Can Ceiling Fans Reduce Radon?

What is Radon Gas?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas released from the ground. When trapped inside a home and routinely inhaled by residents, this radioactive gas can lead to lung cancer. Radon impacts the cells of the lungs with radiation that can lead to cancer and the chances are increased for people who smoke. The United States Surgeon General has stated that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets a recommended average level as the maximum amount of radon a house should have. HUD and FHA have regulations about the warning that must be issued to prospective home buyers and mortgage customers when they are considering purchasing a home.

Radon can not be seen, smelled or tasted so homeowners have to test for it in order to know if the gas is present or not. It is the decaying process of the radon that creates the harmful particles. Alpha particles are the largest and can cause lung damage when inhaled. Further breakdown creates unattached radon particles known as radon daughters. These radon daughters release a charge in the lungs that can be harmful and cause cancer when inhaled over a period of time. The releasing of the charge is known as “plate-out.”

Ceiling Fan Use to Reduce Radon

Once a high radon level has been detected in a home, there are many suggestions for both professionally installed and homeowner installed solutions to reducing radon gas. One of the most effective systems for reducing the concentration of radon gas is a ceiling fan. These can generally be installed by the homeowner which will reduce the cost of lowering radon levels. The fan mixes the air so that the radon is moved closer to walls and furniture where it attaches and is no longer part of the breathable air. The radon daughters are not able to “plate-out” or release the charge because they have attached to other surfaces and are no longer floating in the air to be inhaled. Specifically, a Casablanca type ceiling fan can reduce radon up to ninety-five percent. These fans are often paired with a positive ion generator. The fan should be left on at all times and placed in the middle of the room. It should be large enough to keep the air moving. To reduce radon gas by eighty percent some homeowners opt for a fan with an ion generator. For a fifty-percent reduction of radon gas, a ceiling fan can be used alone without the positive ion generator.

Ceiling fans can be a fairly easy and cost-effective option to reduce the amount of radon in a home. Ceiling fans are not just helpful in reducing radon, but also help reduce the cost of cooling a home during the hot summer months. They keep the air circulating which prevents rooms from becoming stuffy. Ceiling fans also add to the decor of a home and are attractive as well as functional. Once your home has been tested for radon and high levels have been detected, consider installing a ceiling fan to effectively reduce the levels.

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