Radon is a radioactive gas that causes 21,000 deaths per year, and many Idahoans don’t know that they are exposed to radon until it’s too late. While radon is dangerous and life-threatening, by staying informed with important facts about radon you can protect yourself and your loved ones. 

We’re here to help you understand three important facts about radon so you can get ahead of any potential radon exposure.

1. Radon can’t be detected by your senses

Similar to carbon monoxide, radon can’t be tasted, smelled, or seen, which makes it particularly dangerous. The only way to know if your home has high radon levels is to perform a radon test. Per the U.S. Surgeon General, you should perform a radon test every two years. These tests are simple—and you can get a free test on us here

2. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers

When radon is breathed in over a prolonged period of time, it changes the DNA in your lungs and can lead to cancer. Radon causes 21,000 deaths annually because it is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the number two cause in smokers. Even more, if you smoke and are exposed to radon over a long period of time, your risk is compounded. Due to this risk, it’s important to keep up on your radon testing schedule.

3. Radon levels fluctuate throughout the year

Radon levels are higher in the winter and lower in the summer, which is why it is important to alternate the seasons you test in. Due to snow, air pressure, and other factors, radon is able to concentrate more in colder months, which is also when people are spending more time inside. If you have only ever tested your home in the summer, make sure to perform your next test in the winter.

To receive a free radon test from Idaho Radon Services, click here.

Did you know radon levels fluctuate throughout the year? Keep reading to learn what you can do as radon levels increase in winter in Idaho.

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that rises from the ground when uranium decays. When it rises outdoors, it’s not much of a risk to those who breathe it in. However, when it rises indoors, concentrates, and is breathed in over a long period, it can cause lung cancer.

Why radon levels increase in the winter

During winter, the snow-capped ground reduces the amount of radon that can rise outside, leading to more radon rising indoors. Additionally, because the air is cold outside, most people shut their windows and doors, allowing less radon to escape the home. Finally, as warm air rises inside, a vacuum is created that pulls more radon out of the ground and inside the home.

What to do about winter radon levels

If you have only ever tested your home for radon in the summer, your next radon test should be completed in the winter. If you have never tested your home for radon, there’s no time like the present! Click here to request a free radon test from Idaho Radon Services. If your home tests high for radon, we can walk you through the process to have your home mitigated. And bookmark this article "Radon levels increase in winter in Idaho".

In the cold winter months, many Idahoans spend more time indoors to avoid the elements. Unfortunately, radon levels also surge indoors during the winter months, and Idaho residents need to make sure they are taking precautions to stay safe and healthy.

Why radon increases in the winter

When the ground freezes over, less radon can rise outside, and it therefore rises in higher concentrations indoors. Additionally, because the warmth in homes rises, it creates a phenomenon called “the stack effect” that pulls more air from the soil and into the home to equalize air. As if that wasn’t enough, to keep the chilly air outside, windows and doors stay shut tight, and the stack effect can increase even more. 

How to reduce radon in your home

It’s not uncommon for Idaho winters to last 5–6 months, which means there’s a significant amount of the year where radon exposure can increase. The most important thing you can do for the health of you and your loved ones is to test your home for radon. Our team at Idaho Radon Services offers a free test to all Idaho residents within 120 miles of Boise. All you need to do is fill out the form on this page! If your home tests high, we recommend installing a radon mitigation system to lower your home’s radon levels, and our team is happy to provide you with a free estimate.