The Benefits of UV Lights: Should They Be On All the Time?

Ultraviolet (UV) lights are a powerful tool for improving indoor air quality and eliminating bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms. But should they be on all the time? The answer depends on the type of UV light system and the volume of air that passes through it.UV lights are used in air conditioning systems to reduce or eliminate germs such as mold, bacteria, spores, fungi, and viruses. When air passes through the system, the lamp emits UV light that destroys these pollutants. Studies have shown that certain harmful organisms die when exposed to specific wavelengths of UV light.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), passing all air through UV light kills approximately 99.9% of pollutants.For UVC to be effective, germs must be irradiated directly. Reflected UV radiation can still affect germs, but it takes longer and must be closer to the light source. Few materials, mainly polished aluminum and magnesium oxide, effectively reflect UVC.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, reducing viral and bacterial loads in indoor air over time.A UV sterilizer for aquariums must be turned on and running 24 hours a day, every day.

The exceptions would be setting up the aquarium before there are fish in it, adding beneficial bacteria to the water, since UV light kills bacteria, or using a medication that stipulates to turn off UV rays.If the UV or UV system is used seasonally, say for 6 months this year and then drained and unplugged, you can use it for next year's season for another 6 months before having to replace the lamp with a replacement one.Another important reason for not continuously turning the UV system on and off is that it will seriously shorten the lifespan of the ballast or controller. The same thing happens if you leave the lamp in the UV system for more than 12 months.Even if someone in your house coughs or sneezes, UV light combined with air conditioning will circulate the air and destroy any bacteria. With all the incredible features offered by UV lights, it's easy to forget that they're still simple light bulbs and, therefore, will eventually burn out.When changing a bulb, it is also important to clean the quartz case, since it is a transparent barrier between light and water and, if it is covered with lime or dirt, the light cannot penetrate as effectively.We have already mentioned how powerful UV light is because it is the basis for destroying bacteria and viruses. Cleaning the air with UV lights will eliminate irritating pathogens and help you alleviate allergens that may be floating around your home, thus improving overall indoor air quality.The answer to this question depends on your specific needs.

If you need a powerful system that cleans your air quickly and efficiently, then you should keep your UV lights on all the time. However, if you're looking for a more energy-efficient option that still provides good results over time, then you may want to consider synchronizing your UV lights with your air conditioner.

Pamela Endreson
Pamela Endreson

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