Does Opening Windows Reduce Radon?

Building in balance over the dangerous radon gas - concept illustration

This is the most asked question as to whether opening windows can help reduce radon in the house. The answer to that is vague. It is yes and no. Yes, because in some cases opening the window will temporarily lower the radon levels. It can also be a no because opening your window might be a gateway in which radon enters your house. This article gives reasons why opening windows is not a sustainable solution.

What is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that exits in the air. Radon is a radioactive gas that results from the natural decay of uranium and it comes from the soil and rocks in the ground. Radon escapes from the soil and rocks, and it finds its way through the foundation and cracks in homes and buildings.

When inside, it gets trapped and it accumulates at high and dangerous levels. In addition, radon is found in water. If your home water supply comes from a well or an underground water source, then the radon levels are higher than water from a treatment plant. Radon in an outside environment does not affect anyone. However, inside a house is where the issue is because it can be harmful.

Why Opening Windows Is Not A Permanent Solution?

As mentioned before, radon is an odorless gas. Unlike other gases, it just does not disappear. The radon may escape after the window is opened. However, once you close the window, it is back. Opening your window is a temporary solution but when you close them, the radon will go back to its original levels. This is especially, during the winter and cold seasons where your windows are closed throughout the day. Opening your windows will improve proper air circulation and ventilation in your house but will not reduce the radon levels inside. It only allows you to buy time before calling a specialist to come to check your home.

In some cases, opening the windows might cause more harm than you thought. It can lead to a differential pressure between the home and the soil that can draw radon gas into the home space. This is because homes tend to have a low air pressure than the outside, hence drawing the radon gas. The gas might be originating from the soil under your home. So, opening the window might help remove the radon out, but at the same time, you are letting radon inside before letting it out.

How to Test and Get Rid Of Radon

Various professional home inspection companies can test radon. The test is done through a radon kit. It comes in two methods: short-term and long-term. The short term involves the radon machine in your home for two days and up to 90 days. The long-term runs for more than 90 days. If the results are over 4 picocuries per liter, then that is dangerous particularly if you smoke. Levels less than 4 are less risky, but that does not mean you do not need to remove the radon.

A permanent solution to get rid of radon is through radon mitigation. It is the process used to reduce radon gas concentration in buildings and breathing zones. You can install a radon-reduction system in your home, as it is also an effective way. Another method is getting a radon detector, which will alert you in case your home has any radon gas. Besides, you can hire a professional to come handle the situation. The professional will test to see what is the most effective solution and the cost of it. Moreover, remember to seal cracks, and install a ventilation system so that radon is not trapped indoors. You can hire a certified professional to do all this. These methods will help eliminate radon gas and reduce its levels in the house.

It is clear that opening windows is not an effective solution in reducing radon. It acts as a temporary solution until when one calls in a professional. It is best to get a permanent solution because if you do not get rid of radon, it will have adverse effects on you and your loved ones. High levels of radon cause health problems. It can be toxic with time if you breathe in a lot. In some cases, it causes lung cancer. For that reason, do not just open your windows. Make sure to get professional help. That way you will be able to keep yourself safe from radon gas.