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How to Breathe Easy When Choosing a Radon Mitigation System

Learn what radon mitigation options are available to keep homes healthy

 

When it comes to taking care of your health, it is clear what steps need to be taken for healthy living: a balanced diet, regular exercise, a good night’s rest. But when it comes to improving the health of your home, the solution is not always so straightforward.

For example, improving a home’s indoor air quality with proper radon mitigation can be done in several different ways. And oftentimes, homeowners presume that the home builder has already taken the appropriate steps to keep the home healthy.

However, many new construction builders default to a passive mitigation system without ever testing for the home’s radon levels and considering other options.  While a passive system is better than nothing, this method leaves homes built on soil with high radon levels at risk for undetected radon infiltration.

Don’t leave your defense against radon up to chance – learn about the differences between passive and active radon systems and additional ways to ensure proper protection.

Radon Removal Methods for Healthy Homes

Passive Radon Mitigation

Passive systems are typically installed in newly constructed homes, offering a simple, low-maintenance mitigation solution. A barrier between the soil and foundation is installed, accompanied by a vent pipe from the sub-slab up to the roofline. Natural pressure creates airflow, moving the radon up through the piping and safely away from the home.

This method requires no electricity and is completely silent. Additionally, these systems are not typically visible on the home, offering protection without infringing on the home’s aesthetic. 

At first glance, a passive system appears to be an ideal solution – it’s low-maintenance, cost-effective and unobtrusive. However, these systems are rendered ineffective once radon levels reach higher levels.

For homes located in areas with high radon levels, an active system is the only solution that ensures comprehensive protection.

Active Radon Mitigation

Active Soil Depressurization (ASD) radon mitigation systems go one step further than passive systems to prevent radon infiltration. These systems use electric fans to continuously pull radon gas out from beneath the home and vent it out through plastic piping. 

Much like passive mitigation systems, active systems are very low-maintenance. The fans run continuously with little noise while a monitoring system maintains optimal performance. Radon mitigation fans can operate for years without requiring any maintenance.

While active systems are always recommended for homes in high radon zones, these systems are also preferred in non-new construction homes and, really, any home. Radon levels constantly fluctuate – an active system is the only solution that provides continuous monitoring and protection.

The Dilution Solution

Depending on a home’s architecture or geography, it may be difficult to design and install a radon mitigation system. In these instances, mitigation using an active or passive system may not be an option.

Instead, a fresh air appliancecan be installed in the home’s basement. These ERV or HRV fresh air appliances create a slightly pressurized environment while introducing fresh air into the home to dilute radon. 

Here’s how the Dilution Solution works:

  1. Exhaust ducts are set close to the floor to exhaust radon-contaminated air out through the piping.
  2. The fresh air appliance pulls in fresh outside air to dilute the inside air, therefore lowering radon levels.
  3. Grilles positioned at opposite ends of the space create a cross-ventilation strategy of dilution.
  4. A slightly over-balance of Supply Air creates a positive pressure in the space, which helps keep radon from seeping into the home.

 

Take the First Step Towards Healthier Homes

No matter which mitigation solution you select for a home, the first step to ensuring proper protection is to test the home’s radon levels. Despite common misconceptions, every home needs to be tested to gain an accurate gauge of its radon levels. 

Fantech’s PFE Diagnostic Kit makes it simple to get accurate readings from under the slab, then recommends the correct fan solution in minutes through a convenient app on your phone. 


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