May 22, 2022 12 min read

How to Install UV Light in HVAC: A Step-by-Step Guide

Transform Your Home's Air Quality Courtesy of UV Lights! Learn How to Install UV Lights in HVAC for Cleaner, Healthier Living. Get Started Today!

How to Install UV Light in HVAC

Ultraviolet light is the gift that keeps giving. From nourishing plants to creating wonderful resin designs, this product of electromagnetic radiation is a staple for homes and businesses. Another gift ultraviolet light presents in air purification and destruction of molds.

UV lights kill airborne bacteria, viruses, and mold spores, which can help reduce the risk of illness and allergies. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of installing a UV light in your HVAC system, including the science behind UV lights, the health benefits of using them, and the installation process.

These protective lights are designed to kill microorganisms that can cause health problems, and they work by emitting UV-C light, which is harmful to these microorganisms. HVAC systems are ideal for UV lights because they can be installed in the ductwork, where they can kill microorganisms as they pass through the system. In this article, we'll discuss the science behind UV lights and how they work to improve air quality.

Key Takeaways

  • Installing a UV light in your HVAC system can help improve air quality by killing bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.
  • UV lights work by emitting UV-C light, which is harmful to microorganisms.
  • Deciphering the science behind UV lights and HVAC systems is important before beginning the installation process.

Understanding UV Lights and HVAC Systems

Installing UV lights might be a great option if you want to improve your HVAC system's performance. UV lights are a type of germicidal light that can kill bacteria, viruses, and mold. When installed in your HVAC unit, they can help elevate indoor air integrity and diminish the likelihood of illness.

UV lights work by releasing ultraviolet emission, which damages the DNA and RNA of microorganisms, ultimately killing them. When installed in your HVAC system, they can help keep your air conditioning coils and ductwork clean, improving your system's efficiency.

Two types of UV lights are commonly used in HVAC systems: coil sterilization and air sterilization. Coil sterilization UV lights are installed near the air conditioning coils and help keep them clean. Air sterilization UV lights are installed in the ductwork and help clean the air as it passes through.

When selecting UV lights for your HVAC system, choosing the right size and type of light is of the essence. Your HVAC technician can recommend the appropriate UV lights for your system and help install them properly.

Overall, installing UV lights in your HVAC system can significantly enrich indoor air quality and reduce the risk of illness. If you're considering installing UV lights, talk to your HVAC technician to learn more about your options and get started. Selecting the right UV lights for your home is vital to your safety and guarantees they last for extended periods. 

The Science Behind UV Lights

UV, or ultraviolet light, is a form of electromagnetic emission with a wavelength shorter than visible light. UV lights can be further divided into three categories:UV-A,UV-B, andUV-C. UV-C light, also known as germicidal UV light, has the shortest wavelength and is the most effective at destroying microorganisms.

UV-C light damages microorganisms' nucleic acids (DNA or RNA), preventing them from replicating and causing harm. This is known as the germicidal properties of UV light. The effectiveness of UV-C light depends on the intensity of the light, the duration of exposure, and the distance from the light source.

When UVC light is absorbed by the DNA or RNA of a microorganism, it causes a chemical reaction that forms covalent bonds between adjacent thymine or uracil bases in the nucleic acid chains. These bonds, known as thymine or uracil dimers, disrupt the normal structure of the DNA or RNA molecule.

The formation of thymine or uracil dimers prevents the microorganism from correctly replicating or transcribing genetic information. As a result, the microorganism cannot reproduce, and its ability to infect or cause disease is severely impaired.

In HVAC systems, UV lights are installed to destroy bacteria, viruses, and other dangerous microorganisms that can grow on the surfaces of the system's components. Some of the microorganisms are barely air contaminants, while others transmit harmful airborne diseases. Installing a system that directly paralysis these microorganisms and diminishes their abilities will guarantee an improved quality of life. UV lights can also help prevent the growth of mold and mildew in the system, which can cause undesirable odors and impairment to the system.

It is important to note that while UV-C light can effectively kill microorganisms, it is not a replacement for properly cleaning and maintaining HVAC systems. Regular cleaning and maintenance are still necessary to ensure the system is functioning properly and to curtail the buildup of dirt and debris that can reduce system efficiency.

Health and Air Quality Benefits

Installing UV light in your HVAC system can have numerous health and air quality benefits. One of the primary benefits is air sterilization. UV light can kill microorganisms, viruses, bacteria, germs, mold, and fungi that are present in the air. This can significantly reduce the number of airborne contaminants that can cause respiratory illness, allergies, and other health problems.

In addition to air sterilization, UV light can also help eliminate odors. This is because UV light can break down volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are responsible for unpleasant smells. This means that your indoor air will be cleaner and fresher.

Another benefit of UV light is that it can prevent mold growth. Mold spores are a common indoor air contaminant that can cause respiratory challenges and other health disorders. UV light can kill mold spores and prevent them from growing, which can help keep your indoor air clean and healthy.

Overall, installing UV light in your HVAC system can help elevate your indoor air quality and promote better health. It is a simple and effective way to ensure that your indoor air is free from allergens, contaminants, and other harmful microorganisms.

UV Light Installation Process

Mounting a UV light in your HVAC system can help purify indoor air by killing bacteria and viruses. Before we go into the installation process proper, some tools you’ll need to make the installation process easier include; 

  1. UV-C light kit (including UV lamp, ballast, and mounting hardware)
  2. Screwdrivers
  3. Wire strippers
  4. Electrical tape
  5. Wire connectors
  6. Safety gloves and glasses
  7. Electrical power tester
  8. Drill and drill bits
  9. Zip ties (optional)
  10. Duct tape (optional)

Now that you have an idea of the tools you need, Here's a step-by-step guide on how to install a UV light in your HVAC system:

Step 1: Turn off the HVAC System

Shut off the power to your HVAC system at the circuit breaker or disconnect switch. This ensures your safety during installation.

Step 2: Locate the Installation Point

Determine the ideal location to install the UV light. Common locations include:

  • In the air handler or evaporator coil section of the HVAC system.
  • Inside the return air duct before the air filter
  • Above the evaporator coil.

The exact location may alternate depending on your system's design.

Step 3: Mount the UV Light

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to securely mount the UV lamp and ballast in the chosen location. Use the included mounting hardware or screws to attach the components.

Step 4: Electrical Wiring

Connect the UV lamp and ballast to your HVAC system's electrical supply. Here's a basic wiring guide:

  • Ballast Wiring: Connect the wires from the UV lamp's ballast to the power supply. The ballast typically has a wiring diagram indicating which wires should be connected where. Usually, there are two power wires (black and white) and a ground wire (green or bare). Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the specific kit you have.
  • Power Supply Wiring: Disconnect the power supply wires from the HVAC unit and attach them to the ballast's wires. Make sure to use wire connectors and electrical tape to secure the connections.
  • Grounding: Ground the UV light system according to your local electrical codes.

Step 5: Test the Wiring

Before closing everything up, turn on the power supply to test the UV light. Ensure that it is working correctly.

Step 6: Secure Wiring and Components

Use zip ties or duct tape to hold up any loose wires and ensure they are not obstructing the airflow or moving parts of the HVAC system.

Step 7: Reassemble and Seal

If you had to disassemble any part of the HVAC system to install the UV light, reassemble it carefully. Use duct tape or other suitable materials to seal any gaps or seams to prevent air leakage.

Step 8: Restore Power

Turn the power back on at the circuit breaker or disconnect the switch.

Step 9: Monitor and Maintain

Regularly check the UV lamp to ensure it's working. UV lamps typically have a lifespan, so replace them as the manufacturer recommends. Keep the area around the lamp clean and free from dust.

Remember that installation procedures may vary depending on the specific UV light kit you purchase. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to ensure proper installation and operation.

UV Light Positioning

Proper positioning of UV lights in your HVAC system is critical to ensure maximum effectiveness. The UV light should be installed downstream of the air handler and coils, as close to the evaporator coil as possible. This placement will ensure that the UV light kills any mold, bacteria, or viruses that may be growing on the coil or inside the air handler.

If your system has an A-shaped evaporator coil, installing two UV lights on either side of the coil is recommended. This will ensure that the entire coil is exposed to the UV light and that all mold and bacteria are eliminated.

When installing the UV light, avoiding placing it too close to theblower motor or any other moving parts is important. This will prevent the UV light from damaging these components and ensure that the system operates smoothly.

Finally, if your system has metal ductwork, installing the UV light near the end of the duct closest to the air handler is recommended. This will ensure that the UV light has the greatest impact on the air passing through the ductwork. Proper positioning of the UV light is critical to ensure maximum effectiveness and durability of your HVAC system.

Maintenance and Precautions

Proper maintenance is crucial to guarantee the longevity and effectiveness of your UV light system. It is recommended to clean the UV lamp every six months or as needed, depending on the level of buildup. Make sure to turn off the power supply and wait for the lamp to cool down before cleaning. Use a soft cloth and a gentle cleaning solution to remove dust or debris.

It is also important to regularly watch for any signs of wear or impairment to the lamp or surrounding components. If any cracks or breaks are found, the lamp should be replaced immediately to avoid direct exposure to harmful UV radiation.

When installing a UV light system, it is important to take necessary precautions to avoid direct exposure to the skin and eyes. Wear protective gloves and eyewear when installing the lamp, and avoid looking directly at the light when it is on.

UV radiation can also produce ozone, harming human health in high concentrations. Ensure the system is properly installed and ventilated to prevent ozone buildup.

While UV light has been shown to kill bacteria and viruses effectively, extended exposure to UV radiation can elevate the risk of skin cancer. Employ caution during its use and adhere to all safety guidelines when installing and maintaining your UV light system.

Cost Considerations

When it comes to installing a UV light in your HVAC system, cost is a major consideration. The cost to install a UV light can be influenced based factors like the size of your HVAC system, the type of UV light you choose, and the complexity of the installation process.

On average, installing a UV light in your HVAC system can range from $500 to $1,500. However, it is important to remember that this cost can vary depending on your specific situation.

In addition to the initial cost of installing a UV light, it is also important to consider the ongoing costs associated with its use. While UV lights are generally low-maintenance, they do require periodic bulb replacements, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 per bulb.

One potential benefit of installing a UV light in your HVAC system is that it can help reduce your energy bills. By improving your HVAC system's efficiency, you may save money on your monthly electric bill. The exact amount of savings will vary depending on various factors, including your usage habits and the size of your home.

While the cost to install a UV light in your HVAC system can be significant, it is important to consider the potential long-term benefits, including improved air quality and energy savings.

Additional Benefits and Considerations

In addition to improving indoor air quality, installing UV lights in your HVAC system can provide several other benefits.

One of the most significant benefits is increased efficiency. UV lights help keep the coils in your HVAC system clean, improving the system's overall efficiency and reducing energy costs.

UV lights can also help minimize the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home. These compounds can be found in common household items like cleaning products, paint, and furniture. By reducing the number of VOCs in your home, you can improve indoor air quality and reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.

If you or someone in your household smokes, UV lights can help reduce the presence of tobacco smoke in your home. This can be especially beneficial for individuals with respiratory issues.

Finally, installing UV lights in your HVAC system can provide peace of mind. Knowing that your indoor air quality is being actively monitored and improved can help you feel more comfortable and confident in your home.

Overall, there are many benefits to installing UV lights in your HVAC system. From improved efficiency to better indoor air quality, UV lights can help keep your home clean, healthy, and comfortable.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

During your UV light installation process, you have two options: DIY or professional installation. While DIY installation may seem like a cost-effective solution, it's important to consider each option's potential risks and benefits.

DIY installation may save you money, but it also requires a certain level of expertise and knowledge. If you're unfamiliar with HVAC systems and electrical work, leaving the installation to the professionals may be best. Additionally, DIY installation may void your manufacturer's warranty, which could cost you more in the long run.

On the other hand, professional installation ensures that the UV light is installed correctly and safely. HVAC professionals have the knowledge and experience necessary to install the UV light and ensure it works efficiently and properly. Additionally, professional installation may come with a warranty or guarantee, giving you satisfaction.

Ultimately, the preference between DIY and professional installation depends on your level of expertise and comfort with HVAC systems. If you're confident in your abilities and have experience with HVAC systems, DIY installation may be a viable option. However, it's best to leave the installation to the professionals if you're unsure or inexperienced.


Congratulations! You have successfully installed a UV light in your HVAC system. Doing so has taken an important step towards elevating the air quality in your home or office. UV lights are a great way to eliminate dangerous bacteria and viruses that can elicit illness and respiratory problems.

Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the maintenance and replacement of the UV bulb. Keeping the bulb clean and debris-free is important to ensure maximum effectiveness. You may also want to consider installing a pre-filter to trap larger particles and prevent them from accumulating on the UV bulb.

Overall, installing a UV light in your HVAC system is a relatively simple and cost-effective way to improve indoor air quality. With proper maintenance and care, your UV light should provide years of protection against harmful pathogens. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and for taking steps to improve your health and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does installing a UV light in an HVAC system cost?

The cost of installing a UV light in an HVAC system varies depending on the type of UV light and the size of the system. On average, the cost can range from $200 to $1.000. 

However, it is important to note that the benefits of installing a UV light in an HVAC system outweigh the cost in the long run.

Should a UV light be installed on an HVAC system's return or supply side?

A UV light can be installed on an HVAC system's return or supply side. However, it is recommended to install it on the supply side to ensure that the air passing through the system is effectively treated by the UV light.

Can a UV light be added to a furnace?

Yes, a UV light can be added to a furnace. It is recommended to install the UV light near the evaporator coil to ensure that the UV light effectively treats the air passing through the furnace.

What are the benefits of installing a UV light in an AC system?

Installing a UV light in an AC system can help eliminate harmful contaminants such as mold, bacteria, and viruses. It can also improve indoor air integrity, reduce odors, and increase the overall efficiency of the HVAC system.

What is the best UV light for an HVAC system?

The best UV light for an HVAC system is one that is designed specifically for HVAC systems and has a high-intensity output. Choosing a UV light that is the correct size for the system and has a long lifespan is important.

Do HVAC UV lights consume a lot of electricity?

No, HVAC UV lights do not consume a lot of electricity. They are designed to be energy-efficient and typically consume less than 100 watts of electricity.