If you are worried about germs and virus particles in your home, you may be wondering about germicidal air purifiers. How to install a germicidal air purifier in an AC duct? Keep reading to find out. You can also check our list of best air purifiers.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Germicidal air purifiers are also known as UV air purifiers, as they use beams of light to kill germs and bacteria.
  • You can place one of these units directly next to the cooling coil of the air conditioning unit or inside of the duct itself.
  • Another option is to place a UV air purifier outside of the duct, where it will catch exiting air.

What is a Germicidal Air Purifier?

When you use the term “germicidal air purifier”, you are typically referring to a UV air purifier. These air purifiers use highly focused beams of ultraviolet light to kill or otherwise neutralize germs and related virus particles. As the name suggests, germicidal air purifiers are great at destroying potentially harmful germs and viruses, though they do not do quite as well when it comes to common household allergens such as pet dander and mildew. However, If you are concerned about your house aesthetics, you can hide your air purifier and still have it functioning effectively.

Insider Tip

When you use the term “germicidal air purifier”, you are typically referring to a UV air purifier.

Why Put a Germicidal Air Purifier in an AC Duct?

Homeowners elect to place a germicidal air purifier in an AC duct to address the root cause of the germ problem. Air conditioning units draw in air from the outside before cooling it and pumping the cold air into your living space. At no point during this process is the air treated for germs and virus particles, and most of these particles can easily survive the cold. Placing a germicidal air purifier right in the duct will get those germs before they get to you.

How to Put a Germicidal Air Purifier in an AC Duct

The actual process may differ depending on the design of your air conditioner and related ducts and the design of your germicidal air purifier. Still, we have assembled some helpful tips and guidelines.

Coil Sanitizing Lights

One efficient way to get turn your AC ducts into germ-killing powerhouses is to install coil sanitizing lights. An air conditioning unit’s coil is a breeding ground for virus particles, germs, mold, and bacteria. Why? Because these coils are used to condense moisture from the air to dehumidify the air in your home. As air passes over the coils, all kinds of icky things stick to the wet surface of said coils. Over time, this debris builds up and leads to mold, bacteria, and more.

  • Coil UV lights are the most common HVAC sterilizing lights on the market.
  • These can be purchased in both single-lamp and dual-lamp models, with the latter offering more power.
  • These handy lights should be installed where they can shine directly onto the surface of the coil.
  • Coil UV lights should be left on continuously for optimum results.
  • Feel free to consult with a professional for advice as to how to access the cooling coils of your air conditioning unit for the purpose of installing a set of lights.

Insider Tip

Placing a germicidal air purifier right in the duct will get those germs before they get to you.

Air Sanitizing Lights

Another option is to go with air sanitizing lights. These lights do not have to be placed near the cooling coils, making them a good choice for simple duct placement. They do one heck of a job at killing airborne germs and mold, as they work similarly to the kinds of UV air purifiers you would place in a bedroom.

  • There are a variety of designs available when it comes to air sanitizing lights, including stick and U-shaped models. These will fit in different kinds of AC ducts.
  • Some air germicidal HVAC lights will integrate with the actual AC blower motor for coordinated power bursts based on need. These systems require professional installation and may be on the expensive side.
  • Standard air sanitizing lights can be placed directly in the air duct and should not require any professional assistance.

Place a UV Air Purifier Outside of the Duct

A third option is to simply place a standard UV air purifier outside of the air duct. This should catch germs and bacteria as they exit the duct, but before they enter the rest of your home. The efficiency rating here will be lower than if you place the unit inside of the duct, but the difference may be negligible.

Additionally, you can also install a whole house air purifier that will clean your entire home.

Warning

As the name suggests, germicidal air purifiers are great at destroying potentially harmful germs and viruses, though they do not do quite as well when it comes to common household allergens such as pet dander and mildew.

F.A.Q.

Do UV lights kill mold, bacteria, and viruses?

You bet they do. As a matter of fact, there is research going back more than 100 years that shows the effectiveness of UV lights when it comes to killing mold, bacteria, virus particles, and more.


Can UV lights really improve the air quality in my home?

Yes, as UV lights will kill airborne germs, viruses, and mold spores. UV lights do not, however, do a great job at removing common household allergens and associated odors.


Are UV lights for HVAC worth the cost?

This will depend on personal preference. UV lights for an HVAC system can be expensive, especially when you factor in any professional installation required.



STAT: In 2012, a study at Duke University Medical Center showed that UV lights killed 97% of bacteria that were resistant to antibiotics, the so-called superbug bacteria that are the toughest to kill. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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