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How Energy Upgrades Affect Radon Levels

How Energy Upgrades Affect Radon Levels - Image 1

How Energy Upgrades Affect Radon Levels

The rising cost of energy --in the form of electricity, natural gas, propane, gasoline, and fuel oil has many people paying attention to the fuel efficiency of their vehicles and the energy performance of their homes. Many so-called "green" upgrades from hybrid cars to new ENERGY STAR® appliances offer the dual benefits of lowering harmful greenhouse gas emissions and saving people money. Different state and Federal incentives for energy-saving improvements make these green investments even more attractive.

The Home Energy Audit

Throughout the country, many homeowners are having energy audits performed on their houses. Although all energy audits are not the same, most provide at least a snapshot of a home's energy profile and identify improvements that will help to reduce energy use and utility expenses.

Save Energy and Money

Most houses waste a significant amount of energy because they have too much air leakage and too little insulation. Many homeowners decide to invest in repairs once these defects are identified, saving hundreds of dollars per year. Sealing air leaks and upgrading insulation levels can cut heating and cooling expenses by as much as 30%.

Home Improvements Alter Radon Levels

The energy-saving strategies of sealing the house tight and insulating right can also impact the concentration of radioactive radon gas inside the house. With less air leaking into and out of a house, it's possible for radon, an invisible, odorless gas, to accumulate in higher, more hazardous levels.


Radon is emitted by soil and rocks, so it typically enters the house through the foundation. But like any gas or vapor, it responds to variations in temperature and air pressure, so it can easily make its way into living areas. The Department of Environmental Protection recommends that a radon abatement system be installed whenever radon concentration reaches 4 picocuries per liter.

Fortunately, radon mitigation contractors have effective, well-established techniques for removing radon-laden air from houses. But it's the responsibility of the homeowner to get the house tested and to arrange for radon abatement if necessary. All houses should be tested for radon, but it's especially important to test (or retest) radon levels if your house has had air-sealing and insulation upgrades.


Contact your local radon mitigation expert for more information about ways to lower the radon levels in your home.