Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 20

Thread: Radon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    14

    Radon

    Any fellow HVAC professionals offering radon services? I just received my state certification today.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    568

    Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by TimVogt View Post
    Any fellow HVAC professionals offering radon services? I just received my state certification today.
    jeeeez that was big in the 80's then nothing, i guess it's making a come back!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    maroon lazyboy
    Posts
    1,044
    Quote Originally Posted by TimVogt View Post
    Any fellow HVAC professionals offering radon services? I just received my state certification today.
    We put in a few radon fans per year. Do you do the testing or sell them a kit?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    14
    My certification is for testing and mitigation. I decided to try it after hearing a neighbor's house tested high and testing my own. After my results showed high levels, I found out no one in the area offers the systems. The closest mitigator is 35 miles away.

    I currently rent two continous monitors.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    4,329
    Quote Originally Posted by TimVogt View Post
    My certification is for testing and mitigation. I decided to try it after hearing a neighbor's house tested high and testing my own. After my results showed high levels, I found out no one in the area offers the systems. The closest mitigator is 35 miles away.

    I currently rent two continous monitors.
    Tell us more!
    Make your expertise uniquely valuable.

    Make your influence uniquely far-reaching.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    Tell us more!
    I hope there will be much to tell!

    It will take advertising to raise public awareness, but I feel it will be a needed service to provide. The EPA is discussing a plan to test/mitigate all government buildings and start a public awareness campaign.

    According to the EPA 21,000 people in the US die each year from radon caused lung cancer. I don't know how they determine this.

    Radon testing and mitigation seems to be a natural fit for HVAC pros.

    We will see.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,923
    Over here in Eastern PA, where the radon hype started when a TMI worker set off contamination alarms going "TO" work, the radon business has dropped off to nothing.

    If your house is not under a negative pressure and not sealed too tightly, radon won't come into the house because it is an heavier then air gas. We have to pull radon into the house, which is why testing can vary by massive amounts just from opening a door or window.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    14
    Roboteq,

    Not wanting to disagree, but this kind of thinking is why I never tested my house before. I built the house 20 years ago. It has what I thought to be a tight basement which has a make-up air duct. I did pressure tests a long time ago and believed it to be pressure-neutral to the outside. With exception of a center cut in the floor, there are no visible cracks and the block walls are painted. So I was completely surprised when I got the test results.

    The first of two tests was a charcoal canister bought from Home Depot. The results came back 7.9. Later testing with the continuous monitor showed a 48 hour average of 10.3. EPA says to mitigate over 4.0 and in Europe it is 2.8.

    The mitigation system dropped my number to 0.7.

    Though not certified until yesterday, I have had the monitors since the first of June and have been practicing on friends' and family members' homes. The results seem to be random and unpredictable. Soil type may be the only thing that would cause me to venture a guess before testing. Homes thought to be on gravel soil tested high while homes thought to be on clay soil tested low. But how do you know for sure what is under the house?

    I never heard the radon was heavier than air. I do know the homes I tested with central AC seemed to have higher levels on the first and second floors making me believe it easily moves around with air.

    After dealing with ozone depletion and man-made global warning which I think are fictitious, I was skeptical about this as well. The training and time spent playing with the monitors changed that. I will not try to scare anyone into testing their home, but will give information and provide the services.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Emerald Coast
    Posts
    933
    .
    Some regions are of more concern:

    http://www.radongas.com/radon_map.htm

    ..
    Do not attempt vast projects with
    half vast experience and ideas.
    ...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orange County NY
    Posts
    212
    Radon levels in a home change continuously according to wet or dry soil or freezing ground conditions, barometric pressure, indoor fan use, etc.
    I have Radon in my home and have been monitoring it for years electronically.
    I first installed a sub slab ventilation system to bring the level from 15 down to below 4. It worked fine until January when the short term level rose to above 10 and stayed there until spring when it dropped back down when the ground thawed. The level also rose again when it rained for several days.
    I then added a 200 cfm HRV to the basement. I can now keep the level below 2 most of the year, but in winter it creeps back up to 4. Frozen ground seems to be the largest contributor to the level rising in the basement.
    Radon as just about everything follows the path of least resistance and if the path of least resistance is through the foundation it will enter the home.

    My foundation is tarred block on the outside latex painted on the inside, all cracks and joints sealed.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,923
    Radon is one of the densest of gases on the periodic table. It is 8 times heavier then air, so it must be brought into the house from a negative pressure condition.

    This is why an HRV works so well. The more negative pressure sources, such as bathroom and kitchen fans, that are bringing in as much air as they are removing, the less negative pressure your house becomes.

    Along with an HRV/ERV, I recommend a 4" ducting from the outside to your return air ducting to maintain a nuetral pressure when the blower is not operating and a slightly positive pressure when it is. I also recommend ECM blowers utilizing the lowest possible speed for constant air to keep a continuous air exchange in the home and to keep the home at a constant, slight positive pressure. This will greatly increase all IAQ issues.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  12. #12
    Thanks all,

    i didn't know i was actually in a "high conc" zone

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    139
    I used to be in the radon business, but I got out. I could write a book on why, but the bottom line is that I didn't believe I was providing any value to my customers. I had a run-in with EPA at a school where they wrote a letter that was in direct opposition to their published material that scared the school and parents enough that they *removed* free-standing HEPA filtration systems in classrooms.

    The alleged death statistics are from models. One synopsis I read of the causes of lung cancer managed to account for as many as 117 deaths for every 100 people who died. I guess they counted some people multiple times.

    From the public summary of the BEIR VI report: "Perhaps one-third of the radon-attributed cases (about 4% of the total lung-cancer deaths) would be avoided if all homes had concentrations below the Environmental Protection Agency's action gudeline of [4 pCi/L]; of these, about 87% would be ever-smokers. It can be noted that the deaths from radon-attributable lung cancer in smokers could most efficiently be reduced through tobacco-control measures, in that most of the radon-related deaths among smokers would not have occurred if the victims had not smoked." (From Health Effect of Exposure to Radon BEIR VI page 19.

    So if I can save 1/3 of the people who allegedly die by spending billions nationwide, or I can save most of 87% by convincing people not to smoke (or accept their risk if they choose to do so), what should I do?

    According to CDC somewhere between 100,000 and 365,000 people die per year because of obesity. I can save them money on food, make them feel better, and add more years to their lives if I can convince them to eat better and exercise more.

    The number that allegedly die from the flu is 35,000 or so per year. While not a scientific study, we noticed that student sick days dropped by over 50% in a December to December comparison without the HEPA filtration in the classroom during the first December, compared to with it the second December (which was a year full of news reports of higher than average flu cases).

    The guy I studied under for my radon certification and the state's government guru (who must both be very concerned about lung cancer, right?) went out to have a cigarette together during breaks during training sessions I attended.

    EPA's risk model assumes that you are exposed to the level of radon in question for 18 hours per day for 70 years.

    Bernard Cohen did a study to see if the "linear no threshold (LNT)" model EPA uses was valid. He concluded that it was not. In fact, he found that across the country counties that had above average radon levels had below average lung cancer deaths. Google radon and hormesis for some interesting ideas. Dr. Cohen did not claim any proof that radon was good for you, he simply concluded that the LNT model was invalid.

    Ultimately, after a lot of research, I decided that I was doing virtually no good for my customers.

    I am getting ready to install and ERV in my home with the exhaust coming from the bathrooms and the supply going into the living and/or sleeping quarters of my home. My intent is to balance it so that I maintain a very slight positive pressure in my home. I will lower CO2 levels without as large an energy penalty and prevent soil gases of any kind from entering my home. Anything that does sneak in will be diluted. I personally am convinced that this will do far more for my health and comfort than any traditional radon mitigation system.

    See what I mean about a book? And I left a butt-load of stuff I'd like to say out...

    An Ex-Radon Guy

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event