Do I Need a UV Light for My Air Conditioner? A Tampa Tech Answers

September 13, 2018

Here’s our answer: If you have an excess of mold or bacteria in your AC or home, then you may need a UV light.

In this article, we’ll cover the following info:

  1. Signs you have excess mold/bacteria in your AC or home

  2. How a UV light fights mold and bacteria

  3. Factors that will contribute to how effective a UV light will be

Want a FREE quote for a UV light installation?

Signs you have excess mold/bacteria in your AC or home

If you have mold or bacteria issues you’ll notice the following signs:

Sign #1: Visible mold growth on AC

Unfortunately, your AC air handler (located indoors) is a natural breeding spot for mold since it’s dark, damp and dusty all the time.

ac air handler

Since your air handler naturally facilitates mold growth, it’s not uncommon for you or a tech to see mold growing on your evaporator coils located inside the air handler, especially if your AC coils haven’t been cleaned for a long time.

Sign #2: Musty odors

Does your home smell like dirty socks, especially when you run your AC?

If so, that points to a mold issue in your AC air handler or ductwork.  

Sign #3: You or a member of your family have a respiratory illness

Has someone in your family recently experienced a respiratory infection or illness?

Symptoms of a respiratory infection include:

  • Nasal stuffiness

  • Throat irritation

  • Coughing

  • Wheezing

  • Eye irritation

If anyone in your family has recently experienced so those symptoms, mold and certain bacteria may be causing a respiratory infection.

How a UV light fights mold and bacteria

At certain wavelengths, UV light can become “germicidal”, meaning it breaks the DNA in the cells of bacteria and mold spores and leaves them disabled.

Since mold spores and bacteria are transmitted through the air, it makes sense to start fighting them in your AC system, which is constantly circulating air throughout your home.

Typically a UV light machine is installed in your AC handler, which is where mold is most likely to grow and where warm air passes through to be cooled (then pushed back into your home).

Once the UV light machine is installed inside your air handler, all the air that passes through the air handler will be purified, leaving you with clean air that’s blown back into your home. Plus, the UV light will kill any mold spores that settle on the evaporator coils, leaving your air handler mold-free.

Factors that will determine how effective a UV light will be

Several factors determine how effective your UV light will be at killing mold and bacteria. These factors include:

  • The intensity of the UV lamps

  • The number of lamps you install

  • How the UV lamps are placed (i.e. horizontally vs vertically in relation to the coil)

  • Your home’s humidity levels and temperature

Since UV light effectiveness depends on so many factors, it’s best to let a Tampa professional install the UV light and provide recommendations specific to your home.

Want a UV light for your Tampa home?

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