A lot of people wonder if air purifiers help with radon gas. And, if they do help, how do air purifiers help with radon? Air purifiers do help with radon and they can do so because they use something called activated carbon.
Ok, so what’s activated carbon?
Activated carbon is a cool little substance that’s the product of specially treated charcoal.
Yes, that dirty black stuff that you see left over from a night of s’more making can actually clean your air.
What Are the Dangers of Radon Gas?
Radon is a gas that you can’t see, smell, or even perceive. The only way you can actually check for it is if you have special equipment or test kits for it (more on those later).
Odds are you’re thinking that it must not be that bad–if you can’t notice it, then what’s the big deal?
Well, in that respect, radon gas is a bit like germs. You can’t see them, but they can still kill you. The fact you can’t see or smell radon is one of the things that makes it extra dangerous.
Radon gas is something that will kill you if you are exposed to increased levels of it over a long period of time (i.e. you live in a home with a radon issue). The EPA has done quite a few studies on the radioactive, toxic gas and have made quite a few discoveries about it. Many of these discoveries are quite scary.
Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US with smoking taking first place. As such, it’s a big issue that you should consider.
How Do Air Purifiers Help With Radon Gas?
As we previously mentioned, air purifiers use something called activated carbon to absorb the radon out of the air in your home.
How Does Charcoal Absorb Radon From the Air?
Charcoal is super absorbent, believe it or not! It’s so absorbent that it absorbs gasses like radon right out of the air.
Charcoal in the form of activated carbon filters are common in many air purifiers nowadays. In fact, most worthwhile air purifiers will come with these filters simply because they are so helpful.
Activated carbon is super effective at removing odors from the air, dangerous compounds called VOCs, and even radon gas.
There are lots of substances on Earth that are seen as being very absorbent and prone to link/bind itself to other things. Activated carbon is one of these compounds and that’s what makes it so good at capturing radon. This is how air purifiers help with radon, they use activated carbon and let it do exactly what it’s good at.
If you’d like to learn more about how activated carbon works in air purifiers, we’ve got an article for you to learn all about it. If you’re curious about the other types of filters, you can learn a bit about each kind as well.
Does a HEPA Filters Remove Radon Gas?
If you’d heard of a HEPA filter you might be wondering if HEPA filters help with radon gas.
After all, almost all of the air purifiers you see that help with radon have HEPA filters. What’s the point in including them if they don’t help with radon?
Well, we have to burst your bubble, but HEPA filters do not help with radon gas. They’re designed to capture solids and radon is a gas, not a solid. Air purifiers help with radon because of their carbon filters, not their HEPA filters.
So, what’s the point of the HEPA filter?
HEPA filters are a part of many air purifiers because they are so good at cleaning the air of unwanted allergens, some odors, and a lot more. Since air purifiers usually have these filters, or another kind of main filter that strains out solid particulates, it isn’t a surprise that air purifiers for radon will still have them.
And, if you think about it, it makes sense to have an air purifier to help with radon that doesn’t just do that. That would be a bit wasteful. Think of the inclusion of a HEPA filter as an effort from the manufacturer to ensure that you get the most bang out of your hard-earned dollar.
Why just have a machine that takes care of toxic gasses when you can have one that takes care of dust, allergens, and in some cases, even things like mold spores and germs!
If you’re in the market for an air purifier that does it all, then this has got to be the best one out there.
What do we mean by everything? This air purifier helps with radon, mold, germs, allergens, dust, pet hair, and even more still!
If that sounds like a score to you, then you can check out this machine here.
What’s the Number One Best Way to Deal with Radon in My Home?
The best way to deal with radon problems in your home is to mitigate the amount of radon that gets into it. Air purifiers help with radon, sure, but they should never be your first course of action. Mitigation should be.
But what’s mitigation?
Mitigation is the process in which either you, or a professional, work to limit the amount of radon that enters your home. Generally, most of this work is done in your basement or crawlspace as that’s where the radon gas enters your home.
Now that you know a bit about radon mitigation you’re probably wondering where you can start. If that’s what you’re thinking, then good for you, you go-getter!
Mitigation is actually a lot easier than you might think. No, it isn’t always easy, but it sure can be. To be certain of your home’s safety, you may want to consult professionals, but if you’re interested in doing it by yourself, you can save a ton of money.
One of the first steps in radon mitigation is testing your home’s air for radon. There’s a chance you don’t need to do anything at all because not everyone has a radon issue. While air purifiers help with radon when radon is present, they can’t help a problem that doesn’t exist!
Testing you home’s air for radon is probably one of the easiest steps in the mitigation efforts you will make. Why? Well, they don’t take a lot of work.
All you usually have to do is put a test kit somewhere (usually your basement) and leave it there. Or, if you’d like to have more data to deal with than just a quick test that you have to ship out and wait for the results for, you can purchase a radon detector of your own!
Radon test kits are easy to use! This kit that we recommend at AirPurifierEssentials is a particularly good one and it’s super affordable too!
While it may be preferred that you test in the winter when radon is the worst, you can test it whenever. If you have a super serious radon problem, then odds are you’ll see the problem all year.
Order the test kit here.
Radon detectors can be a lot harder to use, but Airthings’ radon sensor is super easy to use!
If you’d like to pick up a radon detector that you can keep instead of a cheaper one-time test kit, then there aren’t many as good as this one!
Order it here!
Whatever you end up choosing, just know that air purifiers that help with radon probably aren’t going to be your solve-all, mitigation will likely be a major part of that.
Once you get the results of your radon testing you will be able to see if you need to take further steps in radon mitigation. Perhaps you won’t need an air purifier’s help with radon but you’ll buy one anyway because of an air purifier’s other benefits. Maybe you’ll hire out some professionals. Or, you might opt to install a basement fan for radon on your own.
If you’re interested in doing it on your own, then we’ve got a basement fan for radon that we recommend. This unit is one of the more affordable units out there and it’s pretty easy to set up. In fact, you won’t even need to hire an electrician (most likely) because it plugs right into a power outlet! No need to hire someone to wire it in.
While you may need an extension cord to reach the nearest open socket, this unit will still be a lot easier to install then the alternatives. Air flow is key to pull radon out of your basement before it gets into your home, fans like this give you that air flow.
If you’re ready to buy a basement fan for radon, you can order this one here.
Is Radon Worse in the Summer or Winter?
You might be wondering when air purifiers help with radon the most. What season are they the most effective at it?
To answer this, we’ll have to briefly gloss over some interesting radon science facts. For starters, radon is usually worse in the winter months when you’re cooped up inside.
Conveniently, all that extra time inside means you’re being exposed to even more radon than you would be if you were able to go outside and breathe in all that clean air.
An air purifier, alongside proper radon mitigation, can help to limit the amount of radon you are exposed to in these troublesome months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Does Radon Come From?
Radon comes from the ground and it is the result of radioactive elements breaking down. It is a radioactive gas and, since it’s a gas, it rises up out of the ground and can enter your home from the ground it is built on!
Where Should I Put My Radon Tester?
Radon test kits and radon detectors should be placed where radon is the worst. More often than not, this will be in your basement. Be careful though, these things don’t like moisture, so make sure they don’t get wet!
Is Radon an Issue Where I Live?
The EPA states that about 1 in every 15 homes in the US suffer from heightened levels of radon according to this study. Some areas have is worse, (where we are writing from it’s 1 in 4!) and other places don’t have as many radon issues. You will have to test your own home’s air to see if it’s a problem.