Your UV Lights: Change Bulbs as Needed for Top Performance
Many homeowners use germicidal filtration systems with UV lights in their HVAC systems to help reduce health concerns from mold, mildew and fungus. However, much like replacing a filter in a water jug, it’s easy to overlook the replacement of these bulbs, and the long-term reduced effectiveness is often not realized.
What Are Ultra-Violet Lights?
A certain type of ultraviolet (UV) light is used to kill bacteria, viruses, mold and other micro-organisms in your home’s air or on air conditioning components. Specifically, UV lights that shine UV-C rays are typically installed in two critical areas within an HVAC system. UV lights are either placed in the ducts to kill micro-organisms in the flowing air, or they are placed in a location that allows continuous cleaning of the evaporator coils. Ultimately, this minimizes the presence of these germs in the home where they can be harmful to occupants.
Change UV Bulbs on a Schedule
Typically, you should replace UV bulbs on either a one-year or two-year schedule, depending on their location. The schedule should be determined by the bulb location, environment around the home and HVAC system (e.g., considerations such as urban, suburban, low-lying and damp) and by the sensitivity of the people living in your home (e.g., allergies, specific sensitivity to mold or mildew, etc.).
It’s recommended to use a one-year schedule with UV lights used to clean airflow, especially in homes in the Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland that are close to water tables, creating a particularly damp environment. Doing so will allow you to maintain an optimal environment in your home.
On the other hand, if you don’t have these additional environmental factors and are only using the UV lights for simple coil cleaning in the HVAC unit, then a two-year schedule should be sufficient, but don’t go beyond two years, as the effectiveness of the bulbs deteriorates substantially and often there’s an increase in power consumption resulting from dirty coils, causing higher energy bills.
Please contact us at Sobieski Services to discuss your indoor air quality. We’re here to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Julia Bickerstaff by Glass Lass