Does a HEPA Filter Help With Radon? | Can a HEPA Filter Remove Radon from My Home’s Air?





Homes are constantly being built on top of places where radon comes up out of the ground
Homes are constantly being built on top of places where radon comes up out of the ground

HEPA filters cannot help you in your fight against radon gas in your home. Unfortunately, HEPA filters aren’t made to deal with gasses, they can only capture particles is are solids. While radon might get stuck to some of the particles that your HEPA filter captures, the filter itself can’t capture the radon indefinitely.

What Kind of Air Purifier Filter Can Reduce the Amount of Radon Gas in My Home?

But, that isn’t the end of the story, why? Well, as it turns out, air purifiers actually can still help you with your radon issues. Those air purifiers just need to have something called an “activated carbon filter”. These filters are also called activated charcoal filters, the names are used interchangeably with air purifiers.

Activated carbon filters, unlike HEPA filters, are designed to filter gasses out of the air. Basically, what the HEPA filter misses, the activated carbon filter will most likely catch. These filters are like peanut butter and jelly–they’re made for one another.

HEPA Filter with Activated Carbon from the Three Musketeers Air Purifier

In fact, there are a lot of filters nowadays that are actually a hybrid of an activated carbon filter and a HEPA filter! Here’s a picture of one of them that’s in an air purifier I have in my bedroom.

Activated carbon is also really good at capturing bad smells, smoke, VOCs, and as I said a bit ago, radon too.

I think activated carbon filters are really cool because they’re not just the byproduct of someone’s campfire. This stuff is actually meticulously manufactured and is treated with several different processes to make it even better at filtering the air. If you’d like to read up some more on how activated carbon filters work and what else they can do, you can check out my article on them here.

Now, I’m sure you want to know more about taking care of your radon gas issue though, so I’ll get back to that, since that’s what you looked for to get here!

Are Air Purifiers the Best Way to Reduce Radon in My Home?

Air purifiers are actually not the best way to deal with radon in your home, believe it or not! Something called “mitigation” is generally accepted as the best course of action when you’re dealing with a radon issue.

What’s radon mitigation?

Radon mitigation comes in many different forms, some of it can be sealing cracks in your concrete foundation, sealing up walls, and that sort of thing. Some of it can be (and usually is) installing something called a radon fan that is designed to push the radon gas out of your basement. Some people opt to install these fans on their own, while others hire professionals and let them do their thing.

These fans, unfortunately, are not always cheap. That being said, putting them in on your own will be a lot cheaper than hiring a professional to do it for you. Down the road, I might be making an article on installing radon fans on your own, but until then, I’ll let YouTube show you. Just look up something like “How to install a basement radon fan” and you’ll find dozens of videos for that.

If you choose to install your own basement fan, then this fan is the one that I’ve been recommending for a while now. This fan can be picked up on an air quality management store called Sylvane and is one of the cheapest ones that I’ve found so far that’s still worth buying.

You can order this fan from Sylvane here.

What Else Can I Do to Reduce the Amount of Radon in My Home’s Air?

If you’ve already gone through the hoops of getting a good radon mitigation system set up in your basement, then you’ve already done more than most people. If you’d like to do even more, then you can get an air purifier for radon.

Air purifiers for radon will have activated charcoal filters, as I’ve previously said. These air purifiers will filter the air in your home and the activated carbon will grab hold of any radon that’s in there, including anything that your radon mitigation misses.

I must point out, however, that one air purifier probably won’t take care of your whole home. Unfortunately, an air purifier’s area of impact only extends as far as the room that it’s in. But, that’s not something that’s too terrible, all it means is that you need to buy a couple of smaller air purifiers to take care of your home!

Before you think that this means that you need a dozen or so air purifiers, let me stop you.

If radon is your only concern, then you only need air purifiers on the first floor of your home. Radon comes into your home from the ground, not the sky. As such, you only have to build up your defense on your first floor!

Additionally, you probably won’t need an air purifier for your closet and pantry. Just your larger rooms and bedrooms usually need them. Why? Well, they cover the most floorspace and those are the rooms that you spend most of your time in.

And even then, odds are that you probably are just going overboard, if you’ve got a good radon mitigation setup already.

But, if you’re feeling paranoid about radon, I’ve got really good news for you…

How Can I Be Sure That Radon isn’t a Problem in My Home After I Get a Radon Mitigation System?

If you know how dangerous radon can be, then odds are that you’re going to be paranoid about it. You’ll think from time to time about how you could be getting killed by the air you’re breathing. After all, the CDC reports that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US.

Spooky, huh?

But, I have good news. (I have a lot of good news today, don’t I?)

You can actually buy something called a “radon detector” that will monitor your home’s air for the dangerous, radioactive gas.

A what now? What’s a radon detector?

Radon detectors are small devices that are commonly mounted on a wall in your home or basement. These devices have specialized sensors that check your home’s air for radon. Some of the better radon sensors also check for other potentially harmful pollutants as well.

The best air quality sensors for radon on the market today are probably made by AirThings. AirThings is a company that aims to make radon detectors as common in homes as smoke detectors.

The fact that over 5 times more people die from radon than they do fires shows how important AirThings’ mission is. (According to FEMA, 3,655 people died in fires in 2018. According to the EPA, about 20,000 died from radon-related lung cancer cases.)

Airthings Wave (2nd Gen) - Smart Radon Monitor

If you’d like to pick up a radon detector, you can do so by visiting AirThings’ site here. Use the code APE10-10OFF to get 10% off your purchase and to help me out with the affiliate commission!

AirThings offers quite a few different air quality sensors and each has its perk. All of them measure radon levels though, so that will not be a worry for you!

Now, if you use your radon detector and find that your home still has a heightened level of radon, despite all of your efforts, then it may be time to consult a professional. Odds are that just installing a radon mitigation system and getting a radon detector will be good enough to take care of the issue and to be certain that the air you’re breathing is safe, but there’s always a chance that things can go wrong.

Whatever you end up doing, I wish you the best of luck with it! Radon is no fun, so I hope you are all able to get rid of the stuff!

Want to read some more on radon? Check out some of the other articles that I wrote on this radioactive gas that afflicts about 1 in 15 homes in America!

What is the Best Air Purifier for Radon Gas?

Do Air Purifiers Help with Radon Gas? | What’s the Number 1 Best Way to Deal with Radon Gas in My Home?

What Air Purifier is the Best for Radon Gas? | The 3 Best Air Purifiers for Radon Gas

Or, if you’ve read enough on radon, feel free to check out one of these other articles.

What Does a Water Air Purifier Do? | The Surprising Benefits of Using Water as an Air Filter

Are Air Purifiers Worth Buying? 6 Things We Don’t Know We Breathe

What is a Water Based Air Purifier? | The Pros & Cons of Water Air Revitalizers

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Jonathon Silva

Jonathan Silva is our longtime Air Purifier Essentials author. He has been writing on air purification technologies for his entire professional career.

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