At Idaho Radon Services, we want to ensure Idahoans are educated about radon and empowered to take the steps needed to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

What is radon?

Radon is naturally produced radioactive gas. It is created when uranium in the ground breaks down, and you cannot see, smell, or taste it. While it’s not a significant danger outdoors, it can enter your home through cracks and openings in the foundation and cause damage to your health. As radon is inhaled over a prolonged period, it damages the DNA in lung tissue and causes cancer. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and an estimated 21,000 Americans die from radon-induced lung cancer annually.

When do I need to be concerned about radon?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and World Health Organization (WHO) have firm stances on when radon needs to be reduced in a home. To understand these, it’s important to have some basic information on how radon is measured and what levels are concerning. Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The outside air has an average of 0.4 pCi/L of radon gas. While there is no safe radon level, the outside air doesn’t pose a substantial risk; however, when radon gas gets concentrated in a home, the risk for lung cancer increases substantially. 

The EPA recommends “considering” having a radon mitigation system installed in your home if the radon level is 2.0 pCi/L or higher. The recommendation to “consider” mitigation at 2.0 pCi/L or higher is primarily based on how much time is spent in the lowest level of the home. For example, if you have children sleeping on the lowest floor, it would be wise to have your home mitigated. On the other hand, if the lowest level of your home is an unfinished basement that is rarely occupied, you may choose not to have your home mitigated. 

The EPA also strongly recommends mitigation if your home tests at 4.0 pCi/L. A home with 4.0 pCi/L has the equivalent lung cancer risk of smoking 8 cigarettes a day or having 200 x-rays per year. The WHO recommends mitigating at 2.7 pCi/L or higher. While the two have slightly different recommendations, they are united in their message to test for radon and reduce the levels as low as possible. 

After you receive your radon test results, the EPA and WHO’s action levels can help you determine if you need a mitigation system installed. If your home tests high, you should consider how high the level is compared to how much time is spent on the lowest level. If your test results are below 2.7 pCi/L and you don’t spend time on the lowest level, it’s less urgent than if a home is above 4.0 pCi/L and a child’s bedroom is on the lowest floor.
You can request a free radon test here. If your home tests high, our team can talk you through your options for mitigation.

National Radon Action Month is when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raises awareness for radon exposure and radon-induced illness. Our team at Idaho Radon Services is here with three steps to take this month to help reduce radon-induced lung cancer deaths.

Step 1: Test your home for radon

Testing your home is simple and free! If you haven’t tested your home for radon within the last two years, click here to request a free test. Results will be emailed to you quickly, and if your home tests high, we can walk you through the mitigation process.

Step 2: Encourage a loved one to test for radon

Protecting a loved one from radon-induced lung cancer can be as simple as one post on social media. We’ve made it easy for you—simply copy and paste the message below and post it on your social media account of choice!

Did you know that 21,000 Americans die annually from radon-induced lung cancer? Radon can’t be detected in our homes by our senses alone, so if you haven’t tested your home in the last two years, there’s no better time to do so! To get a free test, go to idahoradonservices.com/radon-test 

Step 3: Set a reminder for your next radon test

Once you complete a radon test, or if you’ve tested within the last year or so, create a calendar event on your phone to remind you to test again two years after your last test. This is the recommended timeline by the U.S. Surgeon General, EPA, and Idaho Radon Services. If your last test was conducted in the summer, complete your next test in the winter (and vice versa). So take advantage of "National Radon Action Month" in the month of January.

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".

Many people think that if your home tests low for radon, it will always have a low radon level. Unfortunately, that’s not always true because radon levels can fluctuate over time.

Two in five Idaho homes tested for radon have high levels, and many people don’t know their levels have reached dangerous levels because radon can’t be detected with our senses alone. Over 21,000 people die each year from radon-induced lung cancer, and at Idaho Radon Services, we want to make sure you stay healthy.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Surgeon General guidance

From seasonality to structure changes in a home, many factors can impact why a radon level may rise or fall. Because of this, the EPA and former U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona recommend that homes be tested for radon every two years.

What do I do if my radon test results are high?

If your home tests high for radon, you should install a radon mitigation system. Depending on how high your home tests, a system may be more or less urgent. Once radon reaches 2.0 pCi/L, many leading health organizations recommend considering mitigation, and our team strongly recommends mitigation for anyone whose home tests at 2.7 pCi/L or higher. No matter what threshold you feel most comfortable with, your goal should always be to reduce radon levels as low as possible.

To keep Idahoans safe, we offer one free radon test to every household within 120 miles of Boise. Click here to request yours today! 

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. 

Idaho, known for its sprawling landscapes and clean air, is also home to significant levels of uranium deposits. The state's diverse terrain, ranging from mountains to plains, holds various rocks and soils containing uranium, which can turn into dangerous radon gas.

While uranium is a naturally occurring element and a vital part of the Earth's crust, its presence raises environmental concerns for Idahoans. The potential for uranium to leach into the environment, affecting soil, water, and vegetation, is a focal point of concern. This is because uranium decays into radioactive radon gas - the #1 cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and the #2 cause for smokers.  

When uranium decays, radon gas is released, which rises. Outdoors it isn’t a health concern, but when it rises into homes and gets trapped inside, it can cause significant health risks.

Many people think uranium only exists in mines and mountains in Idaho, but it also exists in the soil our homes are built on and that we walk on every day. Because we can’t detect it with our senses alone, many people don’t know they’ve been exposed in their homes until they have a life-changing diagnosis such as lung cancer.

At Idaho Radon Services, we want to protect Idahoans from radon exposure so no one has to experience the detrimental effects of lung cancer. Click here or call us a 208-225-8500 to get a free radon test today.

Radon, a silent and invisible threat, has significant health implications, especially in states like Idaho where elevated radon levels are common. In this article, we will delve into the health risks associated with radon exposure and the specific challenges faced by Idaho residents.

Radon gas is created when uranium decays into radioactive particles that, when inhaled, can damage lung tissue and increase the risk of developing lung cancer. The danger is compounded for smokers, as the combined effects of radon exposure and smoking dramatically increase the risk. In fact, smokers have 9x’s the risk of developing lung cancer from radon. 

While lung cancer is one of the most dangerous effects of radon exposure, radon has also been linked to emphysema and childhood leukemia. Idaho residents, particularly those living in areas with high radon concentrations like the Boise area, need to be aware of these potential health impacts to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Symptoms of radon exposure are not immediately apparent, so regular radon testing is crucial for early detection and mitigation.

Click here to request a free radon test for your home. If your home tests high, we are also happy to provide a free, no-obligation bid for a mitigation system.

When buying a home, many underestimate the potential risk of radon indoors. Check out this radon guide for Idaho homeowners.

Radon is a radioactive gas that is created from uranium that decays in the soil. The gas rises and gets trapped indoors, and when high levels are inhaled over a prolonged period of time, it can cause lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and causes roughly 21,000 deaths per year.

Radon in Idaho

Two in five Idaho homes test high/dangerous for radon, and your home could be one of them. No matter the age or size of the home, radon poses a risk if it’s present at high levels. 

Radon safety precautions

If you’re buying a new home, you should have it tested for radon before you sign on the dotted line. Buyers can request a free radon test here or realtors can request a test during the due diligence process. If the home tests high for radon, you don’t have to back out, but you should install an active radon mitigation system to remove the radon from the home.

If you are building a new home, we can also install a passive system during construction to protect your home from day one. Radon guide for Idaho homeowners.

Additional questions? Call us at 208-225-8500.

Has your home recently tested high for radon? It’s important to install a radon mitigation system to lower your levels and reduce your risk of developing diseases such as lung cancer. Installing a system is generally straightforward and can be done within a few hours, and close to 100% of homes find success with a permanent radon system. 

Radon mitigation systems create a vacuum that pulls radon out from under the home and vents it above the roof in a process called active soil depressurization (ASD). Systems run in your home 24/7, require little maintenance, and only cost a few dollars per month on your electricity bill.

Types of radon systems

We install both internal and external radon systems, and no matter which you choose, we will do our best to hide it out of sight.

Exterior radon systems

Exterior systems begin indoors on the bottom level of your home and are diverted outside to travel up the side of the building. A fan is installed outside as low to the ground as possible. The piping then extends up the home and can be painted to match the exterior, too!

exterior radon system

Interior radon systems

Interior systems also begin on the lowest level of the building, often in a closet, mechanical room, or other hidden area. If the home has an attached garage, we can often run the pipe up through the garage and out to the top of the roof to vent out the gas.

interior radon system

Radon mitigation system parts

Radon systems consist of pipes, a fan, a switch, and a manometer. Below, we’ll discuss each component and how it fits into the entire installation process.

Radon system location

The first step during installation is to find the best location in your home for the system so it is functional, but as hidden as possible.

Drilling

Next, a hole is drilled on the lowest floor of the home to install pipes. Roughly 15 gallons of material below the concrete are removed to help the fan pull radon out of the soil.

radon system drilled hole

Piping

Depending on how big your home’s slab is, how much piping is needed, and what kind of material is under the slab, we’ll install either a 3- or 4-inch PVC pipe.

radon system pvc connector

Fan installation

After piping is complete, a radon fan is installed to actively suck radon out from under the building. Fans usually last at least ten years with little maintenance.

Fans also include a switch to be able to turn the fan off and on. However, it’s important to remember that fans should run at all times to actively remove radon.

Manometer installation

Finally, an airflow gauge called a manometer is attached to the system. Manometers have a tube on the front with liquid inside that indicates if the system is running correctly. The higher the reading on your gauge, the more suction the system has. On the contrary, if the liquid is even, this means the fan may not be running or something else is wrong with the system. You should check that the fan is on and receiving power, and if it is, contact your installer to check on your system.

radon system manometer

After installation

It’s important to retest your home for radon at least two days after the system is installed to ensure the system is removing radon from your home. Once your home is in the clear, you should retest every two years per the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. Additionally, you should check your manometer monthly. 

There you have it! While some cases may vary, you can rest assured that the installation process will likely not deviate significantly from the steps above. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to call our team at Idaho Radon Services at 208-225-8500. We’d love to help you!

Radon is a radioactive gas that you can't see, taste, or smell. Exposure to it is a serious health risk and the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Radon warning has been given.

Important groups like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are concerned about radon and have suggested actions to stay healthy, starting with testing your home for radon. Even more, in 2005, U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona joined their lead and issued a national radon warning.

According to Carmona, “…breathing [radon] over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”

Taking action: Testing for radon gas

Following the Surgeon General's radon warning is easy, and testing your home for radon is simple. If you in Idaho, we’ll send you a free test kit—all you need to do is fill out the form on this page. If your home tests high, we’ll also walk you through the steps to take to reduce radon levels in your home.

Still have questions? Give us a call at 208-225-8500.