Different Methods to Reduce Radon
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues its efforts in providing useful information that can help homeowners reduce radon in their homes. Radon is a harmful radioactive gas that poses human health risks. That’s why homeowners should pay attention to eliminating this gas using different methods. If you plan to build a house for your family, you can make it radon-free by asking your contractor to use radon reduction construction techniques. Suppose your home is already built; there are several methods to achieve radon-resistant homes.
There could be two houses built using the same design. But it doesn’t guarantee that they are identical. From the location to interiors, you can use these factors to differentiate the two houses. When it comes to radon, the first house could have more of this radioactive gas than the second house. Why? It is because several factors cause radon entry, and among these is location.
Since no two houses are alike, using a specific radon reduction technique might not work at all house types. Therefore, engineers are looking for different radon reduction techniques to eliminate radon no matter what kind of house you have. But before you learn the said techniques, it is vital to get your house tested for radon. If the results demonstrate that your home has high radon levels, that is when you need to consult your contractor and talk about how you can eliminate the radioactive gas.
5 Radon Reduction Methods
The Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering of Iowa State University compiled different radon reduction methods. This booklet is designed for homeowners to help them get rid of the said radioactive gas. Although the technique’s effectiveness varies from house to house, using the best method for your house type provides a greater chance of achieving a radon-free home. You can request a free radon mitigation quote if you are concerned to have a radon in your home. To help you, Radon Resources have listed some techniques balancing their pros and cons. Here are the ways on how you can achieve radon-resistant homes:
1. Create natural ventilation.
Following a well-ventilated design for your house is ideal because it replaces the radon-laden indoor air with natural hair. Besides, it neutralizes the pressure, which is essential since the pressure between indoor and outdoor air significantly affects radon entry. For instance, opening your house’s windows gradually decreases the flow of soil gas because radon is diluted.
Pros: Natural ventilation is affordable since there are no installation costs.
Cons: Natural ventilation is quite impractical during extreme weather conditions. It might also add expenses to heating and cooling costs.
2. Add fans for ventilation.
Aside from natural ventilation, you can also use fans to circulate the air. If the fan is big enough, the radon-laden indoor air is replaced with outdoor air. Forced ventilation also neutralizes the pressure and offers a controlled amount of ventilation. The cost of installing fans varies depending on their purpose. It may range from $25 to $1000. Fans can be used for air conditioning, heating, and ventilation.
Pros: Using a 500-1000 cfm (cubic feet per minute) fan allows you to attain a 90-percent radon reduction.
Cons: Using fans can increase your expenses at home.
3. Use Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV).
A Heat Recovery Ventilator, sometimes called an air-to-air heat exchanger, is a device that utilizes the heat in the air that is being exhausted to warm the incoming air. During warm weather, the air-conditioned house is reversed because the air being exhausted is used to cool the incoming air. With Heat Recovery Ventilation, you can save between 50 and 80 percent of the warmth (or coolness).
Pros: Using heat recovery ventilation is best for tight houses because radon reduction is greater.
Cons: Aside from the materials, you need to spend also on labor because you need an expert to install the HRV. Other than that, this method’s applicability is limited to situations where there are only moderate reductions.
4. Cover the exposed soil.
Another way to achieve radon-resistant homes is covering the exposed soil in cold rooms, drain areas, storage areas, and more. Doing this can help you reduce radon since this radioactive gas comes from the ground. Leaving the soil exposed increases the level of radon in your home. To prevent it, ask for a skilled contractor to cover the exposed ground.
Pros: Covering the soil is cheaper than other methods.
Cons: You need regular maintenance for covering the soil since the covered areas can open again. It is recommended to perform periodic checking and maintenance.
5. Seal the cracks and openings.
Since radon is a gas, it can enter your house through the cracks and openings in your home. The gas can enter through utility pipes; floor drains, etc. Sealing the cracks and gaps can offer you low to moderate radon reduction. Know that this method is usually the preliminary step when other methods are used. However, this could be enough for houses with moderate radon problems.
Pros: You can combine it with other methods to ensure that high radon levels will be reduced.
Cons: It is challenging to locate all the cracks and openings at your home. Besides, more cracks could appear as time passes by. That’s why many contractors combine it with other radon reduction techniques.
No matter what type of house you have, it is crucial to make it a safe place for you and your loved ones. Preventing radon entry is one way to ensure that you have fewer risks to respiratory diseases. There are different radon reduction methods that you may consider. Before applying one of the said techniques, make sure to get your home tested for radon. Also, ask for an expert’s assessment to identify which radon-reduction method would work best for your home. Any of these techniques could be the key to attaining radon-resistant homes.