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IMO, it is always best to replace bulbs at least once a year. Bulbs lose their effectiveness over a period of time, some types faster then others. I'm sure you will be able to tell a big difference when they are replaced with new ones.

I use to think I could run PC bulbs until they burned out, due to the fact this is what others where saying. But after several years of running them, I decided to replace them. A side to side comparison showed a big difference in the old & new bulb. The old bulbs was yellowed & black at the ends. The huge difference came when the new bulbs where turned on over the tank. I was very surprised how dark the tank had became with the olds bulbs. Which really could not be seen until they where replaced.
 
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