January 16, 2023
How Much Do HVAC UV Lights Cost To Install?
If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, upgrading your HVAC system with UV lights can make a big improvement. While these lights are a great way to stay healthy and prevent illnesses and allergies, many people are still skeptical and wonder whether they’re actually worth the cost. To answer this question, here is a full overview of how much HVAC UV lights cost, how they work, and what benefits they can provide.
How Do HVAC UV Lights Work?
UV lights are designed to prevent mold and bacteria from growing inside your HVAC system, and they will also kill any bacteria, viruses, or mold spores that get into the system. These lights produce powerful ultraviolet rays that essentially scramble the DNA of any living organic matter so that it is rendered completely harmless and unable to multiply.
Average Cost to Install UV Lights in an HVAC System
Despite the major benefits that they can provide, UV lights are generally one of the most affordable options for quickly improving your home’s indoor air quality. You should usually expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $1,000 for both the lights themselves and installation.
The total cost will mainly depend on which type of lights you choose as the lights themselves can range anywhere from $60 to $400 or more. One factor that influences the cost is the wavelength of the light you choose. The higher the wavelength is, the deeper the lights can penetrate and the more effective and thus more expensive they will be.
Another factor is whether you’re looking for any sort of special features. For instance, some more advanced lights include an LED display panel that will alert you of any issues or when maintenance is needed.
In addition to paying to purchase and install the lights themselves, you will also need to occasionally pay for replacement lamps whenever they burn out. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the lamp bulbs annually or every 9,000 hours. Depending on the type you choose, the replacement lamps can cost anywhere from $10 to over $100.
Types of HVAC UV Lights
There are two main types of UV light systems designed for use in HVAC systems. The most common unit is an air-sanitizing light, and these are installed inside of an air duct to cleanse and sanitize the air as it flows through the duct system. This type of system turns on whenever your heating or air conditioning is running and then shuts off as soon as your HVAC system does.
Air-sanitizing lights can generally be installed anywhere in the duct system. They are most commonly installed inside your air handler. If there is already mold in your ductwork, these units can be installed right at the point of the problem. They are also a good choice for any areas in your duct system that are prone to moisture and condensation build-up since this will make it much more likely for mold and bacteria to start growing.
You can also find coil-sanitizing lights that are installed inside the air handler in order to prevent bacteria and mold growth on the air conditioner evaporator coil. This coil is the part of an HVAC system that is most susceptible to microbial growth. Whenever your air conditioning is running, moisture always condenses on the coil and this moisture in combination with debris can quickly lead to microbial growth.
Coil-sanitizing UV lights are typically cheaper and easier to install. However, these lights are meant to run constantly, which means that they will use more energy than air-sanitizing lights. You will also need to replace the lamps more frequently since the lights will always be on.
Benefits of Installing UV Lights
The biggest benefit of installing UV lights is that they can drastically improve your home’s indoor air quality and help keep you and your family from getting sick. Whenever one person in a family is sick, it usually isn’t that long before everyone else catches the same bug. Even if that person stays confined to their room, they will give off bacteria that can still easily be spread throughout the rest of the home by your heating or air conditioning system. UV lights can be a huge help in preventing this since they will kill most bacteria and other germs that get inside the system before they are circulated throughout the rest of the home.
UV lights can also be a huge help for anyone who suffers from severe allergies or respiratory ailments like asthma and COPD. Mold, mildew, and other fungal spores are one of the most common allergy triggers, and long-term exposure has also been shown to increase the risk of a person eventually developing allergies.
Even if there is no mold growing in your HVAC system or anywhere in the house, the fact is that your air will often still contain lots of spores. This is especially the case in the spring due to the warm, wet weather. Mold spores from outside will make their way in through windows, doors, and any gas or cracks in your home’s exterior. You also track lots of spores in the house on your feet and clothing whenever you come in from outside.
The benefits of installing UV lights don’t just extend to your health as these units can also help to make your HVAC system function more effectively. Some microbial matter will always collect inside your ductwork. Over time, this buildup can start to reduce the airflow in the ductwork and lead to the static pressure increasing. UV lights help to prevent this issue by helping to prevent this microbial buildup. While this may not sound like that big of a problem at first, studies have shown that HVAC systems with UV lights can be up to 20 to 30% more efficient than similar systems without these lights.
An increase in static pressure means that the air flowing through the ducts meets greater resistance. High static pressure makes the blower fan have to work harder since the air doesn’t flow through the ducts as easily. The greater the resistance is, the less effective your heating and cooling will be since there is less volume of air flowing through the system at one time, which means that your HVAC system will need to run longer.
As a result, your energy bills will be higher and your system more likely to break down or fail prematurely due to the added wear and tear. This means that UV lights are also a great way to limit your future repair needs and potentially extend the lifespan of your HVAC system.
St Louis Area Most Trusted Indoor Air Quality and HVAC Experts
If you’re considering UV lights or any other indoor air quality upgrades, Scott-Lee Heating Company is ready to help. We carry highly efficient Fresh-Aire UV light systems, and we also install whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers, whole-home air filtration systems, air cleaners, and other IAQ equipment. Our certified technicians also install, maintain, and repair all types of HVAC equipment including furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioners, mini-splits, geothermal systems, zoning systems, and ductwork. If you need any residential or commercial HVAC or indoor air quality service in the Greater St. Louis area, give us a call today.