UV Lights For AC
Find the best UV-C light for your air conditioner!
When your air conditioner cools the air inside your home, it can also circulate mold, mildew, bacteria, and other viruses. You and your family could end up getting ill, with nasty symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and breathing difficulties.
A UV light for your AC can control mold growth inside your air conditioner and help keep your indoor air clean, fresh, and, most importantly, healthy.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of UV lights for HVAC, or use this table of contents to conveniently skip to my top picks of the best UV lights for AC.
Table of Contents
- 1 UV Lights For AC Pros And Cons
- 2 How To Choose The Best UV Lights For AC And Furnaces
- 3 UV Light For Air Conditioner Reviews
- 4 Who Can Install My UV Lights For AC?
- 5 UV Lights For AC: Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 My Final Thoughts
I’ve worked in the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry for over a decade. I’ve reviewed some of the best HVAC UV lights in 2021 to help you find the perfect HVAC UV light for you.
But not every light for AC unit will be compatible with your air conditioner, and each has pros and cons to consider before you decide which is the best option for you.
UV Lights For AC Pros And Cons
How To Choose The Best UV Lights For AC And Furnaces
Air germicidal HVAC lights, commonly known as HVAC UV lights or UV-C air purifiers, are an effective way to kill airborne allergens, bacteria, fungi, and mold spores. They can even kill viruses and dissipate pollutants, to significantly improve indoor air quality.
Better air quality is scientifically proven to have a strong connection with overall health and wellbeing. This can be further improved if you use air filters alongside your air purifiers.
Now that you’ve decided to invest in an HVAC UV light, you’ll need to consider these important factors so you can choose the right model for you and your air conditioner.
UV Lights Input Power
Choosing a UV light with a higher wattage means that the ultraviolet lights in that system are more effective at purifying your air than a system with a lower input wattage. Most UV lights for HVAC deploy multiple bulbs, and you should look for a unit that uses bulbs of at least 15watts of input power.
UV Light Bulb Length
The physical length of each bulb is another important factor that determines how effective the unit is at purifying your air quickly by irradiating the AC unit cooling coils. HVAC UV light bulbs are usually 12” long, and anything less than 8” should be avoided since they’re simply not good enough at their job!
Essentially, you’re looking for bulbs with a surface area that’s big enough to irradiate every part of the AC cooling coils, but make sure your AC unit can accommodate larger bulbs of 16” or more before you purchase.
Ease Of Installation
You’ll need to install UV lights near the indoor air handling units’ coil or in the ductwork of your HVAC unit. Most of the best UV lights are relatively easy to install into your HVAC unit if you have prior experience or understanding of HVAC installation.
You’ll need to check that the power cord of the unit you’re considering buying is long enough to reach a power outlet from wherever you install it. You should also check whether the UV-C unit comes with a UV light installation kit or sufficient instructions, making the process a lot easier.
Coil Sanitizing Lights
Every central air conditioning has an indoor coil that absorbs the heat from the air inside your home. It’s often a perfect environment for mold and bacteria that can pose a serious threat to your health because the coil condenses moisture from that air, and these pollutants stick to the wet surface.
Coil UV lights shine UV-C lighting directly onto the HVAC system coil, are left on continuously, and are produced as either a single or dual bulb system.
Air Sanitizing Lights
These UV-C lights work differently by killing mold and bacteria that flow through your return-air ductwork. Higher-end models can be fitted so that they only turn on and off when the AC blower motor is turned on and off, so they are very efficient at conserving energy and reducing your energy bills even further.
However, they need to be professionally hard-wired into the HVAC system for this to occur, so the installation cost will be considerably higher than a unit that only needs DIY installation.
UV Lights For AC Cost
The upfront cost of the UV fixture itself can vary according to size, power, brand, and efficiency. Coil UV lights will likely cost between $60 and upwards of $285, and Air-sanitizing UV lights could cost between $80 and $400.
How much it costs to install UV lights will depend on the type of UV light you use and the level of DIY skills you possess.
Professional installation of coil-sanitizing lights can cost between $100 and $300, while air-sanitizing lights that require hardwiring into your HVAC unit will cost between $150 and $400 to install. Most units of either type cost between $80 and $125.
If you have competent DIY skills, you may be able to install the UV lights yourself and save on the cost of professional installation altogether, but I would advise against attempting to hardwire a system yourself as this can be very dangerous without electrical expertise.
Replacement Lamp Cost
Most UV light bulbs come with a lifespan expectancy of between 9 and 14 months, depending on how long they run. Most replacement bulbs cost $15-$50 depending on whether you’re using a single or dual-bulb system.
Some models of UV light for HVAC come with 1 or 2 replacement bulbs included, which can save you on the cost of purchasing these for at least a year or two.
Using ultraviolet light with your air handler can reduce your energy costs by around 35%. That means if your monthly energy bill is $100, a UV light for HVAC can reduce this to around $65- which is a considerable saving that adds up over the years!
The electricity costs of running are very minimal. Two 9w bulbs running 24 hours a day at $0.07 a kWh will only cost $11.04 per year.
UV Light For Air Conditioner Reviews
Best Overall Product 2021
Odorstop has earned a reputation for producing powerful and functional products that remove water, air, bacteria, and odors from your home, so they can be trusted to provide quality and durability.
This HVAC UV light is impressive in its performance and efficiency. 4 powerful 16” UV lights kill mold, airborne allergens, and viruses more quickly and effectively than other models. The airflow sensor is a handy and intelligent feature that limits energy usage by ensuring the unit only turns on when your heating and cooling system is switched on.
If you’re concerned about the expensive upfront cost of this UV-C lighting, then rest assured that it will have paid for itself in a few years by slashing your monthly energy bills.
Each 16” UV-C bulb runs at 36 watts, well above the minimum recommendation, for a total wattage of 144w. It means that the unit can save energy by running at a lower capacity while still delivering the same high performance.
You’ll need to make sure your HVAC system can accommodate those bulbs, and it’s unlikely that smaller units that run at 12,000 BTU or less will be able to. They’re designed for larger, more powerful air conditioners, and if you don’t have one of these, then another product may be the best for you.
I can highly recommend the OS144PRO as the best UV-C light for HVAC that I came across since it’s powerful, reliable, and efficient.
What We Like:
- Best uv light for HVAC system in the US
- High input wattage of 144 means the unit can be run at less capacity
- Powerful 16” bulbs
- Cut-out installation guide
- Energy-efficient airflow sensor
- Great for larger air conditioners of 12,000 BTU or more
What We Don’t Like:
- Expensive upfront cost
- Too big for AC units of 12,000 BTU or less
Best For Easy Installation
While installation of most UV HVAC lights is easy, this particular unit is the easiest to install that I’ve come across. I just made two holes near the AC plenum above the cooling coils, plugged the UV-C unit in, and switched it on.
Running from power supplied through a standard 120v power outlet is a bonus since no tricky electrical hard-wiring is involved. This makes it an excellent option for somebody with minimal DIY or HVAC installation experience.
This product is UL certified, so it has undergone rigorous testing to meet the highest possible safety standards. This should bring you peace of mind if extra safety is a particular concern to you.
Even when running constantly, the bulbs in this unit will last a year or longer, and the replacement process is just as simple as the installation was. Overall, its easy installation makes it worth seriously considering if you’re a DIY newbie.
What We Like:
- Very easy to install
- Uses 120v power supply
- 9ft power cord
- UL certified
- Bulb only needs to be replaced once a year
What We Don’t Like:
- Short warranty
Best Budget Option
The R2000 system uses two UV-C bulbs, which increase the surface area that gives off UV-C radiation. This means that the unit can adequately purify a larger amount of air, and doing so with two 8” rather than one 16” means the UV-C light can fit into a small AC unit. It’s ideal for smaller air conditioners of around 9,000 BTU.
A combined bulb wattage of 18w makes this light very efficient, reducing your energy bills in the long run. The unit is easy to install and comes with a 9ft power cord, which means you’ve more placement options when connecting to a power outlet.
This is the most budget-friendly UV-C light I came across during my comparisons, with high reliability and performance for the price.
What We Like:
- Two bulbs
- Easy to install
- 9ft power cord
- No o-zone generation makes it suitable for smaller rooms
What We Don’t LIke:
- Not powerful enough for larger air conditioners
Top Rated By Consumers
I found that consumer reviews of this light made it impossible to ignore, with consistently high ratings for reliability, ease of installation, and energy efficiency.
When I put this to the test, I found the unit lived up to expectations in all these departments. Two 8” bulbs provide optimized efficiency. The unit comes with 2 spare bulbs included, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing any replacements for at least a year or two, with a potential saving of between $15 and $50.
The light comes with an easy installation guide, including a paper template that you can simply cut around to fit the unit into your HVAC system. My testing found that the bulb replacement was a slightly trickier process, so that’s something you should bear in mind for further down the line if you don’t have much HVAC experience.
If you use this unit in conjunction with a good-standard air filter, you’ll see a dramatic increase in the quality of air around your home. It’s no wonder it came so highly rated by consumers.
What We Like:
- Includes two spare bulbs
- Dual bulb system
- Easy installation
What We Don’t Like:
- Bulb replacement can be tricky
Who Can Install My UV Lights For AC?
You may have the necessary knowledge and DIY skills needed to carry out the installation yourself. Unless you’re installing an air-sanitizing UV-C light that will require a professional to hardwire the unit into your HVAC system, it’s a relatively simple process, and many units come with easy-to-follow DIY instructions.
If not, professional installation can cost between $100 and $400 to keep the unit safe, depending on the type and size of the UV-C unit in question.
UV Lights For AC: Frequently Asked Questions
Do UV Lights In AC Work?
Ultraviolet light is 100% effective at killing the mold and bacteria that can cultivate on an air conditioner’s coil and air filter, so UV lights for HVAC systems work exactly as they’re described.
Do I Really Need A UV Light For My Air Conditioner?
Installing an ultraviolet light into your AC unit air handler has multiple health benefits as well as the advantage of lowering your energy bills by keeping your AC well-maintained and efficient.
If you’re particularly prone to the ill effects of allergens, mold, and bacteria, then a UV light for air conditioning should be a serious consideration for you and your family.
How Long Do UV Lights For AC Last?
UV-C lights will usually last up to 9,000 hours, or 375 days, depending on how often they’re used per day.
Are UV Lights For AC Worth The Cost?
Their low upfront costs, even with installation, should make them a worthy consideration if you’re looking at improving the quality of air that you breathe in every day at home.
My Final Thoughts
Every light I have reviewed is effective at reducing harmful mold, bacteria, and allergens in the air of your home. Which product you choose depends on your budget, AC unit, and particular needs.
The Odorstop OS144PRO was the best UV-C product overall for performance and efficiency, but this comes at a higher upfront cost than rival lights. The Reko R2000 is a solid budget option as long as you aren’t planning to use it with a larger AC unit, and the Pure Air model is perfect if you don’t have much DIY skill.
These products are a great starting point in your search for the best UV lights for your AC, and you can look forward to the multiple health and wellbeing benefits they’ll bring!