You or someone in your home may have allergies or you work at a job that’s located in a building with a history of risk to airborne bacteria. Or you may want to simply enjoy fresh air and would like to learn more about what UV lights can do to help clean the air in your home or office. UV lights can be installed in almost any HVAC system and can help sterilize the air before it moves through the space.

Does HVAC UV Lights Actually Work

Nobel Prize Winner Niels Finsen was received the coveted award in Medicine for the use of ultraviolet light during treatment of patients for tuberculosis. Since then these UV lights have been used in sterilizing hospitals, water, germicidal lamps in restaurants. But how can these UV lights be used to improve indoor air quality for residential homes? Although, it an kill mold and bacteria you need to understand the priorities of indoor air quality and the different types that are available.

Different Types of UV Lights for Your  HVAC System


Coil Sterilization

The most common type of HVAC UV light is Coil Sterilization, partly because it can run 24 hours a day for 7 days to ensure the quality of sterilization. Installed inside of the return air duct is a ‘stick-type” light, which sterilizes the air handler coil. This is treating the origin of the problem as opposed to the symptom. The source of contaminants seem to be the coil and drain pan. A top tech UV stick light bulb has been estimated to last up to 9,000 hours or a year, but only if you replace it during  annual servicing of your HVAC system.

Air Sterilization

For this method, a UV light unit is installed in the return air duct and cycles on with the air handler blower. A complete UV light unit sterilizes moving air itself as it is pushed through the HVAC system. This treats the air that is contaminated by any number of sources.


HVAC UV lights:

  • Control mold and bacteria
  • Reduce colds and flus – germs are not re-circulated by HVAC system
  • Reduce smells / odors
  • Remove VOCs
  • Are more effective in humid climates than dry climates
  • Reduces clogging in condensate drain lines by preventing algae growth.
  • Maintain a cleaner coil, improving cooling efficiency and reducing electricity costs.


HVAC UV Lights:

What Are Indoor Air Quality Priorities

Although, HVAC UV lights have been deemed effective in ridding a home of mold and bacteria, you want to be sure you have completed the indoor air quality basics:

  1. Have you sealed air ducts during renovation or construction
  2. Installed ducts in conditioned space
  3. Ensured that ducts are air-tight, sealing all joints with mastic
  4. Installed high-MERV filters, however when doing this make sure your HVAC system is designed for the higher static pressure of better filtration
  5. VAC systems
  6. Conduct regular maintenance by changing filters and cleaning the coil on an annual basis

Bottom Line

Although HVAC UV lights are an effective method to improving indoor air quality, it is possible only after following the indoor air quality priorities. If ever in doubt, it’s always a good idea to seek out a professional, our certified technicians at Scott’s Cooling are available to assist with your needs. Call Scott’s Cooling today at (808) 877-3665 or visit us online at