Look for links to printable pdf
literature in equipment specifications sections, above in this column, & on
How to Remove
(Radon Gas Removal)
Why remove Radon Gas?
How many people develop lung cancer because of exposure to radon?
Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. Radon
represents a far smaller risk for this disease, but it is the second
leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Scientists estimate
that approximately 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year are related
Although the association between radon exposure and smoking is not well
understood, exposure to the combination of radon gas and cigarette smoke
creates a greater risk for lung cancer than either factor alone. The
majority of radon-related cancer deaths occur among smokers.
Radon and Cancer: Questions and
Answers - National Cancer Institute
A blower can be installed to increase
ventilation which will help dilute and attenuate the
radon levels in your home. But using a blower has the
drawback of exhausting heated or cooled air from your home which increases your
energy expense. Instead of using a blower, consider an
recovery ventilator (ERV).
An ERV will increase ventilation by introducing outdoor air while using
the heated or cooled air being exhausted to warm or cool the incoming air.
ERVs can be designed to ventilate all or part of your home, although they are
more effective in reducing radon levels when used to ventilate only the
basement. If properly balanced and maintained, they
ensure a constant degree of ventilation throughout the year.
ERVs also can improve air quality in houses that have other indoor
pollutants. We offer an
excellent ERV to
ventilate spaces in your home such as rooms or basements.
present, EPA does not recommend using air cleaners to reduce levels of
radon and its decay products. The effectiveness of these devices is
uncertain because they only partially remove the radon decay products and
do not diminish the amount of radon entering the home. EPA plans to do
additional research on whether air cleaners are, or could become, a
reliable means of reducing the health risk from radon."
||The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air
U.S. EPA/Office of Air and Radiation
Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (6609J)
Cosponsored with the Consumer Product Safety Commission
An ERV is only one option for
removal of Radon Gas and the one which is the subject of our discussion..
and associated techniques basically involve
removing air from the area beneath the house slab, basement, or crawlspace and
exhausting it and any accumulated radon gas to an area where it it is
dispersed and diluted so as not to be a serious health hazard.
- Sealing cracks and other
openings in the foundation is a basic part of most approaches to radon
reduction. Sealing the cracks limits the flow of radon into your home thereby
making other radon reduction techniques more effective and cost-efficient.
It also reduces the loss of conditioned air. EPA does not
recommend the use of sealing alone to reduce radon because, by itself,
sealing has not been shown to lower radon levels significantly or
consistently. It is difficult to identify and permanently seal the places
where radon is entering. Normal settling of your house opens new entry routes
and reopens old ones.
- House/room pressurization uses
a fan to blow air into the basement or living area from either upstairs or
outdoors. It attempts to create enough pressure at the lowest level indoors
(in a basement for example) to prevent radon from entering into the house. The
effectiveness of this technique is limited by house construction, climate,
other appliances in the house, and occupant lifestyle. In order to maintain
enough pressure to keep radon out, the doors and windows at the lowest level
must not be left opened, except for normal entry and exit. This approach
generally results in more outdoor air being introduced into the home, which
can cause moisture intrusion and energy penalties.
Consequently, this technique should only be considered after
the other, more-common techniques have not sufficiently reduced radon.
- Some natural ventilation occurs in all houses.
By opening windows, doors, and vents on the lower floors you increase the
ventilation in your house. This increase in ventilation mixes outdoor
air with the indoor air containing radon, and can result in reduced radon
levels. However, once windows, doors and vents are closed, radon
concentrations most often return to previous values within about 12 hours.
Natural ventilation in any type of house should
normally be regarded as only a temporary radon reduction approach because of
the following disadvantages: loss of conditioned air and related discomfort,
greatly increased costs of conditioning additional outside air, and security
More information about
energy recovery ventilators