We get asked a lot if simply opening windows in the home can lower the radon levels to a safe and livable level. The answer to this question is a bit complicated, because yes, in some cases the home’s levels can be lowered temporarily by opening windows, but not only is this not a sustainable solution, it has the possibility of causing other issues as well. Let’s go over a few reasons to why opening windows is not the right solution to keeping you and your family safe from radon gas in the home.
Opening windows is not a sustainable solution:
If your home has an elevated level of radon gas, this means that radon gas is coming up from under your home from the soil and getting trapped under the slab. Once trapped, it seeps into the home in a multitude of ways due to the pressure differential between the house and the soil. Opening the windows does help bring fresh air in and circulate the radon gas out, however, once you inevitably have to close your windows during the night, or in the winter time, the constantly rising radon gas levels will build right back up into your home within a few hours. Additionally, it is not advised to constantly leave windows open to simply take care of one issue such as radon gas, because essentially you will be losing far more money in heating and cooling costs than you would by simply installing a proper radon mitigation system.
You will still be exposed to radon gas before it can escape through the windows.
As mentioned before, if your home tests high for radon gas, that means there is a decent amount of radon gas rising from the soil under your home. Opening windows can help ventilate radon out, however in that scenario, you are already letting the harmful gas inside before letting it slowly vent out. Radon mitigation systems pull the radon gas out before it even has a chance to enter the living space, so you won’t be breathing in elevated levels at all before it gets safely piped out.
Sometimes leaving the windows open can increase the radon level in the home.
In some cases, albeit more rare, leaving windows open in the home can create a negative pressure differential between the soil and the home that can actually draw more radon gas into the living space. Weather conditions, and which windows are actually left open all play big factors to whether the radon gas is being drawn out, or sucked in. The only reliable method of keeping your radon levels low whether the windows are open or not is radon mitigation.
In conclusion, leaving windows open can only act as a temporary solution to elevated radon levels before you can get a more permanent solution installed such as a proper radon mitigation system. If you have questions regarding radon, radon mitigation, or radon testing, give us a call any time! We are here to help.
Lifetime Radon Solutions
Brian S. Thompson