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Myth: Does a Dehumidifier Help with Radon?

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Someone may ask you, “How Does a Dehumidifier Affect Radon?”

In order to find the right answer to that question, you need to know what radon is.

What is Radon?

Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is created by decaying uranium. It is said that this gas is found in all soils and in small amounts in the air.

This gas seeps into your home through openings in your concrete and long term exposure can cause lung cancer. Radon levels differ from house to house. To find out if a dehumidifier can help you with radon just continue to read our article.

Does Humidity Affect Radon Levels?

No one has directly said that humidity affect radon level. The best they have said is that rainstorms help the radon gas move faster from the soil to your home. Light weather conditions have little influence over radon levels while storms and high winds exert a heavy influence on them.

Humidity levels are probably included in those tests but are not distinctive enough to cause a lot of difference in the radon levels in your home.

Does a Dehumidifier Help with Radon?

It will help a little but not as much as an active soil depressurization device. In fact, the dehumidifier was only able to reduce radon levels at up to 25% capacity of the active soil depressurization device.

So the answer to the question does a dehumidifier reduce radon is ‘yes’ but it is not the most effective tool you can use. The active soil depressurization device does the work of 4 to 13 dehumidifiers so that system dries your home at the same time (according to a study by the EPA)

The answer to how does a dehumidifier affect radon is that it does not affect it very much.

That is because the radon gas needs a powerful fan and a closed unidirectional vent system to drive radon from your home. The dehumidifiers are not powerful enough to handle that task.

The reason it doesn’t is because most dehumidifiers remove moisture before returning the air to the same room. Radon is not frozen or changed into a moisture when passing through the coils of some dehumidifiers.

That means that the gas is returned to your home when the device returns the air to your home.

Can I Run a Dehumidifier During a Radon Test?

If your dehumidifier is a small standalone unit, then you can run the device for short periods of time throughout the test.

Standard tests run between 2 and 4 days but the house has to be closed off during that time and no air is allowed to go out and none is allowed to come in.

What cannot be used during these tests are whole house fans, air conditioners or any device that brings air from the outside into the home during the test.

Small fans are okay to use because you still need to keep cool of the weather is hot outside.

Also, doors and windows need to be closed for 12 hours prior to the test.

Are Radon Levels Higher in the Basement?

Technically that would be the case. The areas with the highest radon levels are those areas that are in direct contact with soil. That would put your basement at the top of the list when it comes to high radon levels.

Another reason radon levels are higher in the basement is that the gas is 7 1/2 times heavier than air. That means the radon gas will sink to the basement a lot faster than you would think.

It is also the reason why radon removal devices are located in your basement sump pump. The only issue that may make radon levels higher throughout your home is if you have a heating and cooling system that mixes your basement air with the air from the upper stories and circulates that air throughout your home.

How to Reduce Radon Levels in a Home

The first thing you can do to reduce radon in your home is to open all the windows in your basement and let the room be well ventilated. You can’t close those windows because the radon returns in 6 hours.

You can try using a fan but it has to be drawing outside air into your basement not exhausting it to the outside.

Another step you can take is to seal all cracks and openings in your basement floor, walls and ceiling. The more cracks and holes that get sealed the fewer routes radon has to enter your home.

The downside to this effort is that you would also be sealing fresh air out of your basement causing radon levels to rise.

Or you can opt for a radon removal system that helps channel the gas out of your home and taking it about the roof line. These can be expensive and you may need more than one system to effectively do the job.

What are the Benefits of Removing Radon from My Home?

The best case scenario is that you and your family will not be exposed to radioactive gas. These methods of removal help reduce cancer-causing agents like radon making your home healthier and safer.

Also, you get cleaner air to breathe which helps you stay healthier over the long run. These radon removal systems also help clear the air in your home of insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, methane gas and carbon dioxide.

Then the removal systems help remove moisture preventing mold growth and rot from appearing.

Final Verdict

Dehumidifiers may a great tool to remove excess moisture but that is what they are designed to do. These devices are not designed to handle gases that come up from your soil. That does not make them a bad machine just one with a specific purpose.

When you want to remove radon from your home, go with a device that is made specifically to remove radon. That way you know you are safe 24 hours a day and can enjoy your humidity free climate all the time.

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