Are UV Lights for HVAC Worth It? The Jury Is Still Out

You may have heard of the growing popularity of HVAC UV lights. What’s it all about, anyway? Are UV lights for HVAC worth it?

UV lights for HVAC are worth it for those who have the budget for installation costs. UV light kills bacteria, viruses, and mold, making the benefits of HVAC UV lights worth it. Alternatively, yearly preventative maintenance on an HVAC system can be highly effective at keeping your system clean.

Are UV Lights for HVAC Worth It?

Since the Covid pandemic there has been a growing trend to install Ultraviolet lights in HVAC systems. We need to remember this is a product being encouraged by companies wanting to make a profit.

That’s not to say that there isn’t some validity to the effectiveness of UV lights, but it’s important to keep in mind that you will want to be very selective as to where you obtain your information when trying to decide if investing in HVAC UV lights is the right move for you and your pocketbook.

Unlike chemical pesticides, EPA does not routinely review the safety or efficacy of UV light
devices and, therefore, EPA has not conducted a human health risk assessment to determine the
safety of these products.


There are many products on the market that claim to improve the quality of your indoor air, including HVAC air sanitizing light systems.

UV lights are devices that emit ultraviolet radiation, which is a type of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation can kill or damage microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.

As a result, air sanitizing lights are often used in hospitals, grocery stores, and other settings where it is important to sterilize the air.

If you are considering adding air sanitizing lights to your HVAC system, it is important to consult with a qualified HVAC technician to ensure that the lights are properly sized and placed for your specific system.

Are UV Lights for HVAC Worth It?

There are some key takeaways when considering whether UV lights for HVAC are worth it or not. Let’s take a look at a few of them below:

  • Air sanitizing lights help kill bacteria and viruses, which can cause illness.
  • Air sanitizing lights help reduce the amount of dust in the air.
  • Air sanitizing lights remove odors from the air.
  • Air sanitizing lights improve indoor air quality.

Yearly preventative maintenance by an HVAC professional will also ensure your HVAC system is cleaned and maintained on a regular basis which also contributes to clean air.

This means that air sanitizing lights in your HVAC is not necessary yet and has become a very popular trend since the Covid pandemic.

You are encouraged to do your own independent research with credible resources. If you ask a UV light specialist if air sanitizing lights are worth it, of course, they will tell you everything you want to hear to make a sale.

UV Light in HVAC Effectiveness

UV light is effective at killing microorganisms in HVAC systems and has been used in hospitals for many years to sterilize equipment. UV lights have become increasingly popular for use in homes and offices by helping keep the air cleaner.

UV light kills bacteria and viruses that are present in the air, making it safer to breathe. Air sanitizing lights can also help to remove odors from the air.

Although UV light is effective at killing microorganisms, they are not effective at removing dust or other particles from the air.

As a result, they should be used in conjunction with another type of air purifier, such as a HEPA air filter.

When considering the MERV rating of your filters, a high-MERV filter with a rating of between 16 to 20 is recommended if the air quality in your home is of particular concern.

This is especially important for those suffering from respiratory illnesses.

Are UV Lights for HVAC Safe?

While UV lights for HVAC are generally safe for human beings, there are some potential risks that should be considered. Exposure to UV-C light can cause skin damage and eye irritation. In addition, UVGI systems can produce ozone gas, which can be harmful to the lungs.

As a result, it is important to consult with a trained professional before installing a UV light system in your home or office.

Does UV Light Kill Viruses and Bacteria?

UV light has been shown to have germicidal properties, meaning it can kill microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. There are different types of UV light, and each type has a different wavelength that is associated with different levels of germicidal activity.

For example, UVC light has the shortest wavelength and is the most effective at killing microorganisms; however, this type of UV light is completely absorbed by the atmosphere and does not reach the ground.

UV disinfection systems use one or more UV lamps to emit UV light into an enclosed space in order to sanitize the air or water.

This process is chemical-free and does not produce harmful byproducts or leave residues behind.

In addition, UV light is effective at killing microorganisms even when they are hiding in cracks and crevices, making it an ideal option for sanitizing areas that are difficult to clean.

Although UV disinfection systems are typically used in commercial and industrial settings, they are also becoming increasingly popular for use in home HVACs, air purifiers, and water filtration systems.

How Fast Does UV Light Kill Viruses?

A new study has found that UV light can kill viruses such as influenza within seconds. The researchers used a special high-speed camera to track the movement of viruses in real time. They found that when exposed to UV light, the viruses underwent rapid changes.

These include changes in shape, loss of their ability to attach to surfaces, and eventually destroyed.

The findings suggest that UV light could be an effective tool for preventing the spread of viral infections.

How Fast Does UV Light Kill Bacteria?

UV light kills bacteria within seconds or minutes, making it a very efficient way to disinfect surfaces. However, it is important to note that UV light does not discriminate between different types of bacteria. Therefore, it is possible for some bacteria to develop resistance to UV light over time.

For this reason, UV light is typically used in combination with other disinfection methods, such as heat or chemicals.

How Long Does It Take for UV Light to Kill Mold?

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a powerful disinfectant that can kill mold in just a few minutes. However, it is important to note that UV light only works on mold spores that are exposed to the light. Mold spores that are hidden away in dark, damp corners will not be affected by UV light.

In order to completely eliminate mold from your home, it is important to address the underlying moisture problem that is causing the growth of mold in the first place.

Those living in humid climates tend to experience more mold and mildew problems.

Once you destroy the breeding ground and have fixed the moisture issue that caused the mold growth, using UV light in the air ducts can then help to ensure that mold does not return.

How to Size UV Light for HVAC

It is important to select the right size UV light unit for your HVAC and your specific needs. The first step is to determine the square footage of the space that will be treated. Once you have that number, you can consult a sizing chart to find the appropriate unit.

It is also important to consider the amount of time that the unit will be in operation. If the space is large and the unit will be running for extended periods of time, you may need a more powerful unit.

Similarly, if the space is small or only needs to be treated periodically, a smaller unit may suffice.

Do I Need a UV Light in My HVAC?

The use of UV light in an HVAC system has been said to be an effective way to improve indoor air quality and reduce the spread of airborne diseases. UV lights can be installed in HVAC systems to disinfect the air as it circulates through the system.

In order to be effective, air sanitizing lights must be properly sized and placed in the HVAC system so that they can come into contact with all of the air that circulates through the system.

If you are considering adding air sanitizing lights to your HVAC system, I would personally and strongly encourage you to do your own independent research first.

Let’s be clear here; a company selling air sanitizing lights is doing so to make a profit. It’s their business. A salesperson (also called “professionals” and “specialists”) will try to convince you of all the reasons why you should invest in air sanitizing lights for your HVAC. That’s how they make a living.

And because an investment in air sanitizing lights for an HVAC system can range between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, you need to ask yourself if you really need UV lights.

This means if you want more information on the true effectiveness of UV lights, you need unbiased information.


Trina Greenfield, Author
SmackDown Media LLC

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those interested in the air quality in and around their homes. Trina writes content about things she’s passionate about, such as safe, in-home air, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.