You might have heard of radon and just how dangerous it can be. Radon is something to be concerned about all year long, but you may want to pay special attention to this potential issue during the winter months. This guide will help you understand a little more about how radon can impact you and your family during the winter and what you can do about it.
How Cold Weather Can Affect Radon Levels in the Home
Radon levels can fluctuate in the home during different times of the year. You may find that radon levels are highest in your home during the winter months. These are some of the reasons that this is true:
- Ventilation helps with reducing radon levels in the home. If you keep your windows open during the summer to allow a nice breeze to flow into your home, you could be mitigating radon levels without even realizing it. During the winter, though, many homeowners keep their windows closed because of the cold temperatures, which can cause radon levels to rise.
- During the winter months, your area might be affected by a lot of rain, snow and ice. All of this added moisture can saturate and even freeze the soil. If this happens, radon cannot naturally flow into the atmosphere. The radon can then be redirected into your home in higher concentrations than usual.
- Warm air can escape from your home during the winter through cracks and imperfections in the home. A stack effect can occur, allowing radon into your home. This can be a particularly common issue during the winter, when you are running your home heating system.
Because of these factors, there is a possibility that radon could be an issue in your home during the winter, even if you have never had to worry about dangerous levels of radon in the past.
Why You Should Perform a Radon Check During the Winter
Radon testing should be done in the home twice a year. If you have not had your home tested for radon lately, now is the time to do it. Although you can test your home’s radon levels at any time during the year, you will probably want to perform at least one of your twice-a-year tests during the winter months.
You can purchase an at-home test and perform radon testing on your own. Make sure that you buy a reliable test from a reputable supplier. Follow the instructions on the test carefully for accurate results. You can make things easier for yourself and can ensure that you get accurate results by opting for professional radon testing. Plus, if your test shows that the radon levels in your home are dangerous, the same professional who performs your testing can talk to you about your mitigation options.
How to Protect Your Home and Family from Radon
Of course, it is important to do what you can to protect your family from the dangers of radon during the winter and all year long. These are a few effective steps that can help, and a radon mitigation professional can talk to you about options that are tailored for your family and home.
- Seal up your home. Radon can enter your home through cracks and holes around your foundation. One good trick is to seal up these cracks with caulk and other similar products. This is probably something that you can do yourself on a weekend afternoon, or you can hire a handyman to help you. Along with helping to prevent radon in the home this winter, this can also help you heat your home more efficiently and effectively. It’s a cheap fix that can help you lower your heating bills and protect your home from moisture-related damage, all while helping prevent a radon issue.
- Think about radon when building your home. If you are in the process of building a home, think about the dangers of radon. You will probably find that it is significantly cheaper and easier to install a radon mitigation system during the building process rather than later. If you have not already talked to your building contractor about the dangers of radon and the systems that can help you mitigate it, you should do so as soon as possible.
- Use your ceiling fans. You might typically think about using your ceiling fans during the summer months, when the air can help you avoid running your air conditioner and help keep your family cool. However, adding ventilation to your home can help as a temporary radon mitigation option. During the winter, make sure that your ceiling fans are set to turn clockwise. Along with helping with radon levels in the home, this can help you circulate warm air better in your home, which can actually help your heating system work more effectively.
- Avoid smoking in your home. If you are a smoker, you might find yourself tempted to light up in the house. This can be particularly tempting when temperatures are below freezing outside. However, smoking in the home can actually cause an increased risk of lung cancer if there is also any level of radon in the home. It is always best to smoke outdoors or to abstain from smoking completely.
- Install a radon mitigation system. If your home does not already have a radon mitigation system, you’ll be happy to know that there are various radon mitigation options for you to consider. An interior system, which consists of a pipe that will run from your garage or basement to a radon fan that will be installed in your attic, is a popular choice. There are also exterior options that you can look into.
Radon is a serious concern, particularly during the winter months, so being proactive is essential. At Radon Systems of Connecticut, we are committed to helping homeowners keep themselves and their families safe from the dangers of radon. Contact us today for professional radon testing or to learn more about radon mitigation systems.