Test for and Mitigate Radon.  You Could Save Lives.  Part 4 of 5: Reducing Indoor Radon.

Test for and Mitigate Radon. You Could Save Lives. Part 4 of 5: Reducing Indoor Radon.

Part 4 of 5. Reduce Indoor Radon.

January is National Radon Action Month; it is a perfect time to dwell on the dangers of radon and how to mitigate them. In this fourth of a five-part series, we will discuss considerations for testing for radon.

The Surgeon General and EPA recommend testing for radon and reducing radon in homes that have high levels. If your radon level is confirmed to be 4 picocuries per liter, pCi/L, or higher, fix the building. Choose a qualified radon mitigation contractor to fix your home because specific skills and technical knowledge are required. Many states require radon professionals to be qualified. In most buildings, the cost to lower radon to safe levels is the same as other common repairs. Costs will vary depending on the design of the building and the radon reduction method being used. The good news is that radon reduction systems work and hundreds of thousands of buildings have already been successfully modified.

Radon Reduction Systems. The system that is right for your building depends on your initial radon level, the costs of installation and system operation, your building size, and your foundation type. Most types result in loss of heated or cooled air and this may affect your utility bill slightly.

There are many variations of radon reduction systems. Often, radon is sucked from below a building and vented to the outdoors when it is quickly diluted. This usually involves piping and may involve ventilation with a fan. The type of building foundation is a major factor in how the system would be set up.

Sealing cracks and other openings may be required to make the system more efficient and help reduce the loss of heated or cooled air.

Building or room pressurization uses a fan to blow air in, from other rooms or from outdoors; the increases pressure prevents radon from entering. Since this option can affect energy costs, it is usually a last resort.

A heat recovery ventilator, also known as an air-to-air heat exchanger, increases ventilation by introducing outdoor air while using the heated or cooled air being exhausted to warm or cool the incoming air. Again, there would be increased energy cost, but not as much as without the temperature recovery of exhausted air.

Natural ventilation occurs by opening windows, doors, or vents to mix outdoor with indoor air and thus reduce radon concentrations. As soon as these are closed, the radon concentration will return to previous levels within about 12 hours. It should be considered a temporary solution due heating and cooling costs and security concerns.

Check the EPA Radon Website for more information on these systems and how to choose a contractor. Also check with your state for information on licensure of remediation contractors.

Radon Resistant Construction Techniques are Available – Be Sure to Check with Your Contractor

Contact RPF Environmental, Inc. for a Consultation on Radon Testing in Your Building

www.airpf.com 1-800-SAFEAIR