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Having an energy efficient home sounds great. Who doesn’t like saving money? This is especially true when keeping the “paid air” inside. However, a new study has shown that energy efficiency not only traps the air, but also radon. Radon gas exposure leads to a higher risk of lung cancer.

Often, homeowners take energy efficiency measures to reduce air exchange. They do things like put draft strips along doorframes and installing weather stripping on windows. The tighter a home becomes, the less air flow there is throughout. When there is not enough air flow, radon becomes trapped. The study shows that when energy efficiency is done with no ventilation, radon levels increase by an average of more than 50%.

This is concerning because an increase in radon levels may mean a home has hit the EPAs radon action level. Without a proper radon mitigation system, families can be at an increased risk for exposure. Based on the numbers of the study, that would mean almost 6,000 of the 21,000 radon related deaths each year could be caused by energy efficiency.

The good news is that the homeowners can still take energy efficiency measures in their homes and reduce their risk to radon gas exposure. Installing purposeful ventilation methods will help keep radon levels at bay.

The best way to protect your family when taking energy efficiency steps is to test your home. You should test both before and after installing any energy efficiency retrofits. If you are above the radon action level, contact a licensed radon mitigation professional to install a mitigation system into your home.

While everyone wants an energy efficient home, it is important to take steps to ensure the safety of your family. What energy efficiency measures have you taken in your home? Could they be contributing to higher levels of radon?

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