First Baptist Church of Huntsville awaiting UV-C light installation to kill bacteria

Updated: Dec. 29, 2020 at 7:08 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A north Alabama church is taking an extra step to make sure its building is as clean as possible by using special UV lights in the HVAC systems.

People have been using UV lights to kill bacteria since the 1930s.

Now the Tennessee Valley Authority is working with churches, schools and businesses to bring them into the HVAC systems.

First Baptist Church in Huntsville is joining eight other places in the state to use this technology.

Clean, safe air: that’s the mission behind the ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology.

Twenty-seven lights will be placed by every return air duct in the building. So when the air comes through the system, it passes through the lights and any bacteria and germs are killed.

“It is expensive but it is a one time cost. Not only is it going to help us with this time in the pandemic, but it will be in place from now on,” Debbie Bell, business administrator for the church said.

First Baptist will pay about $55,000 for the installation.


“TVA does a refund, an incentive refund, and I think ours is going to be about $7,500,” Bell said.

Schools, churches and eligible businesses can also qualify for similar refunds. The cost and refund will change depending on the size of the building.

First Baptist Trustee board member Mike Kirk says this was the best and most affordable option they considered.

“We considered fresh air systems of some sort, bringing more fresh air into the building. We considered filtering systems. We observed filtering systems were even in more high demand than the UV lighting systems,” Krik said.

So why go through TVA?

“We have preferred contractors that are very familiar with this technology. They’re professionals. They will come out and help with the installation and look at how it can be installed in your facility and how it can be best used,” Malinda Hunter, TVA spokesperson said.

First Baptist put in its request months ago and leaders hope to have it installed next month.

You can read more about the incentive program here.

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