UV light in air handler causing odors in home

Problems related to residential installations.

UV light in air handler causing odors in home

Postby schinjay » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:40 pm

We had a brand new Lennox system installed 19 FEB 2015 which included an Aprilaire Filter assembly at the intake of the air handler up in our attic and an Ultravation UltraMax EZ-UV Germicidal UV kit installed just above the V juncture of the coil, just before the fan motor in the air handler.

The air handler is model# CBX27UH-048-230-6-03.

For the first 2 days the air coming into the house through the vents had a peculiar odor, kind of like that "Just turned on the heater for the first time in the winter" odor, but not exactly that same odor. This typically goes away after a short time and is not noticeable. This odor, however, persisted every time the heater engaged and lasted the entire run time.

Also, in the master bedroom, bath and closet areas, just underneath the attic area where the air handler resides, there was a persistent burning odor that hung around even when the unit was not running.

None of these odors were evident up in the attic where the air handler is. The drain line has been blown out and I ran vinegar down it a couple of times right after the install.

After the first day of use a tech from the Installing Lennox dealer came out and discovered that the installation crew had neglected to cover some plastic seals around the inside of the cabinet at the blower assembly, with aluminum foil tape. He did so, and this did help the odor problem abate a bit, but not completely.

After 10 days the odors coming from the vents persisted and the burning smell got progressively worse., A tech came out once again and checked everything. He confirmed that there was no problem with the wiring to cause any burn odors. He disconnected the UV light in the air handler and all of the odors went away within hours.

Now 72 hrs. later we have been odor free and very happy that the system is working the way we thought it would.

We would like to know what can be done to keep the UV light kit from introducing these odors into our home. We realize using the light will increase the life of our coil and provide us with healthier air coming from the system.

Would appreciate any feedback anyone can offer up.

Thanks, schinjay
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- UV light in air handler causing odors in home

Postby LennoxHVAC » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:53 pm

A change in home air quality is expected. But what you describe is bit extreme.

Is this a new construction?
What UV Germicidal Lamp was installed?
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- UV light in air handler causing odors in home

Postby schinjay » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:09 pm

This is a 13 year old home and the first A/C replacement. Lennox heat pump and air handler.

The UV light is Ultravation UltraMax EZ-UV Germicidal UV #UMX2412-EZ-M
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- UV light in air handler causing odors in home

Postby Freon » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:19 pm

"...We realize using the light will increase the life of our coil and provide us with healthier air..."

How do you know the above assumption is true?

To fix your problem you need to go to the manufacturer of the UV unit since you have demonstrated it is the cause of the odor.
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- UV light in air handler causing odors in home

Postby LennoxHVAC » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:23 pm

I am suspecting you need UV Germicidal to operate during cooling cycle, not furnace.
Keep it off-line.
Switch it ON when your home needs cooling - controlled humidity.
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- UV light in air handler causing odors in home

Postby hvactrainingspot » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:15 pm

Is it possible that the UV light was also generating ozone? Certain models offer this feature. Ozone will create a smell in the home but that would persist for much longer than a week or 10 days.
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