4 migliori luci UV HVAC per aria condizionata/forni (nessuna muffa + mantenimento dell'efficienza)
Le luci UV per condizionatori d'aria e forni sono una delle aggiunte più sottoutilizzate ai sistemi HVAC. La maggior parte di noi cerca principalmente le migliori luci UV HVAC per condizionatori d'aria per prevenire l'infezione da muffe (la muffa nera è particolarmente problematica), la diffusione di batteri e così via. In realtà, questo è solo un vantaggio secondario delle luci UV per HVAC.
Qual è il motivo principale per installare le luci UV all'interno dei nostri condizionatori d'aria e forni?
9 su 10 Le luci UV HVAC sono installate per mantenere le capacità di scambio termico della bobina . Secondo Air Conditioning, Heating, And Refrigeration News, il motivo principale per utilizzare le luci nei sistemi HVAC è la "capacità della luce ultravioletta di ridurre dal 10 al 35% dell'energia HVAC" .
In breve, per mantenere i condizionatori d'aria efficienti dal punto di vista energetico. Un'unità da 16 SEER può, dopo 5-10 anni, trasformarsi in un'unità da 13 SEER. Puoi leggere ulteriori informazioni sui risparmi di valutazione SEER qui.
- La tua efficienza energetica AC oggi:16 SEER.
- La tua efficienza energetica AC in 10 anni:13 SEER? Si tratterebbe di un'efficienza inferiore del 19%. Se la tua bolletta elettrica mensile è di $ 100, può essere di $ 119 a causa delle prestazioni inferiori della bobina di raffreddamento.
Questo perché i condizionatori d'aria sono un terreno fertile perfetto per muffe e batteri , che a sua volta crea un materiale organico che si accumula sulla bobina del nostro sistema di trattamento dell'aria . Ovviamente, quel dispositivo di trattamento dell'aria soffierà anche muffe e batteri residui in tutta la nostra casa.
Per prevenire la perdita di efficienza energetica e la scomoda diffusione di muffe, noi di HVAC utilizziamo le luci UV. La luce ultravioletta (UV-C, per essere precisi, con lunghezza d'onda di 254 nanometri) il modo più efficace per prevenire l'accumulo di muffe e batteri su:
- Babine di raffreddamento.
- Superfici dei condotti.
- Filtri dell'aria.
In sostanza, questa luce UV-C a 254 nm distrugge la muffa e previene le conseguenze negative della crescita della muffa, tra cui la diffusione della muffa, le "bobine sporche", la perdita di efficienza energetica e così via.
Prima di verificare quali particolari luci UV attualmente sul mercato sono le migliori per HVAC (condizionatori d'aria, forni, ecc.) , educhiamoci un po' sulle luci UV. Se, invece, sei di fretta, puoi saltare al confronto delle migliori luci UV per HVAC cliccando qui:
Salta all'elenco delle migliori luci UV in HVAC
Ecco le nozioni di base che tratteremo:
- Quali sono i vantaggi dell'installazione di luci UV nel tuo impianto HVAC? Spiegheremo anche il "problema delle bobine sporche" utilizzando una semplice equazione ASHRAE per la capacità CA (Capacità =CFM * 4,5 * (h – h) ).
- How UV-C light is used to eliminate mold and bacteria buildup in HVAC ducts and AC and furnace filters.
- What to look for in HVAC UV lights? We’ll see how you can pick the best UV lights for air conditioners and furnaces by checking the total input wattage , bulb length , and ease of installation .
In the 2nd part, we rounded up the most popular and best UV lights for HVAC , compared them, and reviewed them. There is quite a lot of differences between the best UV lights for AC units and furnaces and the ‘not so good ones’ with below 15 input watts and below 6-inch bulbs.
Let’s start with pointing clear advantages of using UV lights in your HVAC system bring:
Key Benefits Of Using UV Lights In HVAC (Direct And Indirect)
In simplest terms, UV lights kill mold in HVAC systems. These include high-efficiency gas furnaces, electric furnaces, oil furnaces, heat pumps, and mini-split air conditioners.
This is the direct consequence. Nobody really likes mold spores blowing all across their house every time you turn on your air conditioner. In fact, if you check the filters, you might even see the black mold forming on them, and sometimes we can also notice mold forming on the cooling coils themselves.
ASHRAE explains the benefits of using UV lights to prevent mold buildup in some detail. In their 2011 Handbook, the ASHRAE’s assembled committee has summarized the full advantages of using UV-C lights in this way (Chapter 60.8):
- UV lights “eliminate mold and bacteria” . Mold can cause pricy-to-get-rid-off mold infestation (you can read our article about how to check if you already have mold infestation here). Bacteria can cause all kinds of allergic reactions, and can even be considered a pathogen.
- UV lights “reduce and/or eliminate coil cleaning” . The main reason why we clean coils are due to the accumulation of organic matter. With UV lights, there is no mold or bacteria, hence there is no organic matter, and you can save yourself the job of cleaning the cooling coils in indoor units.
- UV lights help to “sustain coil performance” . This is the key advantage; the energy efficiency of every air conditioner depends on how well the cooling coil performs. If the biofilm from mold and bacteria accumulates on the coil, the coil performance is decreased, and other parts of AC will be under bigger-than-standard stress. This can lead to higher electricity bills and AC failures.
The 4th benefit of using UV lights in an HVAC system that ASHRAE points out is the consequence of the first 3 benefits, and it states:
Cleaning the coils and installing UV lights can even bring back the original energy efficiency of air conditioners (that means the AC can be 10-35% more energy efficient).
The UV levels to achieve these benefits are quite small. These advantages can be achieved by striking the surface of coils by as little as 50-100 µW/cm .
That means that a 1 W HVAC UV light bulb has the capability (in theory) to destroy germs in 10,000-20,000 cm. That’s about 1,550 square inches of surface area .
The best UV lights for HVAC have 15+ W of power. The single best unit you can see in the table below – the #1 OdorStop OS144PRO – can generate as much as 36 W of power.
All that power goes into creating ultraviolet light which, in turn, eliminates mold. Let’s look at how UV light can eliminate germs like mold and bacteria:
How Do UV Lights In HVAC Work To Eliminate Germs?
UV-C light is widely known to be ‘germicidal‘. That means that it either kills or inactivated microorganisms. Ultraviolet has been used in medical sanitation and sterile work facilities for about 100 years now (UVGI disinfection).
This 254-nanometer short-wavelength interacts with nucleic acids in the DNA of bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms. This disruption is so severe that the bacteria cannot perform their vital cellular actions, and which leads to germ death.
In HVAC, we usually install UV lights:
- On the indoor cooling coil (UV light for air handler). These are considered mini-split UV lights.
- In the ductwork . These are considered central air UV lights.
Before introducing UV lights, this was a perfect environment for mold and bacteria growth. Under the influence of UV lights in HVAC, these microorganisms cannot grow and their organic remains cannot mess up with our air conditioners and furnaces.
Example Of “Dirty Coils” Problem
If the mold and bacteria are allowed to grow, the organic material they create will accumulate on the cooling coils and form a harmful biofilm.
The capacity of air conditioner, for example, is thereby reduced. This is illustrated by the following equation:
Capacity =CFM * 4.5 * (h – h)
Due to a biofilm-forming on the coils, the h1 – h2 difference will be smaller due to less efficient energy exchange. That means that, for the same air conditioner or furnace capacity, the airflow (CFM) will have to compensate for the reduction in heat exchange. This can lead to overuse of fan, other coils, compressors, and so on; eventually, something will break down.
How To Choose The Best HVAC Lights For Air Conditioners And Furnaces
Not all UV lights for HVAC are as well-balanced as OdorStop ones. The market of UV lights is somewhat saturated with low-quality producers that offer UV light bulbs of questionable specifications, safety measures, and lower lifespans in general.
To filter out all the ‘bad’ HVAC lights for air conditioners and furnaces, we have summarized a list of the best UV lights you can currently get for your HVAC system.
Specification-wise, there are 3 key specs to check out before you buy any UV light for HVAC. Questi includono:
- UV light input power . The higher the wattage, the better the UV light bulb. Light bulbs with below 15 W input power are considered to be less effective than 15+ W bulbs. When picking the best UV light for your specific HVAC system, make sure that it has adequately high wattage.
- UV light bulb length . The effectiveness of UV lights depends on the total surface area of the bulb. In practice, the longer the bulb, the better. Below 8-inch bulbs are considered less than perfect; in many cases, you will find UV lights with several 8-inch bulbs in order to boost bulb surface area. However, the best bulbs are the ones with 12+ inch length. Those can be single bulbs or double bulbs; the whole point is that they have an adequately high surface area to radiate UV light on every part of the coil.
- How easy it is to install UV light bulbs near the indoor air handler’s coil or in the ductwork. On average, UV bulbs are not the easiest AC or furnace accessory to install. The better ones have an easy installation process; if you’re a DIY enthusiast, you can even manage the UV light install yourself. In practice, it’s easier to install UV lights in the ductworks than near the indoor cooling coil.
Here is an example of how UV light installation into ductwork goes:
Considering all this, we shall look at the best UV-C light bulbs you can install in your existing HVAC system:
Best UV Lights For HVAC In 2022
|UV Lights For AC:||#1 OdorStop OS144PRO||#2 REKO Lighting R2000||#3 D200 UV Lights||#4 Bio Shield 50-BUVAS-E UV-C|
|Max. Wattage:||36 watts||18 watts||18 watts||25 watts|
|Bulb Length:||16″ (12″ also available)||8″||8″||17″|
|UV Wavelength:||254 nanometers (UV-C)||254 nanometers (UV-C)||254 nanometers (UV-C)||254 nanometers (UV-C)|
|Ease Of Installation:||Very Easy||Easy||Easy||Semi Easy|
|Availability:||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
1. Best And Most Powerful UV Light For HVAC:OdorStop OS144PRO
|Max. Wattage:||36 watts|
|Bulb Length:||16″ (12″ also available)|
|UV Wavelength:||254 nanometers (UV-C)|
|Ease Of Installation:||Very Easy|
OdorStop makes the best UV lights for mini-split ACs, central air units, and furnaces. All of their lights have 12+ inch light bulbs and the highest input wattage. Overall the best OdorStop UV light is the OdorStop OS144PRO; which also makes it the best HVAC UV light currently on the market.
OdorStop OS144PRO features 4 16-inch bulbs. Each of them is has a rated input power of 36 W. Combined, they have a 144 W total wattage. That is far beyond what any other UV lights are capable of achieving.
Here are two benchmark specification that makes OdorStop OS144PRO is the best overall choice for UV lights for any kind of HVAC unit (central air, mini-split, furnaces) :
- Each UV light bulb is extremely powerful (36 W ) and has a way above average bulb length (16″ ).
- There are 4 of them .
On top of that, you get all the advantages OdorStop UV lights have. This includes the energy-saving airflow sensor that turns the UV light on only when the HVAC system is actually running. Another nice thing is a LED indicator that tells you if everything is OK with the bulbs (green light).
The only back draw of all OdorStop is a higher price. This is the best brand of UV lights, and the price is quite justified, considering the input wattage and bulb length. Keep the energy efficiency (SEER rating, HSPF rating) of air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces will reduce the expected electricity costs and the OdorStop pay for themselves in HVAC energy savings.
All in all, OdorStop is the best and most well-known brand in UV HVAC lights. Their OdorStop OS144PRO UV lights can eliminate mold even in the biggest 5-ton, or 60,000 BTU unit:Pros
- Overall the best UV lights against mold on the market
- Highest input wattage (36W for each of 4 bulbs; combined wattage =144 W)
- Above-average 16″ bulb length
- OdorStop is the best brand for any HVAC UV lights
- OdorStop also offers a whole range of lights
- The best brand in UV lights does have the highest price
- Installing 144 W lights on a smaller 1-ton, or 12,000 BTU units, might be overkill
2. Most Popular Choice For UV Light For Air Conditioners:REKO Lighting R2000
|Max. Wattage:||18 watts|
|UV Wavelength:||254 nanometers (UV-C)|
|Ease Of Installation:||Easy|
REKO Lightning R2000 is one of the most popular UV lights on the HVAC market. This is a universal UV light for ductwork; you can protect the effectiveness of your air conditioner as well as furnaces in the simplest possible way. With a price tag of below $100, REKO Lightning R2000 is one of the cheapest UV lights for HVAC on the market (among the good ones).
R2000 is a double bulb system with 8″ bulbs that radiate 254 nanometer UV-C light. Combined, they have a net input wattage of 18 W.
Two bulbs are used to maximize the surface area of the bulbs, and therefore maximize the radiation surface. In simplified terms, the two 8″ bulbs have equal UV-C radiation as one 16″ bulb (with 18 W power).
Having 8″ bulbs has its advantages, especially as far as installation is concerned. It’s easier to install shorter bulbs into existing ductwork. If you have big ducks, you won’t have problems installing 16″ UV light bulbs. Most households with 2-5 ton units or 30,000-90,000 BTU furnaces will much more easily fit two 8″ bulbs into the ductwork; that’s why REKO Lightning R2000 is so widely used and popular.
These are UV lights for less than $100 which makes them the most affordable choice. It’s practically impossible to find the cheapest UV lights for HVAC with the same specification and reliability.
All in all, REKO Lightning R2000 UV lights for air conditioners and furnaces are one of the most popular UV lights on the market. They are easy to install, have great wattage/bulb surface area specs, and are available for less than $100:Pros
- Most popular choice for ductwork UV lights for mini-splits, heat pumps
- Have a double-bulb system with two 8″ bulbs
- Combined input wattage of 18 watts (sufficient for standard HVAC systems)
- Cheapest UV lights for HVAC on the market (below $100)
- They can’t compare to OdorStop models as far as input wattage and bulb length is considered
- Cannot be installed into the indoor air handler, only in the ductwork (useful for mini-split UV lights)
3. Top-Rated Ultraviolet Light For AC Units:D200 UV Lights
|Max. Wattage:||18 watts|
|UV Wavelength:||254 nanometers (UV-C)|
|Ease Of Installation:||Easy|
D200 UV is another popular top-rated UV light for HVAC. They have pretty much the same specifications as REKO Lightning R2000 UV lights and are available at a similar around $100 price point.
The dual-bulb system is well-optimized for energy savings as well as maximum radiation coverage. Two 8″ bulbs radiate UV-C light (wavelength of 254 nm) both up and down the ductwork. Because they are standard-length (8″), the D200 UV lights are also easy to install in the standard ductwork.
Available at about $100, D200 UV is quite a similar choice as REKO Lightning R2000. Honestly, there is minimal difference between the two UV lights specs-wise, with REKO being the first ones on the market and D200 UV lights trying to catch up:Pros
- Specs-wise very similar to REKO Lightning R2000
- Dual-bulb system with 18 W power and two 8″ bulbs to maximize the surface and radiation area
- Price tag of about $100; way below OdorStop $300+ price
- Thus far, they seem quite reliable
- D200 is a novel brand
- Ductwork only UV lights
- Specs-wise can’t be compared to #1 OdorStop UV lights
4. UV Light For HVAC With The Longest Bulb (17″):Bio Shield 50-BUVAS-E UV-C
|Max. Wattage:||25 watts|
|UV Wavelength:||254 nanometers (UV-C)|
|Ease Of Installation:||Semi Easy|
The surface area available for UV-C radiation is essential for good HVAC UV lights. Most UV light producers use more than 1 shorter bulb to get that surface area. Bio Shield 50-BUVAS-E UV-C lights are designed completely in reverse:they include a single 17″ light bulb.
17″ UV light bulb is the single longest bulb to be installed into HVAC ductwork. Using that, the Bio Shield 50-BUVAS-E UV-C bulb has the biggest surface area available for UV radiation.
That’s why it’s highly effective directly against mold and bacteria growth, and, as a consequence, prevents organic biofilm to start accumulating on the cooling coils (which would lead to a reduction in heat-exchange efficiency, and higher electricity bills).
Because it’s longer, the Bio Shield 50-BUVAS-E UV-C isn’t as easy to install. You have to place it carefully into the ductwork.
All in all, the Bio Shield 50-BUVAS-E UV-C has the longest light bulb that can produce above-average 25 W of power:Pros
- Longest UV light bulb (17″) and maximum radiation surface area
- Has an input wattage of 25 W (way above average)
- Affordable cost
- Problem with 1 bulb is that if it goes out, you’re left with 0
- Semi easy installation due to immense 17″ UV-C bulb length
This is about it on UV-C lights for HVAC. Essentially, they are one of the most underutilized HVAC accessories. We are all concerned about mold and keeping energy efficiency; HVAC lights can help us with both of these issues.