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A Closer Look at UV Lights in HVAC Systems

Take a closer look at how UV lights in HVAC systems work including the benefits of installing this type of system

Even when homeowners apply the best cleaning methods in the home by disinfecting, airborne contaminants germs, mold and bacteria still have the ability to circulate through the house every time the cooling and heating unit is turned on. The best way to control the buildup of harmful contaminants in the air is to install an ultraviolet light system in the HVAC unit.

For years, ultraviolet lights have been used primarily as an effective treatment in water tanks and water systems. Only in the last few years has the HVAC industry started using ultraviolet light to help improve the indoor air quality and the performance of the air conditioning system.

Here are the basics of how UV lights in HVAC systems work:

Electromagnet Electricity

UV technology utilizes the benefits of electromagnetic energy, which is identical to visible light. However, ultraviolet light cannot be seen because it is beyond the range that humans can see. The light in the ultraviolet spectrum is split into three ranges of specific wavelength that include Ultraviolet-A, Ultraviolet-B and Ultraviolet-C. The Ultraviolet-C wavelength has germicidal properties.

The indoor air quality of the home can be maximized because the ultraviolet light has the ability to physically penetrate into nearly every microorganism to kill it. It does this by permanently altering the microorganism’s molecular bonds and structure.

Germicidal Properties

This germicidal process happens naturally in the environment every day through sunlight. The problem is that indoors there is too little sunlight to produce the same results. When left unchecked, microorganisms including viruses and bacteria can quickly begin reproducing and building colonies until there are significant issues in the air quality of the home.


An ultraviolet light system is typically installed in the air handler of the air conditioning and heating system. At this location, they can easily prevent the biological reproduction from developing. Installing a second ultraviolet light in the HVAC ductwork can remove odors and scrub the air clean of microorganisms.

Reducing the amount of mildew and mold that grows inside the home will help to properly maintain the cooling and heating equipment. When left unchecked, the air quality in the home can diminish, and cause the air filter to become clogged. This can have a dramatic negative impact by reducing the energy efficiency of the HVAC system. It is easy for accumulated mold and mildew to build up on the air conditioning coil, which can be extremely expensive to clean.

Long Lasting Benefits

The installation of a UV light system in the home’s heating and air conditioning system can minimize airborne illnesses and allergies. By killing harmful contaminants, everyone in the home can benefit. This is especially true for individuals that routinely suffer from:

  • Asthma
  • Respiratory Allergies
  • Watery, Itchy Eyes
  • A Stuffy, Sneezy or Runny Nose
  • Fatigue
  • Sore Throat

Installing an ultraviolet surface treatment system is a cost-effective decision. The ultraviolet lights can keep the coil of the air conditioner clean while maximizing airflow and energy efficiency. Money can be saved through improved efficiency and will likely postpone the need for replacement equipment for years.  In addition, homeowners can enjoy a much more comfortable house because the HVAC system is delivering a cleaner flow of air at the desired temperature.