Are you looking for the best UV light to kill mold in your hvac system?
You are in the right place.
Mold can be a nasty thing to spread throughout your home, and your furnace or air handler is a mold hotspot.
In this product review, we will go over…
- The top #1 best choice for a UV light to install in your ductwork
- How UV lights increase the efficiency of your furnace
- Why hospitals use ultraviolet light to kill microbes and reduce infections
- Do UV air purifiers actually work?
- Our reviews for the top three best UV air sanitizers
Let’s get started with this guide!
Our 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)
- LED indicator so you know it's on (and protect your eyes)
- OdorStop has several different models (and prices) to choose from
My overall top pick for UV Lights is the OdorStop UV Light With Air Flow Sensor. This OdorStop UV Light uses two 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.
Our Top 5 Best UV Lights For Your A/C System
Short on time? Want to skip the full article and find out my top choices?
Finding the right UV light to kill mold and mildew can be an exhaustive process, but I have done the research for you. Here is my list of the best UV lights to install in your HVAC...
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. The bulb will need to be replaced in a year or two depending on the system.
Some UV air sanitizers have two short bulbs, and other units have one longer bulb.
How Does An Ultraviolet Light Kill Mold?
An UV light bulb stops mold growth by damaging their DNA. A recent study concluded that UV light sanitized about 98% of microbes in hospital rooms, encouraging further use of UV light in intensive care hospital rooms. UV light has been in use for decades to sterilize air, water, and food.
When an organism’s DNA is damaged by UV light, the “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 the 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 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 very “enlightening”.
How To Install a UV Lamp On Your Duct?
Most UV light sanitizers will come with a paper template for the mounting procedure. It will be installed on your duct where your furnace or air handler is located. We 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 these locations, and then you will need to use a saw bit and drill in the hole(s). 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 and possibly metal foil tape. 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).
Finding A Skilled Contractor
If you want the UV light professionally installed, I always recommend Thumbtack because you can quickly get free estimates, read trusted reviews, and instantly chat with contractors about jobs.
Read Also: Signs Of Black Mold In Air Vents?
How To Pick The Best UV Light For Your HVAC?
There are a few considerations to take into account when buying an ultraviolet air sanitizer. There are generally two types of UV light bulbs, the long and short bulb.
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.
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 to mount the system onto the duct.
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.
How Are UV Light Sanitizers Different From Other Air Purifiers?
UV lights are different than furnace filters because they kill microbes while they are growing on the surfaces of the ductwork, the a/c coil, the drip pan, and other surfaces. Furnace filters are a very important part of indoor air quality, and I recommend changing them monthly. However, I have seen many air handlers that had very good paper 3M filters, but on the inside there was extensive mold growth.
Indoor furnaces and air handling units are perfect breeding grounds for microorganisms like mold and viruses because they are dark, there is moisture, and a prevalent food source in the form of dust.
There are “point of use” indoor air purifiers, like the stand alone units you can place in your living room or bedroom. But these units will not affect the air quality of the whole home like how a UV light inside your HVAC can do.
Read Also: 7 Pictures Of Mold In Air Ducts
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.
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
The Honeywell UV light for hvac systems is our #1 top choice for UV light sanitizers.
The Honeywell product has exclusive safety features and a sealed design that will help prevent contact with UV rays and stray voltage.
It also has a very easy way to remove the light bulb for replacement, all you have to do is twist the knob and remove it.
- Honeywell is a well-known and quality manufacturer
- Safety features exclusive to this unit
- Easy bulb replacement
- Complaints about one safety feature where a screw has to be pressed into sheet metal duct (a flexible duct may cause problems)
- Does not come with drill bit
- Does not come with a replacement bulb
Best Budget Pick: D200 UV Light for HVAC
- Dual lamp system for more light
- Comes with replacement bulbs
- 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
- Magnetic installation bracket
- Long 16" bulb
- Connects to 24volt transformer (Or can buy model with 120 volt plug)
- Does not come with drill bit
- Bulb is not coated in Teflon
- May have difficulty installing to 24 volt transformer
- No complaints of weird smells
- Only one bulb
- Viewable sight glass
- Light bulb made by Phillips
- Bulb is coated with Teflon
- May damage your furnace filter and/or plastic catch pan if placed close by
- More expensive than other units
Our Top Pick: OdorStop UV Light System With Air Flow Sensor
- 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.
- 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