Hello Home Energy Pros,

I'm looking for resources, articles, studies about how radon mitigation systems impact energy efficiency (electricity consumption from active systems, potential increases in air changes, changes to a HERS score, etc.).

If you know of a study or article based on good evidence and/or sound modeling, please paste a link in a reply.

Thanks!

Kevin Emerson
Utah Clean Energy

Tags: radon

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I have been finding more to support the idea that Radon is a tempest in a teapot.  

I found the following article and discussion interesting. 

The take away that I got from these is that mitigation is usually not necessary and is encouraged by an industry trying to justify itself. 

This first is a discussion by industry professionals:

http://homeenergypros.lbl.gov/forum/topics/radon-truth-vs-myth

This article is a scientific perspective:

http://www.forensic-applications.com/radon/radon.html

I have no links, just some anecdotal evidence. I ran several Blower Door Tests on my own home. So I know what the leakage was. After I tested for Radon, 10 pcl I thought about not mitigating. I also thought about mitigating just before the time of sale. I decided to spend some money now, instead of leaving it to my wife later to figure out. We have been here 30 years and have another 20 to go. My post test was 0 pcl.

I ran some blower door tests after I installed the system; with the fan going and without it going. The change in the Blower Door fan flow, with single point or multi-point testing, was not noticeable. It did not change the HERS Rating. The fan mentioned in one of the links below called 21 watts on the fan draw. Over a year that is less than 9 KWH. At 15¢, I can afford $1.35 annual. That will not change the HERS Index either.

If you read the RESNET/ICC/ ANSI Standard 380, it calls for the house to be set to winter conditions before running the blower door. Doors and windows shut. The Radon Fan will run in winter conditions. That should not impact the HERS Score either.

My observation is that Radon testing and mitigation is a fact of life at Real Estate Sales. The agents will recommend the test. They will push their buyer to have the seller remediate or walk away. I am aware of one house on the market for 2 years, because the owner will not allow the test to be run, much less remediate. Several large RE firms will not take her listing. This is a Zone II Radon area. Only 1 in 4 homes.

You may or may buy the science, when you decide to sell, you will test and then mitigate as needed. Or not sell and let your heirs handle the problem.

Hey John,

Thanks for the information.  Very good empirical data. While I agree that running the fan won't cost much or change the HERS score. I just question is it necessary in the first place.  I also just wonder if sellers and buyers are being held captive by Real Estate and Mitigation folks for monetary rather than health reasons.  

So, is it, that it doesn't matter if Radon really isn't that dangerous, But, if you want to sell, you do what we say. 

The Nay side is well represented with the links already posted.

I presented a neutral side, with the argument about time of sale issues.

The Yea side is well represented, but will not show up here, due to folks accepted the science the EPA and State Radon agencies have developed. The largest acceptors of that science are homeowner that pay for the mitigation systems.

Folks may pause before spending money to save money with energy efficiency improvements. They will pay money to improve comfort. They will pay money to remove a health hazard from their home.

Thank you Andrew, Ray, and John for sharing the information and links!

Kevin

It seems to me that a newly-constructed home with a proper vapor barrier installed below the slab would greatly help reduce radon infiltration into a home.   How has more modern construction practices, such as building code changes and energy efficiency codes, made a difference in radon infiltration into a home? 

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