If you have an HVAC unit installed in your home, there are several additions that can effectively enhance this system, the primary of which is a UV light. These lights are able to keep mold and bacteria growth at bay, which helps to maintain system efficiency for lower energy bills. Once you’ve selected the right UV light for your HVAC unit, our San Marcos heating and air conditioning professionals can install them for you.
What Are UV Lights?
When installed in your HVAC system’s ductwork or air handler, HVAC UV lights can purify your home’s indoor air. When air circulates in your home, it takes allergens and germs with it. This air will eventually move into the path of the UV light, which is powerful enough to sanitize the air before it’s sent back into the home.
The type of ultraviolet light that’s used in an HVAC UV light is UV-C light, which has short wavelengths that can more effectively get rid of indoor air contaminants. The types of contaminants that these UV lights can deactivate or kill include mold, viruses, bacteria, and many additional airborne pathogens.
While UV-C light is similar to the light produced by the sun, it’s displayed at a higher intensity, which allows the illumination to destroy the various nucleic acids that make up bacteria. In this scenario, the DNA is destroyed altogether, which makes it impossible for germs to replicate.
Benefits of Using UV Lights in an HVAC System
The main reason to have a UV light installed in your HVAC system is that it can kill mold, which allows you to avoid costly mold remediation. You can install these lights into nearly all types of HVAC units, which include:
- Electric furnaces
- Heat pumps
- Mini-split air conditioners
- High-efficiency gas furnaces
- Oil furnaces
Keep in mind that mold spreads if it isn’t dealt with early enough. Any bacteria that’s allowed to remain in your indoor air may cause allergic reactions in you or anyone else in your home.
By having UV lights installed, the need for coil cleaning is significantly reduced. The primary reason to clean the coils in your HVAC system is because of the constant buildup of organic matter. If you use UV lights to destroy bacteria and mold, you’ll notice that organic matter can’t develop on the system’s coils, which saves you time and money.
Since these lights help the coil maintain its performance, the energy efficiency of your air conditioner should remain high. In the event that the biofilm from bacteria and mold builds up on the coil, performance will worsen, which could result in your HVAC unit being placed under more stress and eventually failing before it should.
Best UV Lights to Have Installed in HVAC System
There are dozens of different UV lights you can have installed in your HVAC system. To help with your search, here’s an in-depth guide on five of the best UV lights on the market.
OdorStop OS144PRO UV Light
OdorStop manufactures one of the top UV lights that can be installed in central HVAC units, mini-split air conditioners, and furnaces. Likely the most powerful UV light available from OdorStop is the OS144PRO, which comes with four 16-inch bulbs. Each bulb has an input power rating that reaches 36 watts for a total of 144 watts.
The OS144Pro is equipped with an airflow sensor that ensures the UV light is only operational while the HVAC unit is running. The inclusion of an LED indicator allows you to identify when the bulbs may need to be replaced. If the bulbs are functioning properly, the indicator light will be green. The main drawback to the OdorStop is its high price. Since it’s considered to be the top brand and model of UV lighting, it may be worth the extra cost for you.
D200 UV Lights
Another highly rated UV light to considered is the D200 UV, which is priced at around $100 per light. With a dual-bulb system, two bulbs at an eight-inch length will emit UV-C light throughout your HVAC ductwork. Because of the dual-bulb construction, the eight-inch bulbs should fit properly in most ductwork and shouldn’t encounter the same issues as 16-inch bulbs.
The primary benefit of D200 UV lights is the affordable price. They also come with an input power rating of 18 watts per bulb. The main issue with these UV lights is that they’re only able to be installed in ductwork. While the specs don’t match the OdorStop, the price is far lower.
REKO R2000 UV Light
The REKO R2000 is a universal UV light that can be installed directly into your ductwork. At less than $100, this model has one of the more affordable prices on the market and is outfitted with a dual-bulb system. These bulbs radiate UV-C light at 254 nanometers with an input wattage that reaches 18 watts.
Just like the D200 UV lights, the dual-bulb system is designed to increase the surface area that the bulbs are able to reach. Two of these bulbs equal the radiation of a single 16-inch bulb. The R2000 UV light is most commonly installed in heat pumps and mini-split systems. The primary drawback is that you can’t install the light in your indoor air handler.
The Honeywell UV2400U5000 air purifier comes with an AirBRITE system that absorbs odors. Even though it functions as an air purifier, it contains a UV light that kills mold at the same time that it removes odors from the air inside your home. This model claims that it can prevent mold at an efficiency rating of 99%. It can also get rid of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at a 90% efficiency rating.
The UV light is able to renew the system’s carbon filter, which means that maintenance isn’t required for the carbon filter. A couple of issues with this Honeywell model include the high cost of around $350 as well as the need for a low-voltage transformer during installation.
Bio Shield UV Light
Bio Shield offers an HVAC UV light that includes a 17-inch bulb with a 25-watt rating. This UV light can be installed nearby your HVAC unit’s evaporator coil and requires three screws for mounting. Once the light has been installed, all you need to do is plug it into an outlet.
Keep in mind that this UV light is unable to kill any microbes in the air surrounding your HVAC system. When you initially install the light, you may notice a slight burning smell. This smell should dissipate as you continue to use the light.
At Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning, we can help you select a UV light for your HVAC unit and can have it installed immediately after purchase. Along with San Marcos, we serve the entire North San Diego County area and offer many heating, cooling, and air purification services for you to select from. Our services can be applied to any heating/cooling system in your home and include maintenance, repair, and installation services. If you’re looking to improve your indoor air quality, our technicians have the expertise required to install air scrubbers, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, smart thermostats, and whole house fans.
Get in touch with Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning for more information on the types of services we offer.