Did you know that radon levels in your home can fluctuate? And one of the things that can make it change, is the weather. Homes located in cold environments can have significantly higher levels of radon in winter. Here in Utah, we are no exception to that. And most of us spend more time in our homes when its cold outside, which can put us at more risk.
Radon and cold weather
There are a few reasons that radon levels are higher during the winter months. The main one is the stack effect. Radon enters your home through the foundation but it is pulled in there through a stack effect. And in winter this is higher because the warm air in the house rises and escapes to the colder air outside. Your home then pulls in new air – including air through the foundation, construction joints, etc. These areas often have contact with soil and may contain radon gas.
Another reason for higher radon levels is the snow and ice. These can create a blanket effect that traps radon in the soil around the house. Since it cannot escape around the house, it may be going into the house.
Closed house conditions is another factor in higher radon levels. Air is trapped within the house more and doesn’t have the chance to flow out. However, don’t open the window to try and help. Because of the cold air, it can increase that stack effect and pull in even more radon.
Why is this important to know?
Many people say they tested their home and had low levels so they never need to worry about it again. Well radon levels in homes can change – it is recommended that you retest your home every few years. Also, if you tested your home in the summer and had a level of 3.6 pCi/L, there is a good chance that it will now be OVER the recommended safety level during the winter.
If you have tested your home in the summer months or if it has been awhile, consider testing your home again now. Remember that if high radon levels are found, a mitigation system can be installed quickly and affordably, even during the winter months.
Fill out the form on this page to request a free radon test kit today.