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Radon Mitigation

1. What is radon? What impact does radon have on me or my family?

According to the International Residential Code (IRC), radon gas is, “a naturally occurring, chemically inert, radioactive gas that is not detectable by human senses. As a gas, it can move readily through particles of soil and rock, and can accumulate under the slabs and foundations of homes where it can easily enter into the living space through construction cracks and openings.”

The U.S. EPA states the three leading causes of lung cancer are smoking, radon, and secondhand smoke, respectively. The EPA estimates that radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. A 2013 study by the University of Georgia found that on average radon gas kills more than 21,000 Americans each year, which is more than the deaths associated with drunk driving accidents on an annual basis. Therefore, installing a radon mitigation system can help protect you and your family from the dangers of radon gas.

To learn more about the radon mitigation solutions Fantech provides, visit the Our Solutions page and for additional information, check out our #Test4Radon seven-part series on YouTube.

2. Can radon levels change over time?

Yes, radon levels are not constant. Radon levels rise and fall seasonally, with changes in your home's ventilation, or changes in the ground around your home. To find your radon levels, long term testing, over 12 months, will yield a better average of levels over short-term testing, less than 3 months. In fact, even if you have a radon mitigation system installed, Fantech recommends testing your home for radon every two years to ensure your product is properly working. Check out episode 2 of our #Test4Radon seven-part video series to learn more.

3. Does radon gas move through concrete?

Yes. Radon is a gas, therefore, it can move through the slightly porous concrete and the cracks in the concrete slab. Sealing wall and floor cracks can help some, but by itself will not prevent radon infiltration into the home. However, sealing cracks can improve the performance of the Active Soil Depressurization (ASD) system by reversing gas flow direction. When concrete is contaminated with radium or uranium, and emitting radon gas, a dilution mitigation method is recommended.

4. Can I use my neighbor's radon test results for an accurate representation of radon levels on my property?

Unfortunately, you cannot. A study from the National Institute of Health showed soil composition and ground permeability as key factors that affect radon levels, and those factors are specific only to your plot of land. While your home location is in the same general area as your neighbor, differences in home construction alone could account for different readings of radon levels.

5. How else can I reduce radon levels in my home?

When installed to increase the air rate change in the basement, a fresh air appliance can also mitigate radon problems. Certain situations call for use of these systems over traditional radon mitigation systems. Usually when the installation of a sub-slab or a sub-membrane depressurization system is not practical. The concept works by bringing outside air into the basement to dilute the radon concentration.

6. Can I use a standard inline fan to remove radon from my home?

Fantech recommends using specifically-designed plastic, radon fans to withstand high-humidity environments. Metal, inline fans work most efficiently and last longer when the air around the fan is dry and are not designed for outdoor applications.

7. Do I need a radon mitigation system?

It is never a bad idea to have a radon mitigation system, but ultimately it depends on your radon levels. The U.S. EPA recommends installing a radon mitigation system if the radon levels equal 4 pCi/L or more. Our Fantech products can reduce radon levels in most homes to safe levels. Also, Radon mitigation systems have a high likelihood of removing other non-measurable VOCs or hazards from your home.

8. Where should I install my radon fan?

US guidelines cite AARST/ANSI standards that state to install the fan outside of the home, in a garage without conditioned living above the garage, or in an attic with proper venting. A radon professional will suggest the best installation location depending on the system design; however, installing a radon fan in the attic can protect and extend the life of the fan. If an outside location for installation is the only option, Fantech offers the slim line model Rn 2SL as an attractive option over the standard style.

9. Does a radon fan have to run continuously?

Yes. If you turn the radon fan off, the radon gas level may return to pre-mitigation levels within a few hours.

10. How much electricity does a radon mitigation system use?

A radon mitigation system operating cost depends on the size and type of fan used. For Fantech radon products, the operating costs could range from as low as ten dollars a year to several hundred dollars a year.