Thermostat Not Clicking? It May Need Replacing

Thermostats are great for keeping you nice and toasty – right up until they stop working. While it’s entirely possible that a thermostat not clicking could be a minor, easy fix, it could also mean more. Depending on what’s happening in tandem with the lack of noise, you could be due for a replacement and tune-up of your home heating system. Luckily for you, DreamyHome is here to make sure things don’t get out of hand while you’re checking it out.

If your thermostat is not clicking, it could be a minor repair. But if the heating system isn’t responding either, then you may have an issue.

Keep reading to learn when to worry and when to make a simple repair.

Signs of a Dying Thermostat

Now, the thermostat is only one part to what is, in essence, one large and very complicated machine. While the purpose (heating) is rather simple, the parts that make it happen can and will eventually fail. As we learn day-in and day-out at DreamyHome, all things must come to an end – especially electronics.

So what should you be looking for to know if it’s time to replace a thermostat, or worse yet, call an HVAC engineer?

Thermostat Not Clicking

Generally, with most thermometers, when you make an adjustment to the temperature, you’ll hear an audible “click” sound. Now, first things first – if your thermostat never made a clicking sound and still doesn’t, you’re likely fine – assuming the heat comes on anyway. If, however, your thermostat did click and now doesn’t, that’s a sign that something has gone wrong. In addition, if the HVAC system comes on, click or no, then you’re in the clear.

The click sound alone means next to nothing. Assuming that your HVAC system works perfectly without the click, there’s little cause for concern.

Short Cycling and Loss of Settings

These are two slightly less common issues that we’re just going to group together for convenience’s sake. Short cycling is when your HVAC system can’t finish a full heating or cooling cycle. Instead, it will stop partway through, leading to reduced efficiency and an increased bill – yikes. This is generally caused by a fault in your thermostat telling the system that it’s “done” when it really isn’t.

Loss of settings should be a rather clear sign that something changed with your thermostat. Most modern thermostats have the ability to save a handful of set temperatures and settings. If yours suddenly can’t (or doesn’t have them at all), something went wrong.

HVAC Won’t Turn On At All

Now, this is an obvious sign that something is wrong. If it comes with an “on/off” switch and doesn’t respond to it, something has changed. With a properly functioning HVAC system, you should be able to make minor (or major) adjustments to the heating or cooling in a matter of seconds and feel the change within minutes. A delay in the heating changing is a sign that something is dying but not dead.

If you’re concerned that your HVAC system has entirely stopped working, call an HVAC engineer. There is very little you can do yourself to fix most issues that may arise, short of simply replacing the thermostat.

If your HVAC won’t turn on, it’s a sign that your thermostat is dying. While you can replace the thermostat to see if this is the case, it’s likely better to consult with an engineer first. They will be able to pinpoint your problem and prevent you from wasting money.

Try to Troubleshoot

Now, if you’re experiencing these things for the first time, it’s not quite yet time to panic. There are several things you should do to ensure you’ve tried all you can before calling in an HVAC engineer. Besides, some of these would be quite embarrassing to have fixed in front of you by a paid professional.

Batteries

Yes, the thing we all insist we changed… right up until we pop in new ones and realize we never quite got around to actually changing. If your thermostat is battery-powered and has started to have an unlit or darkened screen – this is likely the cause.

Long story short – if your thermostat doesn’t have batteries, it can’t do its job. That leads to no clicking sound, HVAC not turning on, short cycling, and loss of settings. Try it out, and if it works, great! If not, move down the list.

Screen

Okay, you checked the batteries and the screen is still unlit – it’s time for a replacement. If it’s powered and not lighting up, it’s likely that your thermostat’s time has come.

Setings

If your settings change or disappear, it’s very possibly caused by old batteries. If, however, you haven’t really messed with your settings – check them out. There could be some factory settings still saved, or someone else in the home could have made a change. Ensure that the thermostat simply hasn’t been set to the wrong settings, as it could be just as easy as hitting a few buttons.

Circuit Breakers

Another commonly overlooked (and very easy) fix. Make sure your circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Take a look at the breakers for your HVAC system, the breakers for your thermostat (if different), and at the main box. If they’ve tripped, flip them back and retry.

If your breaker trips again after being turned back, that’s a sign that you have a) an electrical fault in your system, or b) you need to move one or both devices to another less crowded circuit.

Try moving the devices, and if that doesn’t work – call a pro.

Location

Thermostats, windows, and doors don’t really go well together. Ideally, a thermostat should be placed away from areas that change temperature regularly. This includes next to an entryway, near a window where the device sits in sunlight, and more. If your thermostat is sitting in direct sunlight all day, it’s going to think your home is much warmer than it actually is. And conversely, it’ll think your home is much cooler than it is if it’s near a door where people come and go all day.

Try moving your thermostat to a more thermally consistent place, or even just putting blinds up. While it can be a pain to remount a thermostat, it may very well be worth it if your woes are solved by taking 20 minutes to place it somewhere more ideal.

Final Thoughts

Thermostats are equally simple and complicated at the same time. Like most electronics, they require regular maintenance (which includes replacing batteries), proper placement, and eventually, replacement. If you’re noticing your thermostat not clicking – don’t panic quite yet. Take a look at its placement, batteries, and the circuit breakers.

After that, if you notice that your HVAC is short cycling or not even activating, then it’s time to call an HVAC engineer. And if it’s finally time to replace the thermostat, take a look at our guide to the best wireless thermostats available today!

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.