F.A.Q's

 

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Why test for Radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the country. It is produced as a by-product of the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water, and so eventually gets into the air you breathe. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the USA according to the EPA, claiming an average of 20,000 lives each year. It causes more deaths than all the drownings, fires, and airline crashes combined.

How long should I test?

The US EPA protocols require that all short-term tests be conducted for a minimum of 48 hours. During the tests, all windows and doors should be kept closed and ventilation and exhaust fans should be turned off. Ideally, however, you should do one year-long test or several short-term tests throughout the year to determine the annual average radon concentration.

How much will it cost me to run a radon-reduction system?

If a fan-based ventilation system must be used, the cost of electricity to run it will average $70 per year. 

Is it expensive to install a system to remove radon from air in a house?

A radon mitigation system can be installed for $800 to $2000 in most houses.

Should I have my water tested?

The primary source of radon in homes is from the underlying soil and bedrock. However, an additional source could be the water supply, particularly if the house is served by a private well or a small community water system.

If your home or the home you are considering buying has been found to have radon in air concentrations of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), or greater, (EPA 'Action Level') you may want to consider having the water tested if the house is served by a private well or a community well, e.g., underground sources. We recommended tested both air and water at the same time. Many public water supplies use surface water which tends to have lower radon levels.

What are the two types of radon in water systems?

Radon in water can be effectively reduced using one of two methods: aeration treatment or granular activated charcoal.

Aeration involves spraying the water or mixing it with air and then venting the radon. Granular activated charcoal systems filter the water through a charcoal bed. The radon is retained in the charcoal and the water leaves the charcoal tank relatively free of radon. The charcoal needs to be replaced on a regular basis.

In both of these treatment methods, it is important to treat the water where it enters the home. Trying to treat the water at the kitchen sink, for instance, would not be effective in reducing the amount of radon that enters the home. It is important to properly maintain home water treatment systems according to manufacturer's recommendations since failure to do so can lead to other water contamination problems. Aeration systems cost approximately $3,000 - $4,000. Charcoal systems cost approximately $1,000 - $1,500.

 In both of these treatment methods, it is important to treat the water where it enters the home. Trying to treat the water at the kitchen sink, for instance, would not be effective in reducing the amount of radon that enters the home. It is important to properly maintain home water treatment systems according to manufacturer's recommendations since failure to do so can lead to other water contamination problems. Aeration systems cost approximately $3,000 - $4,000. Charcoal systems cost approximately $1,000 - $1,500.

Do testers and mitigators have to be licensed?

 Radon testers and mitigators (radon reduction contractors) are not licensed or regulated in Connecticut.  However, there are two national organizations that offer radon measurement and mitigation certification, and if you choose to hire a professional to assist you, you are encouraged to hire an individual/company company certified by one of these organizations:

Did you know?
Ventilation is NOT a recommended technique for reducing radon levels in your home.  It does have the potential to dilute radon levels, but its success is not reliable.  In some cases, opening doors or windows can actually increase the radon level.

HOW SERIOUS A RISK IS RADON?

According to the following EPA radon risk chart, radon is a serious health problem.

If 1,000 people were exposed to this level over a lifetime who are:

Annual Radon Level

Smokers

Never Smokers

20 pCi/L

260 people

36 people could get lung cancer

10 pCi/L

150 people

18 people could get lung cancer

4 pCi/L

62 people

7 people could get lung cancer

2 pCi/L

32 people

4 people could get lung cancer

Why doesn't the system have a cap or screen? Won't rain and bugs get in?


A cap or screen creates a wonderful place for ice to form as the warm, moist exhaust impinges on it. Bugs are not a problem, because there's air blowing outward, typically at 20-40 cubic feet per minute. Besides, where are they going to go? Into the ground under your house? Bugs are not particularly bright, but they don't need to fight through a radon fan just to get into the dirt.

Regarding rain entry, the fan is designed to take it. But even more importantly, a three inch rainfall would produce only about a cupful of water if it all flowed down to the bottom. The system actually removes much more moisture than it could possibly let in! 


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