Radon gas is probably the last thing on your mind when you think about your home. After all, it's not something you can see, smell or taste, so it's easy to forget that it's even there. But radon gas is a real threat to your family's health, and it's important to take the necessary steps to mitigate it.
As the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, radon gas is estimated to cause about 21,000 deaths each year in the United States. That's why it's so important to protect you and your family by having a radon gas mitigation system in place, in your home.
But with so many different types of mitigation systems on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for your home.
Here's a quick guide to the best radon gas mitigation systems for your home, so you can keep your family safe from this invisible threat.
What Is a Radon Gas Mitigation System?
By now, you've probably realized how big of a threat radon gas can be and that a radon gas mitigation system is a must in any home. But what, exactly, is a radon gas mitigation system?
A radon gas mitigation system is designed to remove radon gas from your home and keep it at safe levels. Technically it won't remove the radon from your indoor. Technically it extracts the radon from the ground, which results in a significant decrease in indoor radon concentrations since radon comes from the ground.
There are a few different types of systems, but they all work to achieve the same goal: reduce the amount of radon gas in your home. There are different types of systems because there are different methods one can use to mitigate radon.
Radon gas mitigation systems work by either drawing air from your home and venting it outside, sealing radon out from your home, or by extracting the radon from the source, AKA the ground. This process helps to keep the levels of radon gas in your home at a safe level, so you and your family can breathe easy.
The Best Radon Gas Mitigation Systems for Your Home
Now that you know a little bit more about radon gas mitigation systems, let's take a look at the best ones for your home.
Active Sub-slab Depressurization (ASSD)
Active sub-slab depressurization is one of the most effective radon gas mitigation systems on the market. Also known as sub-slab depressurization, this system works by drawing air from beneath your home's foundation and venting it to the outside.
This system is most effective in homes with a poured concrete foundation. Even if the basement is completely finished, ASSD will still work effectively.
One or multiple suction pipes are installed in the basement after coring a hole through the concrete slab. They are then connected to a radon fan that draws air from beneath the foundation before venting to the outside. This process helps to keep the levels of radon gas in your home at a safe level.
ASSD systems are extremely effective - the most effective type of system that exists currently. Regarding the cost, when comparing it to a furnace or HRV, it is significantly cheaper.
Passive Sub-Slab Depressurization (PSD)
Passive sub-slab depressurization is similar to ASSD, but doesn't require a vent fan. Instead, this system relies on the natural pressure differential between the indoor and outdoor air to draw air from beneath the foundation and vent it to the outside.
PSSD systems are associated with radon-resistant construction techniques, which are designed to prevent radon gas from entering your home in the first place. These construction techniques can be used in new construction settings or during a home renovation.
PSSD systems are effective, though not as effective as ASSD systems. They're also less expensive to install and require very little to no maintenance.
Soil suction is a type of radon gas mitigation system that's typically used in homes with crawlspaces. This system works by drawing air from the crawlspace and venting it outside.
One or multiple suction pipes are installed in the crawlspace and are connected to a radon vent fan that draws air from the crawlspace and vents it to the outside. This process helps to keep the levels of radon gas in your home at a safe level.
Soil suction systems have proven to be very effective at reducing radon levels in homes, especially when they are combined with a membrane sealed overtop of the soil and/or rock. They can be trickier to install compared to an ASSD system.
Block Wall Suction
Block wall suction is similar to soil suction, but it's typically used in homes with block walls instead of crawlspaces. This system works by drawing air from the spaces between the block wall and the foundation and venting it to the outside.
Basement homes that have hollow block foundation walls can benefit from this type of system. By utilizing a fan and ductwork, this system draws air from the block walls and then vents the radon gas to the outside, helping to keep the concentration levels of radon gas in your home below the guideline.
Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)
Older homes that don't have good ventilation can benefit from a heat recovery ventilation (HRV) system. This type of system helps to improve the air quality in your home by drawing fresh air in from outside while simultaneously exhausting stale indoor air to the outside.
HRV systems are typically used in homes that are built so air tight that they require a mechanical means of ventilation. These systems are also used as solutions in homes that have other indoor air quality issues, such as mold or radon.
As mentioned earlier, HRV systems work by drawing fresh air from the outside and exhausting stale, indoor air. The fresh air is drawn through a heat exchanger, which helps to cool or heat the air before it enters your home. This process helps to not only improve the air quality in your home, but it can also help to reduce your energy bills.
No one wants to be exposed to radon gas, but unfortunately it's presence in homes is a concern worth addressing.
Luckily, there are a variety of effective radon gas mitigation systems that can help to keep your family safe. The 5 systems described above are some of the most popular and effective systems on the market.
If you live in Ontario and you are someone in need of a radon mitigation system, contact Simon Air Quality. They would be happy to help you. They are C-NRPP certified with years of experience removing radon from buildings all over Ontario.