Top 5 Best Rated HVAC UV Lights (*2020 Review*)

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!

best uv light for hvac

My Overall #1 Rated Pick

odorstop uv light for hvac
  • 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.

Image Product  
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OdorStop
  • Four Bulbs
  • Air Flow Sensor
  • 6ft Power Cord
  • Four Bulbs
  • Air Flow Sensor
  • 6ft Power Cord
View on Amazon
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Honeywell
  • Surface Treatment
  • Removes Odors
  • 16-watt Bulb
  • Surface Treatment
  • Removes Odors
  • 16-watt Bulb
View on Amazon
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Reko Lighting R2000
  • Two Bulbs
  • 9-ft Cord
  • Easy Install
  • Two Bulbs
  • 9-ft Cord
  • Easy Install
View on Amazon
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The UV Light Store
  • 14" Bulb
  • Magnetic Bracket
  • Low Price
  • 14" Bulb
  • Magnetic Bracket
  • Low Price
View on Amazon
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Field Controls UVAire
  • Compact
  • Safety Switch
  • Easy Bulb Change
  • Compact
  • Safety Switch
  • Easy Bulb Change
View on Amazon

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.

  1. OdorStop UV Light For HVAC With Air Flow Sensor  (My Top Choice)
  2. Honeywell HVAC UV Light Surface Treatment System (Close Second)
  3. REKO Lighting UV Light For HVAC (Best Budget)
  4. The UV Light Store 14" HVAC UV Light With Magnet
  5. Field Controls Air Sanitizer UV Light For HVAC

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.

You can check out Thumbtack by clicking here.

Cord Length

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.

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…

  1. Allergic rhinitis
  2. Asthma
  3. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  4. Acute toxicosis
  5. Cancer from exposure to mycotoxins

Read Also: How To Install An HVAC UV Light?

hospitals use uv light to sanitize

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”.

mold growing inside hvac
mold growing inside hvac
mold growing inside hvac

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.

With Thumbtack, you can find a local contractor to install the UV light, read their customer reviews, and even book them online. You can checkout Thumbtack by going here.

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)

uv light in sunlight kills microbes

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
  • Pricey
  1. Quality Build

OdorStop is the leading manufacturer of UV Lights and they are designed to be powerful and effective.

  1. Effectiveness

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.

  1. 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

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12 thoughts on “Top 5 Best Rated HVAC UV Lights (*2020 Review*)”

  1. Hello,
    I have a “Water Furnace” that heats and cools our home.
    This HVAC system uses a large paper pleated filter measuring
    2′ 2″ wide and Approx. 8″ thick.
    It is manufactured by General Filters, Inc.
    On the box the replacement filter came in it states;
    “THIS FILTER SHOULD NOT BE EXPOSED TO UV LIGHTING”
    Does this mean I won’t be able to use any of your ultraviolet units?
    Thank you for your time.

    Reply
    • Hi Jake,

      There are two main types of HVAC UV Lights, one is for “surface treatment” and the other is “air treatment”. The air treatment UV lights are return on the return side (right next to the filter) and kills airborne microorganisms.

      The other type of UV light is installed on the supply side of the air handler just above the evaporator coil. These UV lights are designed to kill mold and microbes growing on the evaporator coil and the duct — and they are much farther away from the filter.

      If you want to comply with manufacturer for the high efficiency filter (I probably would) — just buy the surface treatment UV lights such as this one by Honeywell.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Great information. Thank you.

    Can a uv light be installed in a whole home dehumidifier? I noticed mold growing in my single room dehumidifier. I want to get a whole home dehumidifier but want to make sure there’s no mold there too. My wife is allergic to mold and gets very sick when exposed. I live in Houston TX with high humidity about 10 months of the year.

    Do any whole home dehumidifiers come with uv lights.

    What is the best way to find someone in South Houston that sells and installs the best equipment?

    Reply
    • Hi Jesse,

      I am not aware of any whole home dehumidifiers that come with UV lights — same thing with A/C systems — none come with UV lights. However, I don’t see why you couldn’t install a UV light inside the whole home dehumidifier except for the fact that they are small and may not have the room for the bulb. The D200 UV light may fit because their bulbs aren’t that long. I would try to find a single and short UV bulb to fit inside. You want the UV light to shine on the supply side over the coil similar to a regular A/C unit.

      In my area, houses don’t have whole home dehumidifiers.

      For the best equipment, I took a look around, and there aren’t that many whole home dehumidifiers on the market — but I would probably go with the Aprilaire model, you can find it here. Aprilaire also makes the highest quality whole home steam humidifier.

      Try and find a contractor who sells and installs those would be my advice.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  3. Hi I’m in a 2 bedroom condo about to replace old system with a/c 2.5 ton – 31,000BTU Climate Master cooling and heat pump system. What blu UV light system can I/should I get that’s compatible?

    Reply
  4. Can an air sanitizer be used with a HAVC humidifier installed? From my reading, I get the impression that particulates (in this case water) in the air can interfere with efficiency of a UV light for air sanitation. Also do you have to match the air flow rate to maximize viral exposure to the UV light?

    Reply
    • Hello Max,

      I verified by looking at the Ashrae literature on UV lights and I didn’t see any issues with it. I mean, if you think about it, the air conditioner already produces a large amount of moisture which is drained through the condensate pipes to the exterior. So high moisture in your air handler is already the norm. And with a whole house humidifier installed, this increases the moisture content in the air handler during the cold season as well.

      If I find any research on the decreased performance of UV lights in relation to humidifiers, I will let you know. I am not sure what you mean by air flow rate. The technical measurement is microwatts per cm^2 of uv exposure on the coil, which is usually around 50-100 μW/cm^2. Unless you are talking about the air flow of the humidifier?

      Also, you can install an air treatment UV light (in contrast to the coil treatment lights) such as some of the Honeywell UV Lights, these units are installed on the return side prior to the humidifier and coil so then you can be assured there won’t be an issue.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  5. I have a Ruud AC unit. The panel door where the blower is at, gets mold inside in the insulation. The insulation has a black material over it, not foil. The mold grows on the black material.

    Reply
    • Hello Y. Fernandez,

      I am not sure what the black material is, but mold can grow on pretty much any substance if there is a coating of dust. I would recommend thoroughly cleaning the Ruud air handler of any visible mold — then install a UV light such as an OdorStop or Honeywell unit. Just make sure the UV light is hitting this problematic area. You may also be able to install some reflective insulation to increase the UV exposure there.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  6. Hello, For about three years I have had a funky smell in the house and have explored numerous options to eliminate without success. The house was built in 1910 and I suspect the smells originate from a number of sources. we have looked at the coils and the ducts and do not see any mold, cleaned them anyway. I am interested in trying a UV light. I have a 2016 5 ton Trane gas/electric package unit. What would you recommend?

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle,

      I don’t know the exact dimensions of your Trane unit, I would need the model number, but I usually recommend OdorStop UV products because they seem to be the highest quality and they also have air flow sensors (so they turn off when the HVAC isn’t on). My second pick would probably be a Honeywell UV light.

      You can check out an OdorStop UV light here.

      Good Luck!

      Reply

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Arie Van Tuijl

Arie Van Tuijl

Arie is the founder of Home Inspector Secrets, an online resource dedicated to helping people understand how homes work. He is a licensed home inspector in two U.S states and owns a residential and commercial inspection company (read his full bio on the About page). To ask Arie a question, please use the comment box at the bottom of the relevant article.

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Home Inspector Secrets is an online resource for owners, buyers, and sellers to understand all aspects of home maintenance. We have detailed home guides, product reviews, inspection advice, and much more.