The best HVAC UV lights have long power cords, are easy to install, and their bulbs last a long time.
In this buyer's guide, I will go over…
- My #1 top pick for the best UV light for HVAC systems
- The top benefit of HVAC UV lights
- Tips on installation
- And more...
My Overall #1 Rated Pick
- Kills mold, mildew, and bad odors to give clean air
- Four 16" UV-C light bulbs for maximum mold-killing strength
- OdorStop is a leading and high quality manufacturer of UV lights
- Uses air flow sensor to turn on only when needed (saving energy)
- OdorStop has several different models (and prices) to choose from
My overall #1 top pick for the best UV light for HVAC is the OdorStop UV Light With Air Flow Sensor. This OdorStop UV light uses four 16" light bulbs to give it a maximum surface area to kill mold and mildew—giving you clean air. This top pick for the best UV light for HVAC has a unique feature in that it only turns on when your HVAC is on, saving you money.
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Reko Lighting R2000
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REKO With Magnet
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Top 7 Best UV Lights For HVAC
Here is my shortlist of the best UV lights for HVAC systems. These lights are designed to emit a special wavelength that will kill mold, mildew, viruses, and other microbes...
Benefits Of HVAC UV Lights
The main benefit of installing a UV light for your HVAC system is that it can kill mold, viruses, bacteria, and other airborne pathogens.
Higher MERV furnace filters claim to also capture mold spores and even viruses, but they definitely won't sanitize the interior of your HVAC system. The downside of higher MERV-rated furnace filters is that they can cause a 'pressure drop' across your HVAC system which means less air flow.
Reduced air flow to your HVAC can lower its efficiency, may damage the equipment, and your home won't heat or cool as easily.
An HVAC UV light doesn't replace the need for a furnace filter, but it is primarily designed to kill microbes on the surface and in the air stream of your HVAC system. I invite you to read my guide on the three biggest benefits of HVAC UV lights for more information.
In the two pictures below, these are pictures from an actual home inspection where I recommend the installation of a UV light because the heat pump was littered with mold. It was pretty gross as you can see below.
Cost To Install UV Lights
The average cost for a germicidal UV light for an HVAC system will range from $100 to $500. The higher priced UV lights usually have more wattage, more light bulbs, and advanced features. Higher end UV lights sometimes have sensors that will tell you when you need to clean the bulb, replace the bulb, and other "smart" appliance features.
Many of the air treatment UV lights have air flow sensors that will turn on the UV light only when the HVAC system is actually running. The air flow sensors can significantly extend the life of the bulb. In fact, the usual cost of maintenance is replacing the UV bulb every year at a cost of $50 to $75 per UV bulb.
The labor costs to install a UV light will also depend on the complexity. If the UV light is just plugged into an outlet, and isn't complicated, then you can hire an HVAC contractor to install it for $100 to $200. You can also have a handyman or air duct cleaning company install it.
However, if the UV light has to be hardwired into the HVAC system, or if you also have to connect a separate transformer — you can expect to pay more — probably in the $150 to $300 range, and I recommend you hire a licensed HVAC contractor or electrician.
Installing HVAC UV Lights
HVAC UV lights sometimes can be a bit complex to install (especially if it's hardwired to the furnace) — so it isn't always a DIY job. But if the UV light just uses a power cord, it is a pretty simple installation, and can be done in an afternoon with a few tools.
The main tools you will need for the install include:
- electric drill
- paper template
- hole saw drill bit
- metal foil tape
HVAC UV lights are mounted onto the duct of your indoor air handler or furnace — usually with sheet metal (self-tapping) screws. Most UV light sanitizers will come with a paper template for the mounting procedure. I recommend following the size and placement of the holes on the mounting template for your UV light system.
Using A Hole Saw
You will first need to drill a pilot hole at the install spot, and then you will need to use a 2-3 inch hole saw bit, and drill in the hole.
The light bulb(s) will go through the hole in the sheet metal duct, and the UV light unit is secured to the ductwork with screws. You can also cover the seams of the UV light with metal foil tape to give it an air tight seal.
Here is my full installation guide for HVAC UV lights.
Can UV Light Damage My HVAC System?
Depending on the strength and location of your unit, it is well known in the industry that UV light may damage plastic and rubber parts.
- Cooling Drain Pan
- Wire Insulation
- Pressure Switch Hose
- Flexible Ducting
Aluminum Foil Tape
If the UV light is in direct line of sight of any plastic or rubber parts of your A/C, it is a good idea to shield those rubber parts with aluminum foil tape. Or at least make sure the direct line of sight is 3-feet or farther from the UV light bulb.
It's also a good idea to make sure that the UV light isn't in a location where someone may get exposed to UV light during HVAC maintenance.
Read Also: How To Prevent Mold in Air Conditioners?
Effectiveness of HVAC UV Lights
It has been known for decades that specific frequencies of light can harm microorganisms. Most research has been done in medical settings to help prevent contagious diseases. The most commonly used UV light frequency is 253.70nm which is the frequency when light passes through mercury vapor.
Ultraviolet light at this frequency has been clearly shown to destroy viruses, bacteria, and fungi. UV light bulbs stops mold growth by damaging their DNA. UV light has been in use for decades to sterilize air, water, and food.
A recent study concluded that UV light sanitized about 98% of microbes in hospital rooms, encouraging further use of UV light in intensive care.
A published scientific study has proven that UV light can greatly reduce germ contamination in air handing units in buildings. Contaminated air ducts with bacteria is known to be related to serious health problems such as…
- Allergic rhinitis
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Acute toxicosis
- Cancer from exposure to mycotoxins
Read Also: Does UV Light Really Kill Mold?
More Pictures Of Mold In An HVAC System
Here are some more pictures from an actual home inspection. As you can see, it is pretty obvious when there is mold growing in your air handler. If you are suspicious about your indoor air quality, just taking off the cover to your furnace can be an “enlightening” experience.
Reviews of the Best HVAC UV Lights
Here are the pros and cons of my top picks for the best UV lights...
My hands down #1 pick for the best UV light for HVAC on the market is made by OdorStop.
This UV light comes with four ultraviolet light bulbs for extra strong mold-killing power.
The OdorStop UV light also comes with a special air flow sensor so that the light only shines when the HVAC is actually on---saving energy.
It comes with a 6' power cord and installation template --- installs in a few minutes.
This is the Honeywell UV air purifier UV2400U5000 that comes with the AirBRITE Odor Absorption system.
This UV light will kill microbes like mold and at the same time it will remove odors.
This is one of the best UV light for HVAC systems and it will kill and prevent mold on your A/C coil at a 99% efficiency. And it will remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds) up to 90%.
The UV light renews the carbon filter so it is maintenance free.
The REKO R2000 is a budget friendly UV light for HVAC systems. It is lightweight, doesn't take up much space, and comes with two light bulbs.
The 9-ft power cord means you have some flexibility when you plug it in to a nearby outlet hopefully without an extension. Each bulb is rated at 9-watts to kill any microbes lurking in your furnace or air handler.
To install the R2000, you will need to drill two 1-3/4" holes using a hole saw drill bit. Screw it in the furnace, plug it in, and you're done.
The REKO Lighting uv light with magnet is a budget friendly UV light.
It comes with a magnet that will stick to your furnace for an easier installation.
The bulb is 14-inches long and is designed to kill mold on your evaporator coil, blower fan, and ducting.
This unit needs to be hardwired to your furnace and connected to a transformer.
The OdorStop OS72PRO is a premium ultraviolet for HVAC systems that features one 16-inch 36-watt light bulb.
With its special frequency of UV light, it will kill and prevent mold and foul odors.
This unit also has indicator lights so you can know that it is working properly and the bulb is functional. It is easy to install and includes the template and rubber gasket for a tight fit.
OdorStop UV lights are some of the highest quality UV lights on the market and are pretty easy to install.
Bio Shield makes a popular HVAC UV light that comes with a 17-inch long single bulb.
It is rated at 25-watts which is more than suitable to sanitize most home HVAC systems.
This surface treatment UV light should be installed near or in the evaporator coil and it is not designed to kill microbes in the air.
It uses a 2-7/8" hole saw for the installation and it is mounted to the HVAC with three screws --- then simply plugged into an outlet.
It also comes with a mounting template to make the install easier.
This Honeywell HVAC UV light claims that it will kill up to 70% of microorganisms in your HVAC system.
It is a surface treatment UV light that kills microbes on your evaporator coil and other HVAC surfaces.
The Honeywell unit has an easily replaceable bulb that you can replace without unscrewing the unit from the HVAC system.
It comes with a light indicator so you know that it is on, and it also has a special design for a good and safe seal.
My Top Pick: OdorStop HVAC UV Light System With Air Flow Sensor
#1. Quality Build
OdorStop is the leading manufacturer of UV Lights and they are designed to be powerful and effective.
With not one, but four 16" bulbs, this product will kill mold on the surface of ductwork and your A/C coil, but it also kills a high amount of airborne bacteria.
#3. Energy Efficient
This OdorStop UV Light comes with a special air flow sensor so that it turns on only when your HVAC is running...saving you energy. You also won't have to replace your bulbs as often.
Read Also: How To Prevent Mold In Air Conditioners