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Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally and is not harmful in open spaces when it is mixed with oxygen and other natural gases. However, high radon levels in living spaces can be lethal. So much so that it is one of the largest causes of lung cancer in the US, second only to cigarettes.
While measures such as properly sealing cracks up crawl spaces, basements, and attics can help reduce the amount of radon in your home, you will need to invest in radon mitigation systems to remove it entirely from your home and keep it that way. Read on to find out more about radon mitigation costs, systems, and more.
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Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCI/L). The concentration of radon is very diluted in open spaces but can become dangerous when concentrated in indoor spaces. Fortunately, it is easy to find out how much radon you have inside your home.
You can either call an experienced contractor to conduct a test or use a do-it-yourself radon testing kit. A professional radon inspection will cost you around $428, while a DIY test kit starts at around $15.
All you need to do is follow the instructions and this one-time test will tell you the radon levels inside your home in around 48 hours.
According to the EPA, any reading above 4 pCI/L is a sign that your home needs radon mitigation.
However, keep in mind that a one-time test that shows a low level of radon is no guarantee that these levels will not increase with time. You ought to get the radon levels in your home either tested periodically or invest in continuous air quality and radon monitoring system.
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Radon mitigation systems
Like we mentioned earlier, simply caulking and sealing cracks in the foundation and other openings are not sufficient to reduce the presence of radon in your home. There are several other systems that you can use to help you achieve that end.
Active soil depressurization (ASD) is a reliable and cost-effective solution that collects radon from the soil before it enters your home. The system uses PVC pipes to collect radon from beneath the home’s foundation and exhausts it using a continuously operating noiseless radon fan at a safe distance from the home. The number of suction points you need may vary with the permeability of the soil underneath the house, but a single exhaust point per house is all you will need.
While the size and design of the system itself may vary depending on the design of the home, operational costs are fairly low since the fans used are low in power consumption, usually less than 90 watts per fan.
Radon reduction systems work differently for different applications. For example, in homes that have French drains, a sump pump may be used to collect radon gas from underneath the house and exhaust it using the existing piping.
In other cases, homeowners have invested in High-Efficiency Air Filters (HEPA) to remove radon decay products as well as other airborne allergens. So be sure to explore possibilities before installing a radon mitigation system.
Depending on where you live, there are special considerations and Radon Mitigation Standards that you will need to follow.
Radon mitigation system costs
The cost of radon mitigation system installation varies depending on factors such as the home’s design, size, construction materials used, local climate, and foundation.
While the national average mitigation cost is around $1200, it can range from $800 to $1,500. On average, the lifespan of radon fans is between 10 and 15 years, with most manufacturers offering five years warranty.
Costs may increase if you want to conceal the system for increased aesthetic value. Another factor that may add to the operating cost is if you want to heat or cool some of the air drawn out by the radon mitigation system.
Ideally, talk to multiple radon mitigation contractors so you can compare quotes and decide what works best for you.