostat clicks louder than it usually does while other systems are working normally without any sound, your thermostat is likely malfunctioning.

The immediate solution is to have a thermostat professional address this issue. They may need to replace the whole system or correct the defective wires.

Solution #7: Check the Thermostat’s Breaker

Power is essential for your thermostat to work. So, if you hear the click but nothing happens, then the system may have no power.

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Power is the first thing you should ever check if your system fails. However, most people forget this tip and conclude that their thermostat has malfunctioned.

The breaker mostly flips when you perform an electricity surge. So, if you did so, you may need to check it because it is the cause of lack of power; hence, no heat nor air.

After confirming the breaker is on, ensure that the furnace is on.

Read Next: What Happens if Thermostat Battery Dies?

When to Call the Professionals When My AC Thermostat Clicks But Nothing Happens

Most of the above solutions are DIY approaches. Try when you can, but if your thermostat still clicks, but nothing happens, you will need to contact a pro in HVAC systems.

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Your system might be having an issue that is beyond your approach.

Remember, it is never safe to live with a thermostat that clicks, but nothing happens. Consider this control measure as soon as you can to be on the safer side.

Ensure that your thermostat’s pilot ignitor and the air filter are okay to ensure that it works after clicking. Also, flip on the breaker and ensure that the gas supply is on for the system to work properly. Let a pro help you do what you cannot handle.


If your thermostat clicks but nothing happens, it might be having any of the above issues.

The best thing is that you can always go past this problem if you apply any of the solutions above.

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Remember to try from the top till your thermostat works normally again. If none works, do not hesitate to contact your local HVAC system pro to give a helping hand.

Nicole B