Understanding the Different Types of UV Lights For HVAC

July 10, 2024
UV lights in Macomb County, MI

Your home is your comfort zone, and you want to ensure it’s a safe and cozy place. One way you can maintain a healthy environment in your home is by improving the air quality.

How Do UV Lights Work With HVAC?

UV lights are installed in the ductwork or air handler. When germs and bacteria are exposed to UV light, they absorb the UV rays, which disrupts their DNA. These UV lights prevent viruses, bacteria, and mold spores from reproducing, thereby improving your indoor air quality.

What Are the Different Types of UV Lights for HVAC Systems?

The two types of UV lights you can have for your HVAC system are coil or air sterilization.

Coil Sterilization

These UV lights are also air purifiers that are mounted inside the air handler close to the evaporator coil. Coil sterilization UV lights, also known as UV-C lights, remain on during the day and night to sterilize any contaminants as they pass through the HVAC system.

Air Sterilization

These UV lights are installed in the return air ducts and wired to the HVAC system. They only activate when the HVAC system is running. While your system is in operation, the UV lights sterilize the air before pulling it into the HVAC equipment. These UV lights also sterilize the HVAC components close to the purifier.

What Are the Benefits of HVAC UV Lights?

HVAC UV lights have a plethora of benefits. If you’re considering UV lights for your HVAC system, these are some of the advantages you can look forward to.


Many homeowners consider UV lights for their HVAC systems because of the sterilization benefits. UV lights kill harmful bacteria and viruses that can negatively affect your health. By neutralizing harmful pathogens, you can improve the air quality in your home while reducing the risk of illness.

Prevent the Growth of Mold and Mildew

Contrary to popular belief, mold and mildew are two different substances. Even though they are both considered fungi, they are different types. Mold is a fungus that creates multicellular filaments known as hyphae. Mold can grow on different surfaces, including fabric, food, plants, and other surfaces, and it thrives in dark and damp environments.

Unlike mold, mildew is flat instead of fuzzy and can appear white, gray, or brown. It has an odor that is not as strong as some other types of fungi, and it is different in appearance. Both mold and mildew can cause respiratory problems, and UV lights are essential for helping prevent the their growth.

Because HVAC evaporator coils are located in warm environments, they are ideal for mold and mildew growth. HVAC UV lights kill mold and mildew spores and prevent them from spreading.

Increase in System Efficiency

HVAC units accumulate dust, dirt, and other debris, decreasing system efficiency over time. The accumulation of dirt and dust can also cause the system to malfunction. Dirt and dust can collect on the HVAC’s coils, making it work harder to perform basic functions. When you eliminate these contaminants using UV lights, the system’s life span will increase and the HVAC system will be more efficient.

Where Are the Best Places to Install UV Lights?

Some locations are better than others when it comes to UV light placement.

Air Handling Units

UV Lights that are placed in air handling units, also known as AHUs, clean and disinfect the air as it travels through the unit, decreasing the microbial load. Reducing the overall microbial load ensures the air that passes through is clean, contributing to a healthier indoor environment.

Drain Pans and Cooling Coils

Drain pans and cooling coils are located in areas susceptible to moisture. These areas are prone to the growth of bacteria and mold. UV lights installed in these areas can directly target the harmful microorganisms and prevent their growth. The prevention of bacteria and mold can improve the indoor air quality in your home and help ensure the HVAC system remains efficient. When the cooling coils are clean, optimal heat exchange occurs, reducing energy consumption. By reducing your HVAC’s energy consumption, you can save money on your utility expenses.

Return Air Ducts

When UV lights are placed in return air ducts, they can minimize the recirculation of contaminants and pathogens into the air handling unit and your home. Disinfecting the air before it’s combined with fresh air and circulates through your home improves the overall air quality.

Supply Ducts

Installing UV lights in the supply ducts provides extra protection for your home. The UV lights treat the air that’s circulating throughout your home for an additional time before distributing it throughout your home or business. This additional air sanitation is great for homes that have many occupants and pets as well as for businesses that rely on high levels of sanitation, such as hospitals.

How Often Should You Replace HVAC UV Lights?

How frequently you should change your HVAC UV lights depends on the type of lamps you have installed and the manufacturer’s recommendations. However, HVAC UV lights should be changed at least every 2 years.

Can HVAC UV Lights Help With Allergies?

Sure! UV lights help reduce indoor allergens, such as dust mites and spores. To help control the allergens in your home, ensure you keep all surfaces clean and your home well ventilated. You can also increase outdoor airflow into your home and choose washable throw rugs for decor options if you have them.

Are HVAC UV Lights Safe for Humans and Pets?

Although the amount of UV radiation that comes from HVAC systems is incredibly low, prolonged exposure can cause eye and skin damage, which is why it’s essential to hire a professional to install the UV lighting. When you hire a professional, you can maintain a safe and clean environment. Professionals adhere to the proper safety protocols when they are installing and maintaining UV lights, and this includes a guard.

Can UV Lighting Damage an HVAC System?

When HVAC UV lights are properly installed and maintained, these lights do not damage the HVAC system. If your system experiences any malfunctions, call a professional for help instead of trying to fix things on your own. HVAC professionals have the necessary tools, skills, and knowledge to safely repair and maintain your system.

Can Installing HVAC UV Lights Save Money?

If you want to save a few hundred dollars a year on your energy expenses, installing HVAC UV lights may be a good idea. When you properly maintain UV lights, they can improve the system’s efficiency, requiring less energy to operate, thus saving you money on energy expenses.

Here at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we want to help you maintain a healthy and safe environment in your home. We offer comprehensive HVAC services, including duct cleaning, emergency repairs, electric and gas furnace installation, AC installations, mini-split installation and maintenance, and so much more. Contact us today to learn more about UV lights and how they can improve the air quality in your home in Roseville or elsewhere in Macomb County.

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