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Does Opening Windows Reduce Radon Levels?

High radon levels in your home can be dangerous for your family, so your first instinct will be to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Can you do this by opening windows? The short answer is No, but read on to find out why, and what you should do instead.

On learning that your house may contain harmful levels of radon gas, many people’s reaction is to open all the windows to ventilate and “let it out”, much like you might do if you’ve burnt your toast and want to get rid of the smell.

Unfortunately, as there is a constant source of radon in the ground beneath a building, opening windows is not a reliable way of reducing radon levels long term and in some instances, may actually make the problem worse!

Radon is drawn into buildings from the ground due to the air pressure difference between the ground, the outside air and the building. The building typically acts as a vacuum due to its lower pressure and ‘sucks’ gas in from the ground. This is called the stack effect. The greater this pressure difference is, the faster the rate at which radon can be drawn inside.

Opening windows can help dilute radon levels within a building in the short term to some degree, however as soon as the windows are closed, indoor concentrations will quickly accumulate to the levels they were previously. It is unlikely to be practical to leave windows open 24/7 for security and climate reasons. You should also consider that indoor radon levels are highest during the winter, which is the time we’re least likely to want to leave our windows open.

Radon Warning

Worse, you can actually increase your radon levels if you open the wrong windows.  Opening first floor windows and leaving ground floor windows closed will increase the stack effect and draw more radon into the building.

So What Can You Do To Lower Radon Concentrations?

To reliably reduce radon concentrations within a building a well-designed and constantly running radon mitigation system is required. propertECO can design and install effective radon mitigation systems including radon sumps and radon PIV systems.

Find answers to many more frequently asked questions about radon here, or if your question isn’t listed please contact us and we’d be pleased to answer it for you.

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