The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has done a lot of research on how to mitigate radon in the home, citing moisture removal as a way to control it.
But does a dehumidifier help with radon?
In this post, we are going to answer this question and many other questions about dehumidifiers and radon gas.
Radon is a radioactive and toxic natural gas. It comes from the breakdown of materials like thorium, radium, and uranium within the soil. This includes groundwater and rocks too. Anyone can experience exposure at any time.
It’s invisible, odorless, and can be the cause of many serious health issues, including lung cancer.
If you find yourself with a radon problem or suspect that you do, it’s important to take care of the issue as soon as you can.
If you aim to gain more knowledge about this important issue, continue reading.
Does a Dehumidifier Help with Radon?
While it may seem like a good idea, a dehumidifier won’t do much to control radon. But a single device will not do much to solve severe problems. It’s comparable to using a small oscillating fan in a ballroom filled with people smoking cigarettes. So, a dehumidifier isn’t going to help you much.
For radon, you would need several dehumidifiers set at strategic points to ensure this would work effectively. But then you’ll have a skyrocketing energy bill.
The reason why a dehumidifier won’t work is because of its design. There are two main sections: the front draws in air and then it processes that air back out into the room. The water collected by the dehumidifier doesn’t trap the radon because it’s a gas. It will escape.
Therefore, you’re just recycling the radon-filled air back into the room. As you can see, it doesn’t make much sense to use a dehumidifier.
Do You Need A Dehumidifier With A Radon System?
The discussion around radon in conjunction with dehumidifiers should be more about controlling humidity than a device that dehumidifiers.
A radon system will have a high-powered fan with a way to direct the toxic air out and away from the home.
This means the system itself acts as a dehumidifier and there’s no need to use one injunction with an ASD.
The mitigation system siphons radon-filled air from under the house. This usually occurs by installing a slab and then the air travels through a hole. It then pushes the radon out of the roof with vents and a fan that runs 24/7.
Will A Dehumidifier Affect A Radon Test?
A dehumidifier will not have much effect on a radon test. What you shouldn’t use is anything that brings air into the house from outside, this includes fans and air conditioners.
Should You Run A Dehumidifier During A Radon Test?
You can run a dehumidifier in short bursts during the course of a radon test.
It will not affect the results at all. But, you do want to ensure that you don’t allow any outside air to come in because fresh air will influence the final readings.
Can You Test for Radon Gas Yourself?
You can test for radon gas yourself, there are many DIY kits at big-box stores and online.
You collect the results as instructed by the manufacturer of the test and send them to a qualified lab. The length of time these can take will range from as little as 48 hours to as much as 90 days or more.
While this may seem simple enough, there are several factors that can negatively affect your results if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- You need to seal all the windows, doors, and other openings or gaps that lead to the outside. You have to do this 12 hours before you begin the test and during it.
- The test must go into the lowest level of your home or property and it has to stay 20 inches off the floor.
- You also want to keep it away from vents, exterior walls, and windows. Likewise, don’t put it in the kitchen, bathroom, or utility room. The best spots are in the family room, bedroom, living room, or other open area.
- Another important aspect is not allowing anything to disturb the test once it begins. This could be 48 hours or 86 hours, however long the instructions require.
With so many extenuating factors that go into performing a radon test, it’s easy for the average person to make a mistake.
Does Humidity Increase Radon Levels?
Scientists have not reached a conclusion about whether humidity increases radon levels or not.
But, rain can be a major factor in helping radon gas move faster out of the soil. Light rains aren’t much of an influence, but heavy downpours and thunderstorms very much can have a marked impact.
Where Is Radon Most Commonly Found?
Radon is anywhere and everywhere you can find decomposing uranium.
It’s a prevalent and necessary activity within the earth’s crust. The other strange thing is it can be a problem at your neighbor’s house but your house won’t ever see any amount.
It depends on what kind of soil the house sits on and if there are uranium deposits in the vicinity.
What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Radon?
The fastest way to rid yourself of it is to open windows, turn on a big area fan and try to circulate as much fresh air throughout the house as possible.
But, it’s advisable to get an ASD system installed quickly, this will be the best, fastest, and longest-lasting way to rid radon from your home.
What Are The Benefits Of Removing Radon From My Home?
Aside from the obvious benefit of reducing your risk of contracting lung cancer, there are several additional benefits to removing radon from your home.
ASD systems can be quite pricey, but it’s worth it when it comes to the health and safety of everyone in your household. Plus, it will eventually pay for itself over and over again.
When you install an ASD system, you’ll have drier air in the house overall. You will notice a reduction in allergens and pollutants along with bacteria, mold, and mildew buildup.
This means it can quell problems with asthma, allergies, lung conditions and aid in optimal health.
Plus, you’ll save money on your energy bills because you won’t have to have other devices or appliances on to help remove the damp. It will lower your need to use things like air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
Also, your home value will increase with the added benefit of an ASD. This eliminates sale negotiations on who will pay for a radon mitigation system.
What Are Symptoms That You Are Exposed To High Levels Of Radon?
Unfortunately, there are no real symptoms that appear when you experience exposure to high levels of radon. It builds up in the body and manifests itself as lung cancer, childhood leukemia, or some other related health issue.
When cancer sets in, you’ll begin coughing blood, experiencing chest pain, or losing weight when you’re not trying to.
What Is The Most Effective Method For Controlling Radon?
ASD, or Active Soil Depressurization, is the most effective at removing radon from your home while reducing potential health hazards. The EPA has given good evidence for this.
In a 2014 study by the EPA, they compared moisture control comparing the effect of radon reduction between an ASD system and a dehumidifier.
In the end, the ASD system won out; equaling the same amount as four to 13 dehumidifiers going at once. A dehumidifier was only able to reduce 8% to 25% of what the ASD was capable of.
On average, an ASD will have a 90% success rate in removing radon.
The EPA test proved how it was able to pull moisture and trapped radon in building materials like cement. A dehumidifier only removed what was already existent in the home, not from the walls and certainly not blocks.
Is It Better to Hire a Professional For Testing And Installing An Asb?
This is why, even though you can test it yourself, it’s best to hire a professional to take care of it. It’s especially poignant when you need results right away.
DIY test kit results can take a couple of months before you get them. They will have state-of-the-art technology that can get you results in a matter of days after taking the test.
Neither using a dehumidifier will increase nor decrease radon levels in your home. As a matter of fact, it won’t have much of an impact on it at all. If you find that you have a sudden rise in radon, open your windows and get as much fresh air circulating around as possible.
In an emergency situation, it’s best if you call a professional to come to test your levels while also helping you devise a plan to install an ASD system. The faster you can take care of the issue, the better off you and your household will be.
Looking For Dehumidifer Guides?
If you’re looking for more dehumidifier resources, consider checking out our other posts on dehumidifiers.
- The Top 5 Dehumidifiers For Wood Floors Review
- 5 Best Dehumidifiers For Cars
- Can A Dehumidifier Cause Headaches?
- Will a dehumidifier kill fleas
Irene Batres is eager to help others create an indoor allergen-free home. She has years of experience testing out air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other products designed to help with indoor air quality. Learn more about me.