Depending on the model you choose, your UV bulb will work constantly. For example, the UV lights installed on the air controller will be on all the time. On the contrary, those placed inside the ducts should only be turned on when the air conditioner is in operation. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the UV lamp every 9000 hours or approximately every 12 months.
An annual replacement program is also recommended for those with allergies and other respiratory conditions. Residential systems tend to be smaller and the entire volume of air takes longer to circulate through them. These systems clean the air slowly but continuously. Over time, this dramatically reduces viral and bacterial loads in indoor air. Household UV systems may not instantly eliminate all pathogens, but with a little more time, they're still doing a great job cleaning the air.
According to the EPA, passing all air through ultraviolet light removes approximately 99.9% of contaminants. Please note that we recommend replacing all UV bulbs every three years, no matter how often they are used. When an ultraviolet light is installed to illuminate the condenser coil and drain pan, it can be quite effective in preventing mold and bacteria from flooding these parts of the system. The reality is that UV HVAC filtration is the new technology that irresponsible or uninformed HVAC companies offer to their customers, it just doesn't really work well.
UV HVAC lights are an effective means of improving indoor air quality, but only after meeting indoor air quality priorities. These lights pass through the return vent, where air enters the HVAC system, so they can thoroughly clean all the air flowing through the system. You can add super powerful UV light to your air conditioning system, but it's probably too much and will cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. If the UV lamp is three years old, turn off the system until the UV bulb is replaced.
And, to be fair, mold spores and bacteria from the condenser coil could reach the air supply, so these UV lights offer a very small advantage. If you can't replace the UV lamp after a period of two years, turn it off or disconnect the power supply until you change it. Most importantly, the UV lights that most HVAC technicians try to sell aren't powerful enough to kill even a significant amount of mold spores, bacteria, and viruses that circulate through the system. In fact, most bacteria, mold spores, and viruses found in the air move very easily beyond UV light without being affected at all.
They may have mentioned how UV filtration in your air conditioning system is the air cleaning technology par excellence, how it can protect you and your loved ones, reduce allergies and help prevent you from getting sick. But what happens after installing UV light? How often should you change your UV bulbs? Should you wait until they burn? All in all, the UV lights that your HVAC company is trying to sell you are probably a waste of money, and it would be much better if you checked your system manually once per year. More recently, UV lights have gained popularity because they are said to be effective in killing the new coronavirus, COVID-19. For more information on UV lights and other clean air solutions for your home, contact Scott's Heating & Air Conditioning.