Want a Free Estimate? Call Now! 732-455-9110
Call Us Today! 732-455-9110
COVID Safety Policy
  • We Accept All Major Credit Cards
Want a Free Estimate? Call Now! 732-455-9110
Call Us Today! 732-455-9110
Menu
Act Now & Save Up to $3,500 in Rebates!

Why Your AC Smells When You First Turn It On

ac smells | AC repair

When the day finally arrives to turn on your air conditioner for the first time this season, an unpleasant odor may be laced with the cool air. If you’re feeling grossed out, don’t worry—the smell usually dissipates after the first use. Still, proper AC maintenance before shutting down in the winter and again before restarting in the spring can prevent unpleasant odors.

Here’s a look at what’s happening if your air conditioner smells when first turned on:

Mold on the Evaporator Coil & Fins

Prolonged periods of disuse cause dirt, dust, and moisture to collect on the indoor evaporator coil. This creates an environment for mold to grow. As air passes over the evaporator coil and fins for the first time this season, it picks up the decaying odor created by the mold and carries it into your home.

To help prevent this odor, clean the evaporator fins with water and a few drops of mild detergent each fall. Repeat this cleaning technique again in the spring before turning on your AC for the first time.

Mildew on the Air Filter

Dust, hair, and moisture on the AC filter encourage mildew growth, which can cause a musty odor when the air conditioner runs. This is a likely reason why the air conditioner smells when first turned on if you don’t use forced-air heating in winter.

To help prevent this odor, clean or replace the filter in the spring.

Algae & Mold in the Drain Pan

Air conditioners generate condensate as they remove excess indoor humidity. This moisture drips into a drain pan, where mold and algae can form. This blocks the drain and can also generate an unpleasant odor when you run the AC for the first time.

To help prevent this odor, empty the drain pan before retiring the air conditioner for winter. A quick wash with diluted bleach in the spring eliminates all residual smells for a fresh start to the cooling season.

Have You Maintained Your AC Yet? Schedule Your Spring Tune-Up!

If your air conditioner smells when first turned on, try the above tips to eliminate bad odors. If the air still stinks after a day or two, call Arctic Air Conditioning for help. We provide valuable AC maintenance services that help you get the most from your system, whether you’re dealing with bad odors or not. To schedule services in central New Jersey, please contact us today!

Testimonials
5 Rating |

”Byron and Alex were very professional and easy to talk to. They were very careful when working in my home. They are great technicians.”

- Raymond M. Denton
4 Rating |

”They are a Water heater installer for Home Depot. On time, clean, and professional. Had an issue with install due to utility room configuration but they came back four hours…”

- T CC
4 Rating |

”Firstly like receiving notification technician. on his way and nice some personal background with picture provided. Tech came within scheduled time and explained what he cleaned and said filter could…”

- Fran Plusko
5 Rating |

”I don't like survey or reviews. But I must praise the exceptional quality of this team of professionals. It is difficult to decide on who to use for our home…”

- Kitty L.
5 Rating |

”Alfredo has very competently handled our radiant heat repair for a system that is not common. We are so grateful for his ability to troubleshoot and solve it with expediency,…”

- Victoria Stabile
4 Rating |

”👍👍”

- Generic Customer
5 Rating |

”I recently moved in Manalapan and need to find a reliable company to install my Heating and AC unit. After careful research, I decided to go with Artic Air. I…”

- Vipul C.
5 Rating |

”I recently moved in Manalapan and need to find a reliable company to install my Heating and AC unit. After careful research, I decided to go with Artic Air. I…”

- Vipul C.
5 Rating |

”John Cranmer is an excellent tech. Company is A1 wouldn’t hesitate to call them again”

- Anthony Foti
5 Rating |

”My issue was called in to their friendly response center who quickly set up a tech visit for next day. My tech was John Crammer who was on time and…”

- T B (Stella)
5 Rating |

”My experience was great. He was very helpful and made me comfortable with his suggestion. Thank you for taking care of my home”

- Isabel Weisman
5 Rating |

”He serviced the heating system.”

- Shaati Chattopadhyay
5 Rating |

”I have been a customer of Arctic Air for 20+ years. Whether its AC & Heating repairs, plumbing, or equipment maintenance, their techs provide professional, quality, courteous, & on time…”

- PETER Garzetta
5 Rating |

”Alex was very perfessional and answered everything I needed to know. I would definitely recommend you guys. I also recommend Alex deserves a raise. Thank you again.”

- Louis Manganaro
5 Rating |

”The company was available within 2 days for a non-emergent concern. Their technician was very polite, knowledgeable, and respectful. He answered all of our questions and fixed the minor problems…”

- Michele Granata
5 Rating |

”I had Arctic Air come over to 2 furnace yearly tuneup. Eduardo and his coworker were really good, courteous, taking time to explain, knowledgeable. Will have them next spring for…”

- Prasanna KC
5 Rating |

”Andres, the technician, quickly identified the reason that my heating system wasn't working, explained everything that he would be doing, and successfully did the repair. I would not hesitate to…”

- Debra McCarthy
Why Us?
Benefits of Choosing Us:
  • Family Owned since 1977
  • Emergency Service
  • Trusted for 40+ Years
  • Fast, Reliable Service
  • Safe, Licensed & Insured
  • Award-Winning Service
  • Friendly & Clean
  • No Job Too Big or Small
  • Professional Care
  • Certified Employees
  • Family Focused
  • Guaranteed Service