With the unseasonably cool weather, we’ve been getting a lot of inquires about the best time to test for radon. There are some great test guidelines about the best time to test for radon. However, it’s important to note that if you are concerned your home has high levels of radon, the best time to test is NOW. There are a variety of reasons that your home may have higher levels of radon during certain times of the year.
Typically, your home will have the highest levels of radon during the heating season. This is because of what is known as the “stack effect”. During winter, the warm air in the house rises & escapes into the colder air outside. As the air escapes, the house has to replace it to equalize the pressure. It pulls the air through the soil it’s built upon, through cracks in concrete, sump pump pits, floor drains, crawl spaces, etc. This new air can contain radon gas.
When the ground freezes & snow covers it, it creates a blanket effect which can trap radon in the soil around the house. Since the radon cannot escape through the frozen ground, your home may be pulling in higher levels of radon around this time.
During warmer months, you tend to open more windows to bring fresh air in, creating ventilation. During the winter time, radon levels may be higher because the fresh air is not diluting the levels. However, because of the stack effect, opening windows during the winter months can create the opposite effect by pulling more radon into your home.
Again, if you are concerned about the radon level in your home, the best time to test for radon is now. You can always perform a test during the warmer weather & confirm the results by testing again during the winter months. If your levels do you come back high, the best way to reduce the levels is by having a radon mitigation system installed by a licensed radon professional.