The benefits of using UV lights to improve indoor air quality have been known for years. Germicidal UV lights are a relatively straightforward means of destroying mold spores, fungi, mildew, viruses and germs, but even if you choose the right system for your needs, you need to maintain it on a regular basis.
When Should You Replace Your UV Bulbs
As a rule of thumb, UV lights in residential HVAC systems need to be replaced every 9,000 hours or so, roughly every 12 months. Bulbs used to disinfect the air in small offices can be replaced once every two years. However, people with acute respiratory issues are probably better off replacing bulbs in their offices every year, since the bulbs still lose their effectiveness over time.
If the lamp is used solely to clean coils on the HVAC unit of mold, it can be used for two years.
In any case, no UV lamp should be kept for more than three years. Even if a replacement is not available, the UV system should be turned off, since the bulbs will be ineffective, and they will simply waste energy.
Why Is Regular Replacement so Imperative
Failing to replace old bulbs can increase power consumption, cause overheating of the unit, deteriorate the effectiveness of the system, or even cause a system failure.
Even old bulbs light up, and they emit plenty of visible light. However, over time they lose their germicidal effectiveness at a rate of roughly 15 percent per year. In other words, even if they still look good, after two to three years the UV lights will be operating at 55 to 70 percent effectiveness. Replacing a lamp before it burns out is counterintuitive, but this drop in performance will inevitably compromise the effectiveness of the disinfection process and have a negative impact on indoor air quality.
With five decades of experience and 65 full-time service technicians, Atlas HVAC San Diego company can answer any additional questions or give you a customized quote depending on your system, so feel free to contact us.