UV-C (Germicidal) lamp radiation is a method of disinfecting air, water, and surfaces from infection and bacteria. Viruses (including the various strands of coronavirus) have been tested to respond to UV-C radiation processes and completely disinfect surfaces from them in as little as just a few seconds.
The Ultraviolet (UV) light within the lamp gives off a light that is unable to be seen by the human eye and effectively breaks down the DNA of microorganisms, eliminating their ability to replicate and cause disease. UV-C lamp technology is:
- Trusted. It’s been used for over 40 years.
- Effective. Every virus tested to date with the technology responds.
- Versatile. This can function in home, office, and public environments. Some lamps even emit a trace ozone to help eliminate odors.
- Fast. The technology eliminates bacteria within minutes—sometimes seconds.
Replacing Your UV-C Lamps: Avoid Knockoffs
It’s imperative to make sure the lamp you replace within the system is one that will be effective and will stand the test of time. Many knockoff brands do a funny thing of overpromising and under-delivering—boasting low price tags and guarantees that the lamp will last for 9,000 hours (1 year). But unfortunately, they often are not effective to last through that timespan, if they’re even fully effective from the beginning.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) germicidal lamps are developed directly by the manufacturer of the UV-C disinfection system itself, so it’s guaranteed that the lamp will be the right match for keeping the system running at optimal performance.
Even though these are associated with a slightly higher price than the knockoffs, it’s not without reason. Not only do OEM UV lamps protect your overall system by being the best fit, but they’re rated to last between one to three years at full functionality. It’s very much worth it to pay for the slightly increased price of an OEM UV replacement lamp versus a knockoff version.
Proper Germicidal UV Lamp Replacement Tips
There are a few things to keep in mind when replacing UV-C lamps. Here are some pointers:
- It’s recommended that UV lamps should be replaced every 9,000 hours (approximately one year) for residential usage. It’s important to adhere to this schedule, especially if anyone in your household has respiratory conditions or sensitivities.
- If your UV-C lamp is used as a way to keep the coils clean on your HVAC system, you can stick to a two-year replacement schedule.
- If you’re using a UV lamp after it’s been in use for three years, this can lead to excessive power consumption and overheating. In some cases, this contributes directly to system failure.
My UV Lamp Still Lights Up—Do I Need to Replace It?
The part of the UV lamp that does the job of disinfecting the air, water, or surfaces from bacteria is actually invisible to the human eye due to the level of the ultraviolet radiation required to properly disinfect. So, the light blue glow from the filaments that we can see through the system viewport is simply a byproduct of the system and not a true reflection of its effectiveness.
The UV light energy that is put out by these lamps slowly diminishes to lower levels on the germicidal spectrum as time goes on. Simply put, sticking to the recommended schedule for the lamp and its location is always the best way to go.