Ultraviolet lights have been known to kill certain bacteria. They are used in hospitals and even come in air purifiers to improve indoor air quality. Similarly, these lights can be placed within your heating and cooling system to keep your air and unit safe from bacteria, mold, mildew and other allergens and toxins. However, it’s not clear how these lights can be installed, how they work, how much they cost, and whether they are even worth the cost. To help you figure out if UV lights are worth the investment, keep reading this quick guide by the pros at Crawford!
What Does UV Light Do?
Ultraviolet light has numerous uses:
- Hospitals use UV lamps to sterilize surgical equipment and even the air in operating rooms.
- In small doses, doctors can use it to treat vitamin D deficiency or skin problems and disorders.
- UV light is often used by forensics to look for fingerprints, blood and other fluids.
- UV light is used in air purifiers—when certain bacteria and germs have prolonged contact with UV light, they can be killed, which in turn cleanses indoor air.
- UV light in HVAC units can be most effective in killing mold and mildew. Contact with mold can be dangerous for your unit. In addition, it can also be bad for your indoor air quality and even cause allergies in some people.
Where Can You Install UV Lights in Your HVAC Unit?
Consult with your HVAC technician and decide the best, most effective place to install UV lights in your HVAC system. Ideally, there are two places in your unit you can install them:
- Coil UV Lights—Located on The Indoor Coil
Central air conditioning systems have indoor air handling units in which a coil is located. This can often be a breeding for mold because condensation usually collects on the coil. You can install the lights right above the coil, so UV lights shine on it continuously to prevent the growth of mold.
Ductwork UV Lights or Air Germicidal HVAC lights are meant to kill airborne allergens and pollutants making their way through your return vents. These lights are wired into the system and coordinated with the blower motor, which means they turn on and off with it. These lights are on the costlier side.
How Much Does It Cost to Install HVAC UV Lights? Is it Worth it?
Coil UV lights have a light cost ranging between $60-$285, an installation cost ranging between $100-$225, a lamp cost between $10-$60 and an energy cost between $15-$30. Air sanitizing lights have a light cost between $80-$400, an installation cost between $150-$295, a lamp cost between $15-$125 and the same energy cost as coil lights.
Before you decide to make any changes to your HVAC system, consider your needs and concerns. Is mold and mildew a big issue in your system or home? Is your indoor air quality a growing problem? Is anyone in your home susceptible to allergies? If you answer “Yes” to any of those questions, you might want to consider HVAC UV lights. However, keep in mind you can keep your home allergy-free through other methods such as:
- Changing your air filter consistently
- Sealing up any air leaks
- Ventilating your home properly
- Keeping your air handler, outdoor unit and indoor coil clean and free from debris
- Cleaning your air vents and registers occasionally.
If you have more questions about UV HVAC lights, call the pros at Crawford at 817-869-9045 or schedule an appointment online.