Are you looking for the best UV light to kill mold in your HVAC system?
Mold can be a nasty thing to spread throughout your home, and your furnace or air handler is a mold hot spot.
In this product review guide, I will go over…
- My #1 top pick for the best HVAC UV light
- How UV lights increase the efficiency of your furnace
- Why hospitals use ultraviolet lights to kill microbes and reduce infections
Let’s get started with this guide!
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)
- Installs in minutes (install video below)
- OdorStop has several different models (and prices) to choose from
My overall #1 top pick for UV lights 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 product has a unique feature in that it only turns on when your HVAC is on, saving you money. The OdorStop UV Light installs in minutes, check out the install video below.
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Reko Lighting R2000
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The UV Light Store
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Field Controls UVAire
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The Top 5 Best HVAC UV Lights
Here is my list of the best HVAC UV lights. These lights will automatically kill mold, bacteria, viruses --- and stop odors at the same time. If you want to read my full reviews, keep scrolling.
How To Pick The Best UV Light For Your HVAC?
In my view as a licensed inspector, there are basically two different types of UV lights that you can install for your HVAC system.
#1. Surface Treatment UV Lights
Surface UV lights are installed above or next to the evaporator coil of the interior air handler.
These UV lights are meant to kill and prevent microbial growth on the surface of the coil, the ductwork, and anything else the light can reach such as the drip pan or blower fan.
Surface UV lights are great at preventing the growth of so-called biofilms on the furnace surfaces especially the evaporator coil. Biofilms are basically a slimy film of microbes that live together as a single community.
Biofilms can release hazardous mold spores into the air and can also seriously decrease the efficiency of the HVAC system.
#2. Air Treatment UV Lights
Air treatment UV lights are installed on the return side of the air handler which is basically the opposite of surface treatment UV lights. When it is installed on the return side, these UV lights kill microbes that are actually in the air, and not just on the surface.
Many of these air treatment UV lights come equipped with air flow sensors so that the light only turns on when the furnace is actually running --- significantly extending the longevity of the light bulb.
In addition, since the UV light is installed on the return side, it is less likely to damage some of the plastic components of the furnace such as the wiring and the drip pan.
Light Bulb Size
There are generally two types of UV light bulbs --- long and short.
If the unit you are buying has a longer bulb, it may be more difficult to install if your furnace is in a very small utility closet. However, with a longer bulb, there is more “surface area” so the light may shine along more areas increasing it’s effectiveness.
Sheet Metal Drill Bit
Another factor to consider is the equipment that comes with the purchase. Some UV light systems come with everything you need for the installation including the sheet metal drill bit that you will need to make holes in the ductwork.
Almost all UV air sanitizers will come with a few screws and a paper template in order to mount the system onto the duct.
If you want to find a local pro to install your UV light (and any other home projects), I highly recommend using Thumbtack.
Thumbtack is an easy way to get a list of qualified pros in your zip code --- and Thumbtack even uses artificial intelligence to match homeowners with pros.
Another thing to consider is the cord length. Most UV light systems come with a power cord that is 6′ to 8′ in length. If your utility closet doesn’t have a regular 3-pronged outlet, you may need to buy an extension cord that will go to the closest outlet.
And again, you can also wire the ultraviolet purifier into the air handler electrical system, and even wire it so it turns on only when the system is on. An electrician or contractor may be required for custom wiring.
What is a UV Light Air Purifier?
A UV light purifier is basically a light bulb that is designed to emit a specific frequency that research has found to stop microbial growth. 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 is typically shining light 24 hours a day inside of your air conditioning ductwork. Most units will have a sight glass that allows you to see if the light bulb is on and still working. You never want to get UV light on your skin or eyes.
The ultraviolet bulb will need to be replaced in a year or two depending on the system. UV air sanitizers can have anywhere from one to four UV bulbs --- the most common is one to two bulbs. The lengths of the UV bulbs can also vary.
Read Also: What Are The Best Honeywell HVAC UV Lights?
How Does An Ultraviolet Light Kill Mold?
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.
When an organism’s DNA is damaged by UV light, the genetic instructions for the cell to build proteins and other necessary parts is damaged. The organism will die, and it won’t reproduce.
The environment of the indoor air handler is a perfect place for microorganisms to grow because it is dark, contains moisture, and has a food source in the form of dust.
The furnace air filter is great for filtering indoor air, but it will not stop mold growth on the A/C coil, the surface of the ductwork, and other surfaces. The UV light shines on the ductwork and the coil, and it will stop and prevent microbial growth.
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: How To Install An HVAC UV Light?
What Does Mold in The HVAC Look Like?
Here are some pictures from an inspection that I did in Alexandria, Virginia this year. 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 “enlightening”.
How To Install a UV Lamp On Your Duct?
Homeowners with some DIY skills should able to install an HVAC UV light without too many issues.
However, if you don't feel comfortable drilling a 2-inch hole into sheet metal, you may want to find a professional. Personally, I recommend using Thumbtack to find qualified contractors.
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.
You will first need to drill a pilot hole at the install spot, and then you will need to use a 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.
Usually, the unit will just be plugged into a regular outlet in your utility room or closet but you also have the option of wiring the unit with your furnace (an electrician may be required for that).
Read Also: How To Install HVAC UV Lights? (Full Guide)
Where To Buy The Best UV Light For Your Air Conditioner?
The best place to buy a UV light for your air conditioner is in my opinion Amazon. With Amazon, we have scoured for the best products, and have read the customer reviews. On Amazon, you can be alerted to problems that you may not of even thought of. In addition, the shipping on Amazon is frequently free and fast.
Read Also: 7 Pictures Of Mold in Air Ducts
What Are The Best UV Lights For The HVAC?
Here are the pros and cons of my top picks for the best UV Light...
My hands down #1 pick for the best UV light on the market is made by OdorStop.
This UV light comes with not one, not two... but FOUR ultraviolet light bulbs, 36-watts each... 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.
- Four UV-C light bulbs for extra strength
- Air flow sensor to save energy
- 6 foot power cord
- Easy installation
- Bulbs aren't coated to prevent breakage
- Doesn't come with drill bit for install
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 Honeywell product 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.
- 99% mold killing efficiency on coil (surface treatment)
- Removes 90% of VOCs
- Carbon filter is maintenace free
- More expensive
- Low voltage transformer may be required for install
The REKO Lighting R2000 UV Light is an affordable choice to purify your air ducts from microbes such as mold.
The unit comes with two bulbs --- a dual lamp system.
The R2000 is rated for A/C systems from 1-5 tons and it uses a 120-volt outlet.
The R2000 also comes with a 9-ft power cord for an easy install.
- Dual lamp system for more light
- More affordable price
- Easier to install because of shorter bulbs
- Complaints of a weird smell when first turned on
- Not UL listed
- Does not come with drill bit
The UV Light Store Germicidal Bulb is a 14" germicidal bulb that will help sanitize your air handler from mold, microbes, and other bio-hazards.
The installation is made simple with a custom magnetic bracket that connects securely to your air handler.
This product also includes a 6-foot power cord that plugs into any standard 120-volt outlet.
It is also ozone-free so you don't have to worry about harming your lungs.
- Magnetic installation bracket
- Long 14" bulb
- Connects to 120-volt outlet with 6-foot power cord
- Does not come with drill bit
- Bulb is not coated in Teflon
The Field Controls uv light is installed your forced air HVAC system to kill and reduce mold, odors, viruses, and bacteria.
It has a compact design so it should be compatible with a wide variety of HVAC air handlers and make it easier to install.
Replacing the UV bulb is also easy because it is just a twist and pull out motion. The Field Controls uv light also has a built in safety switch so the light only turns on when inside the duct.
- Compact design
- Easy bulb replacement
- Safety switch built-in
- Only one bulb
Our Top Pick: OdorStop HVAC UV Light System With Air Flow Sensor
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.
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