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What To Do When Furnace Clicks but Doesn’t Turn On

It can be disheartening to turn on your heat only to find that the furnace clicks but the blower won’t start. Not only is this inconvenient, but it can be very uncomfortable for your family to be without heat on a cold night while they wait for a service call. 

There are several reasons why your furnace clicks but doesn’t turn on, and it’s important to be able to recognize these issues and know what you can do to troubleshoot. American Home Water and Air has put together some key factors to consider and steps you can follow in case your furnace clicks but doesn’t turn on. 

Thermostat Issues

If your thermostat clicks but no heat or air comes on, the thermostat may not be working properly or may not be set correctly. Make sure that the thermostat is set to “heat” and that the temperature is set higher than the current room temperature.

Ignition Problems

If the furnace clicks but doesn’t come on, your pilot light may be the problem. You’ll need to make sure it hasn’t gone out. If your furnace has an electronic ignition, the ignition control module may be faulty.

Here’s how to check the pilot light on your furnace:

  1. Turn off the furnace: Before you start checking the pilot light, turn off the furnace and let it cool completely.
  2. Locate the pilot light: The pilot light is typically positioned near the bottom of the furnace, near the gas control valve.
  3. Look for a gas shutoff valve: Find the valve and make sure it’s in the “on” position.
  4. Locate the reset button: The reset button is usually found near the pilot light. It’s a red or blue button that you need to press to relight the pilot.
  5. Check the pilot light: Look to see if the pilot is lit. If it’s not, you’ll need to relight it.
  6. Relight the pilot light: If the pilot light is out, follow these steps to relight it:
  • Turn the gas control valve to the “off” position.
  • Wait a few minutes for any gas to dissipate.
  • Turn the gas control valve to the “pilot” position.
  • Hold a lighter or a long match near the pilot light and press the reset button. Keep holding the reset button down while you use the lighter or match to ignite the pilot light.
  • Hold the reset button down for a bit to let the gas build up.
  • Release the reset button and turn the gas control valve to the “on” position.
  • Check to see if the pilot light is lit.

If the pilot light will not stay lit, or you have any other concerns, it is best to contact a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the issue.

Blocked Air Filter

Another reason why a furnace clicks but doesn’t come on is that you have a dirty or clogged air filter. This can restrict airflow to the furnace, causing it to shut off to prevent overheating and damaging the unit. Replace the air filter if it appears dirty.

Here’s how to change your furnace air filter:

  1. Locate the air filter: The air filter is usually found in the blower compartment of the furnace near the bottom of the unit.
  2. Turn off the furnace: Before you start changing the air filter, turn off the furnace and let it cool down.
  3. Remove the old air filter: Most air filters are held in place by a metal or plastic frame. Simply slide it out of the frame to remove it.
  4. Choose the correct replacement air filter: Air filters come with different MERV ratings, which indicate their ability to filter out particles. Choose the correct replacement air filter based on the dimensions of the old filter and your furnace’s requirements.
  5. Install the new air filter: Slide the new air filter into the frame and make sure it’s securely in place.
  6. Turn the furnace back on: After the new air filter is installed, turn the furnace back on and check to make sure it’s working properly.

It’s a good idea to change your furnace air filter every 1-3 months to keep your furnace running efficiently and improve your home’s air quality. During periods of heavy use, if you have pets in your home, members of your household have allergies, or if you’re having work done that may stir up dust and debris, you might want to change your filter more often.

Blower Problems

If your furnace is making clicking noise and no heat is coming on. The blower motor may be faulty or the belt that drives it may be loose or broken. Your furnace cannot operate if the blower isn’t functioning properly.

Electrical Problems

The furnace may not be getting power, there may be a blown fuse, or a circuit breaker may be tripped. Check the electrical panel to see if you can correct any of these simple issues.

Preventive Maintenance

One of the best ways to avoid hearing that clicking noise when you turn on your furnace is to keep your furnace properly serviced and maintained. Here are some steps you can take to prevent issues with your furnace that cause it to click instead of functioning properly.

  • Regular maintenance: Have a professional HVAC technician perform yearly inspections and maintenance to ensure that it’s running well and to catch any potential problems before they become more serious.
  • Change the air filter regularly: As mentioned earlier, a dirty air filter can cause airflow issues and cause the furnace to shut off. Make sure to change the air filter regularly.
  • Keep the area around the furnace clear: Make sure that the area around the furnace is clear of debris, dust, and other materials that could block the airflow or cause the furnace to overheat.
  • Keep the furnace and ducts clean: Dirt and debris can accumulate in the furnace and ducts over time, reducing their efficiency. Have a professional HVAC technician clean your furnace and ducts as needed to keep them clear of obstruction.
  • Monitor the furnace’s operation: If you notice any unusual sounds or changes in performance, have a professional HVAC technician check your furnace before small issues become big problems.


By following these steps, you can help prevent issues with your furnace that cause it to click and keep it running efficiently and safely. However, if you do encounter issues, the experts at American Home Water and Air are ready to assist. Just give us a call or request service online to get your furnace back up and running ASAP.

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