How to Reduce Radon Levels in Your Home
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is present in every home and building. You can’t see it or smell it. In small amounts, it is harmless. But high radon levels can pose a threat to your health and the health of your family.
When radon gas enters the body, it produces harmful radioactive particles that can damage the cells of the lining of the lungs. It also increases a person’s risk of developing lung cancer. Radon-related lung cancer leads to about 21,000 fatalities a year. This is why radon gas is often described as the ‘invisible killer’.
At high concentrations, radon can result in a major health threat. If tests show that you have high radon levels in your home, you need to find ways to reduce them and fast. So what is a safe radon level?
What radon level is safe?
No radon level is safe. Any radon exposure has some risk of lung cancer. Your risk of lung cancer significantly increases when exposed to high radon levels.
According to U.S. Congress, radon levels in your home should be no more than 4 pCi/L. Anything about 4 pCi/L is considered hazardous. In this case, it is recommended to have a radon mitigation system to be installed in your home.
Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L are acceptable but still pose a threat. The lower the radon level in your home, the lower your family’s risk of lung cancer. But since radon is a naturally occurring gas, it is impossible to eliminate radon gas in your home completely.
How to lower radon levels
Radon is a toxic gas and should be taken seriously. There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce radon levels in your home. Here are some of them.
Increase mechanical ventilation
It is a good idea to install an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) or heat recovery ventilator (HRV) to increase ventilation in your home. An HRV system works by exchanging stale, moist, polluted indoor air with fresh filtered outdoor air. This, however, is recommended on newer, tighter homes and buildings with low ventilation rates.
In most cases, HRV systems can reduce radon levels by 25-50%. As such, it is only appropriate for situations where only modest reductions are needed.
Radon gas often enters the home through cracks, gaps, and other holes in your home. It typically moves up from the ground into the air in your home. These openings are present even in new and well-built homes.
Sealing cracks and openings in the foundation wall and floor can help reduce radon levels in your home. New cracks and entry routes can appear as the house ages and settles. Seals can also deteriorate. To create an effective and long-lasting seal, proper preparation of the surface area to be sealed is extremely important.
Radon mitigation system
As the name implies, radon mitigation systems help mitigate radon gas levels down to a safer level. They work by removing radon gas from breathable air. It is done mainly through a suction and piping system that continuously pulls air out from beneath a home and expels it away from your home. The pipe can either be located inside or outside the home. It will then discharges the gas outside — away from the doors, windows, and other openings.
Technical knowledge and special skills are required in reducing radon levels. As such, we highly recommend that you hire a qualified radon mitigation contractor to address the problem. Without technical knowledge and proper equipment, you could create other potential hazards and could even increase radon levels in your home.
Whether you suspect that you have an elevated radon level or you need help reducing it, you can reach out to us! We specialize in all things radon, radon testing, radon mitigation, radon estimates, and more! The best part? We offer $49 radon tests, the lowest in the state.