- Great West Radon
Can You Reduce Radon Without Mitigation?
Updated: Jun 2, 2022
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer if inhaled at high levels over a long period of time. To prevent this from happening, you should make sure that the air in your home doesn’t contain dangerous radon levels. Radon mitigation is the recommendation we always give when you discover what we call “actionable levels” of radon accumulated in the home.
In Calgary especially, Radon seeping into residential homes is an often underestimated hazard, where high levels are the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. While we recommend mitigation based on it being by far the most effective Radon reduction method, technically speaking, you have other options too. Let’s look at some of them.
Steps You Can Take on Your Own
There are things you can do on your own to lower high levels of radon. The key to this approach is a thorough understanding of how radon accumulates in under-ventilated spaces in your home.
The key to radon reaching levels that increase your risk of lung cancer is accumulation. Here are ways you can reduce radon without mitigation systems by tackling stagnant air movement in your home.
Introducing Fresh Air for Radon Reduction
In Calgary and Area, some homes have systems in place to keep fresh air flowing into your home while getting stale air flowing out. Doing so might help you keep your living spaces under the actionable level set by Health Canada, 200 Becquerels per meter cube (depending on how high levels were to begin with).
If your home has many windows, you may want to try airing the whole place out whenever there’s nice weather, especially in winter (when levels tend to be highest). From November to May, there’s certainly a lot of cold weather preventing opening windows. Still, if you capitalize on chinook daytime temperatures, you can air your living spaces from basements all the way to the top floor; you can move stagnant air out and replace it with fresh air periodically.
Yes, you’ll lose heat out of your home, but you’ll also empty the place of high radon air. That way, it’ll be harder for radon gas to continue accumulating to high levels. If you commit to airing the place out more thoroughly, you can temporarily lower your indoor radon levels.
HVAC & Air Purification Solutions
While it’s not a silver-bullet solution for radon mitigation, HEPA filters on your furnace filtration component can sometimes help. HEPA filters aren’t the solution in and of themselves, however. They must be coupled with an air purification product containing an activated carbon filtration layer. This carbon layer can trap gasses like radon, whereas the HEPA filter catches fine (or coarse) particulate matter.
Still, sometimes the dust you find in your home can contain microscopic radioactive material, which emits alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma radiation - all of which pose health risks equivalent to radon gas; radioactivity is the key to radon’s status as a type 1 IARC carcinogen.
When your HVAC system recycles air during the heating months, mainly from October to May in Calgary, a HEPA filter is much thicker and more intensively designed for particulate matter that can trap radon decay products. Dander, coarse dust, and pet hair into clumps are all better filtered out by HEPA furnace filtration.
Ultimately, the most effective radon reduction methods are best left to professionals. If the health of you and your loved ones is at stake, DIY solutions won’t cut it because your efforts can fall short. Professional C-NRPP-approved and certified radon mitigation services are effective in decreasing Radon levels by up to 95%. No other measure comes close to this type of efficacy which is why we suggest it when possible.
Some exciting news! We had a guest spot on the 28th podcast of No Payne Roofing Inc. We did this to talk to Calgary companies and homeowners about our story, and why we shifted away from home inspections to specialize in professional radon detection and mitigation.
Great-West Radon is a “One Stop Shop” for all your Radon related needs. We provide detail-oriented, honest, and reliable radon testing in Calgary by using state-of-the-art tools and technology. From radon mitigation to radon removal, we are the top-rated Radon services company in Calgary, and we are proud of the work we do and the relationships we’ve created with our clients. We only use the best materials and equipment, ensuring all guidelines set out by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program and Health Canada are being met. If you require radon testing, mitigation, removal, or a radon test kit in Calgary, Great Radon West has you covered.