If you want the best UV light for your HVAC system, you have come to the right place!
In this guide, you'll learn:
- Our #1 pick
- How to install them
- Top benefits (and effectiveness)
- How to prevent UV damage
Just imagine: you have a sanitizing device installed in your HVAC system that will kill mold, viruses, and bacteria that is safe and almost maintenance-free.
Ultraviolet lights have been used to sanitize hospital operating rooms, city water, food supplies, and commercial buildings for decades. And now homeowners can install these powerful UV lights to purify their home's air 24/7 and easy enough to install in less than 15-minutes.
Below is a quick list of all our top choices. Keep scrolling to learn more about choosing and using the best ultraviolet light for A/C or furnace.
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Reko Lighting R2000
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REKO With Magnet
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Our favorite pick for the best UV light for HVAC systems goes to the OdorStop OS144PRO1. The OdorStop UV light uses four long 16" light bulbs that are 36-watts each (a total of 144-watts). With four ultra-long UV bulbs and very high wattage, this UV light is powerful enough to sanitize homes up to 20,000 square feet!
It has an airflow sensor so that the UV light only turns on when the HVAC system is running—saving energy, money, and extending the life of the bulbs. The OS144PRO1 also comes with an installation template, screws, and gasket which makes the installation super-easy.
7 HVAC UV Lights To Kill Mold
Use the links below to quickly jump to the review:
- OdorStop OS144PRO1 UV Light For HVAC Systems (Best Overall)
- Honeywell Ultraviolet Light For AC With AirBRIGHT Odor Absorbtion (Best With Odor Removal)
- REKO Lighting R2000 120-Volt UV Light For Furnace (Best Budget)
- REKO 14" Bulb HVAC UV Light With Magnetic Bracket (Best With Magnet)
- OdorStop OS72PRO 72-Watts UV Light For AC (Best Budget OdorStop)
- Bio Shield 20-Watt Germicidal UV Light For HVAC System (Best One Bulb)
- Honeywell RUVLAMP1 Ultraviolet Air Purifier (Best Honeywell)
Our hands-down #1 pick for the best UV light for HVAC is the OdorStop OS144PRO1.
This OdorStop UV light comes with four 16-inch light bulbs that are each 16-watts for a total of 144-watts.
The OS144PRO1 is so powerful it can handle homes and buildings up to 20,000 square feet!
It even comes with a special air flow sensor so that the light only shines when the HVAC is actually running—saving energy, money, and lengthening the life of the bulbs.
It also comes with a 6-foot power cord, installation template, screws, and gasket so that you can install it very fast.
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 UV light for furnaces 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 the 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.
The main benefit of installing a UV light for your HVAC system is that it can kill mold, viruses, bacteria, and other airborne pathogens on the surface.
Since the interior of your furnace or AC is a humid and dark place, mold and bacteria love to grow there. I have personally inspected hundreds of A/C air handlers that had mold growing on the inside.
A UV light will help prevent a 'biofilm' forming on the evaporator coil which greatly reduces the efficiency of your AC or heat pump.
Homeowners could just install a higher MERV-rated filter which could filter some mold spores and even viruses, but it won't sanitize the surface 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.
A UV Light For AC Won't Replace The Need For High Quality Filters
UV lights for furnaces doesn't replace the need for a filter, but they are 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.
What Is The Cost?
The average cost for a germicidal UV light for an HVAC system will range from $500 to $1500 which includes the unit and professional installation. If you install the UV light yourself, it can be significantly cheaper.
The higher priced UV lights for A/C 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.
How To Install
HVAC UV lights can sometimes 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 for AC 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.
Use A Hole Saw To Cut Into Sheet Metal Ductwork
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.
Potential Damage To HVAC
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
Use Aluminum Foil Tape To Prevent Damage
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 (view on Amazon). 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?
Scientific Validity To UV Exposure
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.
You can read our detailed guide on whether UV light kills mold here.
Ultraviolet lights for AC systems at this frequency have been clearly shown to destroy viruses, bacteria, and fungi. UV light bulbs stop 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 are known to be related to serious health problems such as…
- Allergic rhinitis
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Acute toxicosis
- Cancer from exposure to mycotoxins
Pictures Of Mold Inside An Air Conditioner
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.
Are UV HVAC lights worth it?
HVAC UV lights can be very effective at killing microbes on the surface of evaporator coils, drain pans, and the HVAC plenum. UV light is only effective if it has 'line of site' on the surface and the bulb also needs to be periodically changed and cleaned. A well-maintained and properly installed UV light is worth the investment and will improve the air quality of your home.
What size UV light do I need for my HVAC system?
The UV light capacity and bulb length will depend on the configuration and size of your HVAC system. Most homeowners will just need one UV light to cover most of the evaporator coil and HVAC interior, but larger systems may need 2 or more UV lights in different locations in order to cover everything. It is also generally recommended to have about 7.5 watts of light per square foot of the evaporator coil surface area.
Where is the best place to put UV light in HVAC?
The best place to install a UV light is near the evaporator coil so that the UV light can cover the entire area. It is also essential to avoid rubber parts that may be damaged by UV light.
How much does it cost to install a UV light in HVAC system?
UV lights will typically cost in the range of $300 to $1500 depending on the quality of the UV light and whether it is professionally installed by an HVAC contractor. DIY installations of UV lights can be done for as little as $100 to $200.