What Devices Consume the Most Energy in Your Home

The heating and air conditioning systems are responsible for over half the electricity and energy consumption in a house. Nevertheless, it goes without saying that with higher overall energy consumption, the cost of the monthly energy bill tends to increase. So, it is important that we talk about energy consuming home appliances.

Here, we will also tell you about the vampire appliances that continue to suck in electricity even when turned off. In addition, we will try to figure out how to save your electricity costs.

  1. Heaters

Your home heating system is the answer if you want to know about the biggest users of electricity in your home. In various reports of the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the United States Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, it is said that the highest percentage of energy consumption in the US households results from space heating. The percentage of energy consumption in residential buildings can further go up if there are unfixed insulation issues.

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  1. Water Heating Appliances

A distant second, water heating appliances are responsible for huge energy consumption in your house. According to Energy Saver, around 20% of any residential home’s energy consumption is done by water heaters. Many homeowners use water heaters for showering, dishwashing, laundry, and other purposes. However, to reduce the energy consumption of water heaters, you can opt for tankless and/or heat pump variations. Tankless water heaters make water heated only when there is a requirement instead of heating water all through the day. Heat pump water heaters can capture heat from the surrounding environment and use this to warm the water and thus consume less energy.

  1. Appliances for Cooling

Cooling appliances secure the third spot if you want to know what home devices use the most electricity. In the Annual Energy Outlook 2022 report of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the use of electricity by cooling appliances in homes was around 16% of the whole residential electrical energy consumption in the US during 2021. However, depending on the climate of your locality and the temperature of your outdoor air, the use of energy consumption by cooling appliances can vary.

  1. Lighting

EIA says that 5 to 7% of energy consumption in a household happens due to lighting setups. However, you can easily cut down the energy consumption by lighting amenities by consulting an electrical contractor near you. They can help you by replacing the existing setup with LED and smart bulbs.

  1. Refrigerators

As per the EIA, energy consumption by refrigerators constitutes 3-5% of energy consumption in average US households. Experts say that despite the relatively energy consumption of refrigerators per hour, these are one of the most energy consuming home appliances because they run for constantly.

  1. Washer and Dryer

As a homeowner, you can probably guess that washers and dryers do around 3.2% of the monthly electricity consumption of your house. However, the amount of consumption can differ from one house to another depending on how often these laundry appliances are used. In addition, if you are using hot water for washers and dryers, the amount of energy consumption need to be factored in.

  1. Electric Oven

Electric ovens will surely be on the list if you want to know what appliances use the most electricity in your home. These appliances consume around 3% of the total energy used by an average US household every month.

Other appliances consuming the most amount of energy in a household are home entertainment equipment, various kitchen appliances, computers, boiler circulation pumps, furnace fans, etc.


Knowing About Vampire Appliances

If you want to know about energy consuming home appliances, you need to have an understanding vampire appliances. Vampire appliances continue to consume electricity even when they are not performing their functions or switched off. Some of the most commonly used vampire appliances in residential buildings are microwaves, televisions, computers, printers, set-top boxes, central heating furnaces, DVD/VCR, furnaces for central heating, gaming consoles, routers & modem, and phones.

However, with a little awareness, you can reduce energy consumption by these vampire appliances. You can pull the plug from the socket when the appliances are not being used. Also, you can connect some of these devices to a power strip which can be turned off when you are not using it. Further, you can purchase Energy Star appliances that use very less power in standby mode. Moreover, you can get an energy audit done in your home to learn about old and inefficient appliances.


How to Save Your Electricity Costs

  • Go for Smart Appliances

Using smart appliances will help you to get rid of excessive energy consumption because these appliances come with the provision for monitoring the use of electricity. Further, they get turned off when you are not using them. Installing smart outlets and appliances will also help you eliminate the hassle of constantly switching on and switching off the plugs. So, if you have old and inefficient home appliances, replace them with smart appliances.

  • Purchase Energy Star Appliances

The Energy Star Program was started by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the year 1992. This program has been helping homeowners reduce the amount of energy used by each appliance. So, even if these appliances are a little costlier upfront, its important to keep in mind that appliances with an Energy Star rating are energy efficient and use less energy than other appliances.

  • Make Use of the Timers and Inbuilt Energy Saving Capacity of Appliances

Many appliances like heaters, air conditioners, and televisions come with integrated energy-saving features. For example, you can set the timer in your air conditioning system or use the standby mode on your computer to lessen the use of electricity.

  • Get a Home Energy Audit

If the insulation of your house is perfect, the energy consumption of your house will go down. But how does a homeowner know whether your house’s insulation is working properly? You can easily find the efficiency of your home insulation system by getting an energy audit conducted. Many states in the US offer free energy audits in homes.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully, now you have fair ideas about what home devices use the most electricity. We have also discussed vampire appliances and how you can reduce energy consumption with some smart practices. So, it’s time to keep a check on the duration for which you use the most energy-intensive appliances and get the inefficient or more energy-consuming appliances with smart and energy-efficient appliances.

Snowfall may be magical, but a roof covered in a large amount of snow can cause costly and dangerous damage to the roof and even result in collapse. Luckily, the majority of roofs are capable of sustaining the load of a bit of snow. Frankly speaking, most residential and commercial roofs are designed with the aim of holding up under the weight of a substantial amount of snow. An average roof will hold up to 20 pounds of snow per square foot. This is roughly equivalent to two feet of wet snow or up to four feet of light, fluffy snow.

The problem arises when the snow load becomes heavier. No doubt, several factors decide how much snow a roof can hold. These may be the shape and composition of your roof or the types of snow. Folks with steep-pitch roofs won’t experience this problem, but those with flat roofs may need to get their roofs cleared regularly to prevent collapse. If you are still unaware of how much snow your roof can hold, as well as want to know about the warning signs of too much snow on the roof and tips for removing them, don’t worry. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know in case your roof is overloaded with snow.


Benefits of a Snow Covered Roof

Many homeowners become worried at the sight of snow piled up on their roof—but this is actually a good sign! If the snow is quickly melting, this could be an indicator that heat from your home is escaping through the attic floors and then transferring from your roof to the exterior.

Snow that hasn’t yet begun to melt may act as an insulative blanket on your roof. A light, fluffy snow is made up of ice crystals suspended in pockets of air—that’s the same composition of fiberglass insulation, except glass instead of ice. With this make up, it is likely that snow does help retain some of the heat within your home—but of course, you should really rely on your home’s insulation for this!

Normally we wouldn’t expect heat transfer to be such an issue, but the problem is that the heat doesn’t exactly transfer evenly through the roof. The heat rises to the peak of the roof while the edges down near your gutters are much colder. This difference in temperatures can result in snow melting at the higher areas and freezing into ice at the lower edges of the roof. This creates a condition known as ice damming . These dams of ice can lead to leaks and significant roof damage.

RELATED ARTICLE: What Is Ice Damming?


Factors Deciding a Roof’s Capacity to Hold Snow

The local building codes dictate the maximum snow load on a roof required for any residential building. So, it is important for you to contact the local building department to know the snow load requirements for your locality. Fortunately, most roofs are capable of withstanding 20 lbs per square foot of snow before becoming stressed.  However, there are several factors at play when deciding the maximum snow load on a roof. Let’s take a look at the factors deciding a roof’s capacity to hold snow.

  • Your Roof’s Shape

The shape of your roof plays an important role in shedding snow. Angular roofs are much more efficient in shedding a load of snow than flat roofs because of the gravitational forces. So, homeowners with steeper roofs do not need to pay as much attention to the snow accumulation.

  • Your Roof’s Shingles

If your roof shingles are in poor condition, they might have a tough time withstanding the weight of the accumulated snow. For this reason, it is always important for you to examine your roof before the first snowfall of the season. In case you find any defective roof shingles, contact a professional roofing contractor to replace them with a new ones. The amount of layers of shingles on your roof will also impact the amount of snow the roof can hold. A roof with 2 or more layers of shingles will undergo a greater strain.

  • Type of Snow

There is no doubt that snow can vary in weight. Wet and packed snow always weighs more than light and powdery fresh snow. As mentioned earlier, most residential roofing can hold 20-30 lbs of snow per square foot. However, the situation can worsen when a snowstorm drops more than 24 inches of snow followed by rainfall.


Warning Signs of Too Much Snow on Your Roof

  • Sagging Roof

It is common to witness a sagging roof when it is overloaded with snow. This can often be seen on the ceilings or rafters of your home, either from the inside or outside of your home. For this reason its important to head up to your attic to evaluate the roof structure and ensure no snow has entered. Sometimes, snow from your roof can get sucked in by the roof’s ventilation. A dusting of snow inside your attic is normal, but if you find drifts of snow, it could collapse the drywall ceilings below when it melts.

  • Cracks in New Drywall or Plaster

If you see any new cracks in walls around interior door frames, this could be a sign that your roof is overloaded with snow.  No doubt, snow on the roof can cause structural problems and framing issues with your house, such as difficulty closing doors normally.

  • Leaks in Ceilings

Any leaks in the ceilings after a blizzard or heavy snowfall can indicate having too much snow on your roof, escalating the risk of collapsing the roof. So, It is always important to spend some time inspecting your home’s ceiling after a heavy snowfall to ensure that there aren’t overloads of snow.


Tips for Removing Snow from Your Roof

You will need to judge when is an appropriate time to remove accumulated snow from your roof. Still, you can’t exactly get on top of your roof with a snow shovel. If you have an asphalt roof, you run the risk of doing serious damage to your shingles, which can cause your roof to leak afterwards—and all kinds of havoc as a consequence.

Instead, hire a roofing contractor to safely handle the removal for you. It generally only costs about $100 to $500, and it will save your roof a lot of wear and tear. If the roofers in your area are all booked up, you can do some of the work yourself using a special tool called a roof rake. This long-armed instrument looks sort of like a window squeegee you’d find at a carwash, except it has an aluminum blade with a set of rolling wheels on each end to keep it from damaging your roof. The following tips will help you remove snow and ice from your roof.

  • Always use a telescopic rake to clean the snow off the roof
  • Remove snow and icicles from the edges of the roof
  • Don’t try to remove all the snow, as it can damage your roof’s shingles
  • Make sure there is no snow on your attic space


Final Thoughts

We hope now you have a sound knowledge of how much snow a roof can hold, warning signs of too much snow on the roof, and tips for removing them. One thing you should always remember is while cleaning the snow from your roof on your own, do not damage the roofing material. There is no need to manually remove all the snow.

Radon, a radioactive gas, is formed from uranium’s breakdown. This colorless gas with no smell or taste is the second largest cause of lung cancer. The EPA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has raised a major concern about the impact of excessive radon in the air, estimating more than 20000 lung cancer deaths facilitated by radon. Further, the American Lung Association’s State of Lung Cancer Report published on 14th January 2022 indicates that Connecticut residents may also find themselves in the presence elevated concentrations of radon in the air. The report says that 25.8% of Connecticut’s radon test results are equal to or more than the Action level of 4 pCi/L as per EPA guidelines. These facts make it necessary to know how to get rid of radon in the air.

The Department of Public Health in Connecticut has responded to this with a Radon Program, recommending that residents get radon testing done at their homes. The testing is usually done with short-term and long-term devices. The Connecticut Department of Health has its list of Nationally Certified (by AARST-NRPP or NRSB) Measurement Professionals who conduct this testing. These professionals are further registered at the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. The state also helps find qualified professionals to help mitigate or reduce radon levels in your home.

But as a homeowner, you also need to be aware of radon mitigation and how it is done. So, here we are to discuss radon mitigation and radon mitigation systems.

What is Radon Mitigation?

The process of reducing the levels of radon gas concentration in a home’s or occupied building’s breathing zone is called radon mitigation. Radon mitigation starts if the level of radon in the air is found to be equal to or more than the EPA Action level of 4.0 pCi/L. You need to contact a qualified and certified professional for mitigating radon from air and water.

The contractor will decide the best radon reduction method for your home. Further, s/he will install a system for radon mitigation in your home. S/he will also guide you on the proper maintenance of the system.



What is a Radon Mitigation System?

A radon mitigation system is used to decrease the level of radon in the air. A radon mitigation system is usually constituted of a radon fan, U-tube manometer, radon system tag, active notification monitor, suction pit, and radon pipe.

The radon fan is placed in a garage, attic, unconditioned space, or outside the house to stop radon from leaking back into the home. Further, the fan will never be placed in a livable place or anywhere near the livable space. The fan will be connected to a PVC radon pipe, and the pipe will pull the radon found in the foundation or basement of a house when inserted through a suction pit and expel radon outside into the air.

The U-tube manometer in the mitigating system will help track whether the fan is working properly. The active notification monitor functions as an alarm in case the fan fails to function properly. Finally, the radon system tag has the name, phone number, and license number of the installer, along with the installation date. The professional installer of a system will put the tag on it once the installation work is complete.

What is the Most Common Method of Radon Mitigation?

An Active Subslab Suction, also known as Subslab Depressurization, is the most reliable and common method of radon mitigation. In this method, the professional will insert one or multiple suction pipes through the floor slab (indoor) or a concrete slab (outdoor). The suction pipes will reach the soil or crushed rock under the slab to suck out radon. Further, the suction pipes will be connected to a vent fan that will release the sucked radon gas to the outdoors. The fan will also create a negative pressure or vacuum under the floor or concrete slab for radon mitigation.

Other common methods of radon mitigation are:

  • Passive Subslab Suction
  • Drain-Tile Suction
  • Block-Wall Suction
  • Sump-Hole Suction
  • Crawlspace Ventilation
  • Sealing
  • Heat Recovery Ventilation
  • Natural Ventilation
  • Home or Room Pressurization

How to Install Radon Mitigation System?

The installation procedure of a radon mitigation system is divided into three steps, before mitigation, during mitigation, and after mitigation. Before mitigation, a professional radon test is conducted to know the level of radon in the air. Then, the hired professional contractor assesses your home to understand how the mitigation system can be built.

RELATED ARTICLE: What Is Radon Testing?

During mitigation, the contractor will decide the right fan size for your home and ensure the installation has been done properly. S/he will also get the cracks and openings in the basement sealed so that no radon leakage happens. Finally, s/he installs the mitigating system following a step-by-step process mentioned below.

  • Drilling a hole into the basement slab suitable for inserting a 3-inch PVC pipe
  • Digging the suction pit from where the pipe will collect radon
  • Running a pipe from cellar to the exterior, ensuring the pipe is at least 10 ft above the ground level, placed away from windows, doors, openings of that specific building and adjacent buildings by at least 10 ft if the pipe does not expel the sucked radon gas at least 2ft above these building openings and roof edge
  • Placing and sealing the pipe
  • Running the pipe to the vent fan
  • Manometer installation
  • Testing the mitigation system

At the after-mitigation stage, the professional will explain the operations of the mitigation system to the homeowners. S\he will conduct a radon test to ensure the radon level has decreased post the mitigation process.

Does Radon Mitigation Improve Air Quality?

Yes, radon mitigation improves air quality in a space. Especially those mitigation systems with fan vents can ensure powerful moisture suction from the area in the basement or under the foundation slab. Thus, the humidity in your home air will be reduced, and you will enjoy fresher and cleaner air with less chances of musty odors.

Further, an EPA report suggests that mold exposure and excessive dampness are the reason for 21% of asthma cases in the United States. So, by reducing mold growth, a radon mitigation system will also combat the spread of disease in your house.

The reduced humidity in the air prevents the rapid infestations of viruses, bacteria, mold, dust, and other elements that spread asthma, allergy, and many respiratory problems.

What is the Cost of a Radon Mitigation System?

The cost of a radon mitigation system depends on many factors like the type of foundation (basement, crawl space, on-grade slabs) your house has, the design and size of your house, system type used, climate and location, labor and permit charges in your locality, type of equipment used, etc. Further, whether you are using a DIY kit or seeking professional assistance for radon testing will determine the cost of a radon mitigation system. DIY kits are cheaper but do not always produce comprehensive results. You should always seek professional help for radon testing and system installation.

Nevertheless, installing a radon mitigation system in your home will cost between $1500 and $4000. However, the cost can increase if you have a large property with multiple foundations.

Final Words

Hopefully, now you have a clear idea about how radon reduction systems work and why they are essential to eliminate cancer-causing radon in the air of your indoor space. Besides installing a mitigation system, you can also make some changes in the overall ventilation system in your house (along with natural ventilation) so that an increased airflow reduces the radon level in the air.

Many homeowners think getting building permits pulled is a waste of time and money. However, this is not the right approach. If you don’t have a building permit, you may be exposed to many risks. Talk to any construction expert, and s/he will ask you to get a permit even before they start to break the ground.

Getting building permits pulled is like getting a safety jacket before jumping into the ocean. The permit protects you financially and legally. At the same time, it ensures that no safety hazard or human casualty occurs resulting from completed construction or remodeling work. Put simply, once you have a permit, professional inspectors will regularly visit your construction site and ensure that all the code requirements regarding ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), handrails with returns, bathroom venting, deck flashing, smoke alarms, etc., are met.

So, without much ado, getting an owner builder permit is the first thing you need if you don’t already have one and planning for construction works or renovations. Here we are to guide on the what’s and how’s of getting an owner builder permit. But before that, just a quick sneak peek into how much a building permit costs.

How Much Does a Building Permit Cost?

Well, there is no one-price-fits-all building permit cost for all homeowners in the US. The charges for getting a  building permit depend on per square foot charges in your locality, type of construction works included, project scope, etc. The cost involved can range between $150 to $2500. However, if you specifically talk about the owner builder permit, you will generally need to spend something between $500 to $2000. According to the government directives, the cost for the first permit is typically around $35 per thousand dollars spent on the project. The charges (per thousand dollars) for the second and third permits can be around $25 and $15, respectively.

Now that you have a basic idea about the cost of getting a building permit for house, let’s find out how you can get one.

What to Do for Pulling Residential Building Permits

Most municipalities require a building contractor or homeowner to have the residential building permits in hand before starting the construction or remodeling work. The norms also say that the primary onus of getting the permit is on the homeowner. However, some reliable builders agree to help homeowners regarding this. Still, the homeowner must check and ensure that the permit is actually pulled in time.

Nevertheless, here is a step-by-step process of getting a building permit.

  • Get in Touch with Your Local Government Authority:

You must visit the office or the official website of your local government authority to get the building permits pulled. As a homeowner, you can do this on your own or issue a letter of authorization to the contractor who is taking care of the work. You will receive an application form from the local government office or its official website.

  • Fill the Application Form Properly to Get the Owner Builder Permit

To get the building permit for your house, you will need to fill out the form properly. If you are unsure, it is better to consult your contractor or anyone having expertise in this matter. Further, make sure to know about and attach the required documents along with this application form. If you are a first-time applicant, you will need to attach many documents like Fire Clearance, Certificate of Occupancy, Environmental Clearance, Site Plan Approval, etc.

  • Deposit the Application Fees:

You will also need to submit the fees when depositing the application form. The application fee can be around 50% of the plan fee and is usually not refundable.

  • Inspection by Officials:

Once you deposit the application form and fees, the officials will visit your project. They will inspect the scope of the work and will have a close look at the project plan. This inspection is important for the officials as it helps them decide if you need any sub-permit along with the actual building permit, depending on the construction or remodeling work being done.

  • Fetching the Permit:

When the application and inspection processes are done, you will receive a notification. You can even collect the permit from the government office. At this stage, you will have to clear all fees related to the permit. Further, depending on the sub-permits you need, you may need to pay additional fees.

  • Displaying the Building Permit:

Once you or your contractor has the permit, do not forget to put it on display at the job site. Usually, inspectors regularly visiting a construction site to ensure that all safety requirements are met, and all the works are being done in adherence to the code requirements. And when the inspectors visit the construction site, they will look for the permit.

Steps to Be Taken if You’ve Purchased a Home Without Building Permits

Getting a building permit pulled can be challenging while or after buying a house without proper permits. That is why it is always wiser to consult an attorney beforehand. The attorney will help you prepare the agreement, clearly stating that the seller needs to get the permit and a certificate of occupancy signed by the local authority having jurisdiction before the deal is closed.

It is important because once the Purchase agreement is closed, the home buyer will be responsible for the construction or any work done in it without permits.

Thankfully, you can apply for a Retroactive Permit if you find out that the entire construction or a part of it is done without permits. However, you must consult a permitter or a construction expert in this matter. You should also seek suggestions from a legal expert.

Nevertheless, you can follow this step-by-step process of getting a Retroactive Permit.

  • Meeting with the Planning Department:

Once you meet the planning department, they will check whether the unpermitted construction complies with the present zoning laws or ordinances. If the construction is compliant with these laws and ordinances, an official will ask you to get a design review. However, if the design is non-compliant, some modifications will be recommended.

  • Get the Construction Design Plan Ready:

If you have the blueprint, it’s fine. Otherwise, seek help from a professional architect or draftsman to make the design for you. You may need site plans, floor plans, energy-efficient reports, and electrical plans.

  • Initial Inspection:

An inspector will visit your place and confirm whether the construction plan or design actually matches the construction or not. The areas focused on during the initial inspection are:

  1. Foundation
  2. Framing
  3. Electrical
  4. HVAC
  5. Mechanical
  6. Insulation

The inspector will make a report based on his findings. Based on the report, some repairs or corrections may be needed.

  • Final Inspection and Handing Over the Certificate of Occupancy:

Once you finish the recommended repairs or correction work, the authorities will give you a certificate of occupancy, and your permit will be cataloged.

Final Thoughts:

If you are not confident about getting an owner builder permit on your own, you can seek assistance from your contractor. Irrespective of whether you pull the permit on your own or rely on the contractor for the same, ensure the permit is in place before the construction work starts. Otherwise, the construction work may suddenly get stopped. Also, the officials may compel you to pay double or triple fees for getting a permit if it is not pulled initially.

Further, the consequences of not getting a permit beforehand may include demolition of the construction. Moreover, the valuation of your property may go down if it does not have a permit and you are trying to resell it.

Even as a home buyer, you need to be careful whether the permits are in its place or not. Make sure that your agreement has the literature that asks the seller to have the permit and certificate of occupancy. There is also a provision for getting the Retroactive Permit. However, the process is quite elaborate, and some cities even do not have this option. Its best to be proactive in regards to this and determine whether a permit can be acquired after you close on the home.

Believe it or not, spiders can be quite beneficial to our homes and gardens, considering that they snack on the other insects —like roaches, flies, mosquitoes, and millipedes— that could otherwise go unchecked. This understanding doesn’t, however, make our encounters with spiders any more pleasant… especially when they’re found within our own homes. Fortunately, there are many simple methods that you can use to clear up an infestation of spiders and keep them out for good.


What attracts spiders to your home?

Weather: Spiders are attracted to dark and comfortable locations and require specific environments to survive in. If the temperatures outside are cold, spiders will be eager to make their way indoors where they can be warm and cozy. Similarly, spiders will navigate to the indoors in effort to cool off when the temperatures outside are too hot.

Habitat: Most species of spiders prefer to live in dark and secluded locations such as basements, crawl spaces, garages, and attics. These areas can offer shelter from the elements and an ideal habitat for building webs and finding prey.

Food Sources: Spiders often make their way inside because they’re following other pests such as moths, flies, or ants. Like other pests, spiders also eat what whatever food sources we’ve left out for them. Crumbs, food scraps, juice residue are all potential sources for spiders to persist.

Mating: The mating season for spiders begins in the late summer and early fall. This is when many spiders will leave their webs and search for a mate. One spider may attract others when it is time to mate so it is important that you act quickly following an indoor spider sighting.

Gaps and Openings: Spiders commonly enter through tiny cracks, crevices, holes, and gaps in areas near doors, windows, and vents. Sometimes spiders enter through openings created by other pests such as mice. At other times, they may hitch a ride on the things we bring into our homes such as furniture, food, plants, and pets.


Where in the home are spiders typically found?

Spiders prefer to live in various areas in the home depending on the type of climate a particular species finds suitable. Generally, spiders are attracted to quiet rooms and nesting in undisturbed clutter with easy access to insects. Spiders that prefer moisture will be found in bathrooms, basements, crawl spaces and other damp parts of building ideal for hiding, reproducing, and pouncing on their next meal. Others that are more keen to dry climates may live in attics, air vents, and high corners of rooms where they can catch other insects that pass by. Egg sacs left from female spiders are commonly found in low traffic areas in the basement. In two weeks time, these eggs hatch into young spiders. When left unchecked, this cycle can manifest into an infestation.


How to prevent spiders from entering your home?

Reduce Exterior Lighting: Outside light turned on throughout the night can attract a plethora of insects such as moths, mosquitoes, and beetles. This activity can also draw in spiders. Keep outdoor lighting near doors and windows to a minimum or consider switching your bulbs to sodium vapor, halogen, or dichromium yellow bulbs which insects find less attractive than bright white and bluish lights.

Eliminate Exterior Shelter: Because spiders are often seeking out to shelter and warmth, things like stacks of firewood and piles of leaves can attract them to your home. Make sure your yard is clear of areas where spiders can find shelter or, at the very least, store these items a minimum of 10 feet away from your home. Break up any webs that you can see near your house to encourage the spiders to go somewhere else.

Seal Entry Points: Seal any cracks or small gaps in your foundation, siding, and weather stripping around doors and windows. You should also pay attention to areas where exterior pipes and conduits enter the building and make sure these locations are properly sealed. Any windows or door screens that have become loose or torn should be repaired and new screens should be installed where missing.

Use Homemade Repellents. Spiders are repelled by a number of natural scents that we often find pleasing. These include vanilla, lemon, citronella, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, chestnut, marigold, cedar, cinnamon, and tea tree. You can apply a few drops of essential oil in strategic locations at the exterior of your home, your garage, and even your car.

Use Store-Bought Insecticide. These insecticides can provide a chemical barrier that repels or kills spiders. Insecticides can be an effective means of addressing a serious spider infestation. A downside to this approach is that many insecticides contain toxins or chemicals that are hazardous to children and pets. It is important that you carefully read the labels and directions.


How to get rid of spiders in your home?

Remove Webs: In addition to being unsightly, these webs harbour spiders while allowing them to feed and reproduce. You can either dust walls and ceilings where the webs have been built or use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove spider webs from your home. It’s best that you do this upon spotting any webs in your home.

Keep a Tidy Home: Regularly clean your home and remove as much clutter as you can. Leftover food and crumbs may attract spiders and other insects so stay on top of maintaining a clean kitchen. Don’t forget about low traffic areas such as corners and closets and clear out any piles of cloths. Also consider transferring stored belongings from cardboard boxes over to airtight containers. Doing so will make it more difficult for spiders to find areas that they perceive as well sheltered and comfortable.

Get a Spider Catcher: If you’re interested in a way to remove spiders from your home without necessarily harming them, look into getting a spider catcher. It is a hand-operated wand that works by surrounding the spider with bristles that close around the spider so that you can gently pick it up and release it outside.

Use Essential Oils and Vinegar: Essential oils can be an effective deterrent both inside and outside of the home. If your aim is to get rid of spiders without killing them and without insecticides, vinegar is also an effective natural spider repellent. You can fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution and spray the mixture into the corners of your home, around window frames, and gaps near the entrance doors to repel spiders. It will likely take some experimenting to determine which solutions and ratios are most effective, how often you should spray, and which locations are ideal.

Place Spider Traps: Traps with a sticky glue designed to catch and kill spiders can be effective if you place them in areas where spiders are likely to be. These are often laced with a pheromone or aroma that attracts spiders to the trap. As with store-bought insecticides, you should carefully read the instructions and make sure they are placed out of reach of children and pets.

Use Store-Bought Insecticides: When used indoors, these treatments are usually intended to be used, in the corners of your home, beneath furniture, and along the baseboards. As described earlier, make sure you understand the instructions and potential hazards.

What is a WDO? WDO stands for wood destroying organisms that can ruin wooden structures and furniture. Wood-destroying organisms include subterranean and drywood termites, powderpost bugs, wood borer bugs, and carpenter ants.  You should also look for dry wood rot and fungus attacks while identifying a wood-destroying organism attack.

The basement, crawl space, attic, or yard of your house can be the breeding ground of WDOs. A WDO inspection is a dedicated assessment process to find out infestations of the wood-destroying organisms, and the inspection process also includes discovering areas prone to such infestations.

This article will share all the details you need to know about WDO inspections. Prior to that, let’s know how you will identify a WDO problem.

Knowing Different Types of WDOs:

Knowing about different types of WDOs can be of great help to you. If you are aware of their features and the pattern in which they cause the damage, you can make faster decisions regarding a WDO inspection and remediation. So, let’s be familiar with some common wood-destroying organisms.

  • Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are commonly found underground, and they are classified into three groups. Reproductive males and females have wings, and they are called swarmers. The other two groups are workers and soldiers. Among these three categories, workers move freely above the ground.

Spring is the breeding season of subterranean termites, and if there is an infestation in your home, you may notice the swarmers around your home. Further, you can find mud tubes formed on floor joists, foundation walls, and other places if subterranean termites have already begun to attack your home. These mud tubes are a kind of transportation tunnel for termites to travel from their underground colony to the wooden structure. A termite attack can make a wooden structure hollow from the inside and destroy it over time.

Inspectors usually assess the wooden structures near the foundation of your house to detect termite infestation. Wooden structures also become easy targets of termites when placed near the soil. Further, the person conducting a WDO inspection will look for mud tube structures on walls or wooden structures to identify termite problems.

  • Powderpost Bugs:

Powderpost bugs and beetles literally reduce wooden structures to powder or dust. The larvae of these insects create a tunnel within the wooden structure and feed on wood. If you have old wooden furniture or antique wooden pieces in your home, the chances of powderpost bug infestation can be higher. Further, you will notice small and round holes on the surface of a wooden structure if it has been infested by powderpost bugs. Also, a powder-like formation will come out of those small holes if the affected structure faces any external shock. If the wooden structure gets broken or cut, you will discover flour-like powder or wood dust created by the larvae.

Powderpost bugs can be divided into two groups, lyctid, and anobiid. Lyctid bugs tend to attack structures engineered from hardwood and bamboo. You will commonly see lyctic bug infestations in new properties or structures that have been just made from hardwood. On the other hand, Anobiid bugs can infest structures made from softwood and hardwood.

  • Carpenter Ants

You must ensure that the wooden structures of your home are not subject to water damage if you want to avoid an infestation of carpenter ants. Moist wood is the ideal place for the infestation of carpenter ants, found in black and red colors.

You may notice carpenter ants in parts of your house, facing heavy moisture on a regular basis. These ants build nests around poorly sealed frames of windows and doors and around chimneys, sinks, and bathtubs. These wood-destroying organisms also reside in hollow spaces and porch columns.

These insects do not eat wood. Instead, they chew the wood fibers and create a hollow space inside a wooden structure for breeding. You will hardly find any external sign of damage if there is an infestation of carpenter ants in any of the wooden structures of your house. Nevertheless, you can try giving your wooden furniture a tap around the baseboard with a screwdriver’s blunt end. If there is a hollow sound, you can suspect infestation or damage.

Is a WDO Inspection Required?

A WDO inspection is required to detect and avoid the unpleasant consequence of termite and other wood-destroying infestations. These organisms often make the wooden structure a property hollow from the inside which can impair the structural integrity of a home. In other words, as a consequence of a WDO attack, you may suddenly encounter accidents like floorboard cracks, the collapse of beams, etc. In addition, these organisms can expose irrigation pipes or electrical wires, increasing the chances of injury to the residents and neighbors.  To avoid this problem, a WDO inspection is necessary.

A home buyer must be aware of the WDO inspection. If you have closed the deal on a property with infestations, you will be responsible for paying the repair costs. So, it is important that you get your new property inspected and treated before closing the deal.

Why is a WDO Inspection Necessary for Your Home in Every Few Years?

A WDO inspection is necessary in every few years because it is not always possible for homeowners to identify the signs of infestation. Also, in most cases, it is hard to identify why and when the infestation is happening on a property. Additionally, with inspections in regular intervals, you can restrict the severity of infestations and take controlling measures in time.

What are the Different Types of WDO Inspections?

There are two types of WDO inspections. These are complete and limited WDO inspections. In complete WDO inspections, the inspector will check all the visible and accessible areas of a property indoors and outdoors.

In limited WDO inspections, we will check for infestations in a specific area. However, that does not mean conducting checks for a specific type of organism in the affected area. Getting a complete WDO inspection done on your property is always better to ensure complete safety.

What is a WDO Report?

An inspector will prepare a WDO report post the assessment on your property. Usually, a WDO inspection report has three sections. The first section will check the areas with active infestations and visible evidence. The second part will bear details about areas that do not have any visual evidence but have a high chance of being infected. The third part will have recommendations for inspecting the areas where the inspector did not have access in the original inspection or areas not covered in sections 1 and 2.

Final Words:

To summarize, a WDO or termite inspection is absolutely necessary to ensure the safety of a property. Ensure that you are hiring a licensed and reliable inspector to assess infestation on your property.

In many cases, homeowners are unwilling to bear the expenses for WDO inspections. However, the benefits of having this inspection performed far outweigh the potential consequences of undetected damage from a WDO infestation.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas released by decaying uranium. You can find it in nearly all soils and at very low air levels. However, the real problem arises when radon enters your home and becomes trapped. Long-term exposure to high levels  radon gas causes lung cancer.

Radon is the second largest contributor to lung cancer after cigarette smoking. There is no doubt that higher levels of radon are found in some regions of our country. However, the presence of elevated levels of radon is evident in all 50 states of the US. It is estimated that every 1 of 15 American homes contains an elevated level of radon gas.

So, it is important to test your home for radon to determine whether your home has high radon levels. This article will discuss everything you need to know about the safe level of radon, its health risks, and how to perform radon testing.

Safe Level of Radon

Not long ago, media hype caused both panic and skepticism about the health risks of radon. But as the research progressed, it made two things clear. Living in a home with an elevated radon level over a long period can cause lung cancer. And there are effective ways to lower radon levels in your home.

But first, you should know what the safe level of radon gas is estimated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA recommends remedial action in a home as early as possible if the presence of radon is between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. Unfortunately, there is still no safe level of radon exposure.  However, the EPA asserts that action needs to be taken if the radon level within a home is 4 pCi/L or more.

Health Effects of Radon

As mentioned earlier, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. In fact, it causes approximately 3%-14% of all lung cancer based on the smoking prevalence and the national average radon level.  Medical studies have revealed that radon exposure can also increase the risk factors associated with blood cancers. Let’s explore the health effects of radon in detail.

  • Lung Cancer

Although radon is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer, it is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.  As per the EPA, the chances of becoming affected by lung cancer increases significantly with the rising level of radon concentration detected in a home. The risk of developing lung cancer rises 16% for every 2.7 pCi/L increase in radon exposure. An annual exposure to 4 pCi/l is the equivalent of 200 chest x-rays per year. The EPA has approximated the chance of lung cancer as per the radon-concentration level.

  • 4 out of 1000 people could be affected by lung cancer at a 2 pCi/L radon level approximately.
  • 7 out of 1000 people could be affected by lung cancer at a 4 pCi/L radon level approximately.
  • 15 out of 1000 people could be affected by lung cancer at an 8 pCi/L radon level approximately.
  • 18 out of 1000 people could be affected by lung cancer at a 10 pCi/L radon level approximately.
  • 36 out of 1000 people could be affected by lung cancer at a 20 pCi/L radon level Approximately.

But if you are a smoker, the chances of getting affected by lung cancer when exposed to radon skyrockets:

  • 32 out of 1000 people could be affected by lung cancer at a 2 pCi/L radon level.
  • 64 out of 1000 people could be affected by lung cancer at a 4 pCi/L radon level.
  • 120 out of 1000 people could be affected by lung cancer at an 8 pCi/L radon level.
  • 150 out of 1000 people could be affected by lung cancer at a 10pCi/L radon level.
  • 260 out of 1000 people could be affected by lung cancer at a 20 pCi/L radon level.

Blood Cancer

A recent study published by Environmental Research reveals that radon exposure may also increase the risk factors associated with blood cancer. As the radon level increases, individuals have higher chances of becoming affected by different types of blood cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. However, the reason is still unclear as the scientists are doubtful whether the radon emits the alpha particle that can potentially harm the DNA in the bone marrow and eventually cause blood cancer.

How to Test for Radon?

The best way to detect radon is to conduct radon testing. The EPA has already taken some strong initiatives to reduce the health risks associated with radon exposure. They have recommended testing the radon levels in all schools and homes below the third floor.

Fortunately, nowadays, you can find three types of tests available on the market to test your home for radon. These are continuous, short-term radon tests, and long-term radon tests radon tests.

  • Continuous Radon Tests

The best way to detect radon levels in your home is to perform continuous radon testing. These types of radon tests are designed to test the radon levels continuously. To perform these radon tests, an electric monitor is installed to monitor the radon levels. As such, this electric monitor samples the air continuously in an ionized chamber to measure the radon level. However, you can use this monitor for short, mid and long-term radon tests to know the average running level of radon.

  • Short-Term Radon Tests

Short-term radon tests can help to determine whether further testing is needed or not. You can measure radon levels with the help of electret or charcoal-based ion for 2 to 7 days. Nowadays, you can find many DIY kits available on the market for short-term radon tests. If you don’t prefer the DIY approach or need your results with a quicker turnaround time, you can also contact a professional for short-term radon testing at your home.

  • Long-Term Radon Tests

Long-term radon tests are ideal for measuring the radon levels for 90 days to 365 days. These testing provide an estimated annual average radon concentration in your home based on alpha particle tracking.  However, the result may vary significantly as per a drop in air pressure, variable soil moisture, gusty winds, and snow cover. You will often need to contact state radon agencies and online retailers to perform this radon test.

How to Perform Radon Test?

If you are interested in performing a radon test on your own, you will need to carefully go through all the instructions and directions mentioned in the user’s manual on the radon test kit. No doubt, some of these tests are very much specific and need accurate timing to conduct. If not done properly, the test may provide unreliable results.

However, the instructions remain almost the same for many home radon tests. These include:

  • Find the lowest area in your living space to place the radon test kit
  • Make sure to close all the doors and windows (except for entrance and exit) for at least 12 hours prior to performing the radon testing and throughout the testing.
  • Place the test kit approximately 20 inches above the ground or floor and make sure it is well away from the outside walls, windows, fans, and especially areas of high humidity like the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room.

When to Take Action?

The EPA firmly recommends performing a second radon test only if the first short-term test shows a radon level of  4 pCi/L or higher. However, if the second radon test shows a concentrated radon level above 4 pCi/L, you should consider contacting a professional to perform the radon mitigation. It will ensure that your home is free of the harmful effects of radon gases. You can use National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)’s online locator or contact your state health department to find a certified radon mitigation company.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have a better understanding of what radon is, how to test for it, and how to reduce radon in a home. If you are a smoker, you should understand the dangerous combination of tobacco smoke and radon will increase the risk factors significantly for lung cancer, not only for you but also for other residents in your home. However, the only way to know if you are at risk of exposure to dangerous levels of radon is to test your home.

Molds are another name for fungi found in the exterior and interior of houses and different buildings. The mold spores and mycelial fragments get easily distributed in the air and can easily enter our respiratory tract as we inhale the air. Thus, molds can cause severe damage to our bronchial trees and other structures in our lungs. In addition, the presence of specific types of mold species in the air can increase the level of toxic chemicals like Atranones and Satratoxin.

Simply put, mold in air quality means the presence of mold spores, mycelial fragments, toxins, and allergens in the air. Proper sampling and scientific examination are very important to find the presence of mold in air quality.

When to Take Mold Air Tests?

A house becomes the ideal place for mold air tests if there is a suspicion about mold growth or the property has already been affected. Mold air tests are especially useful preceding and following remediation in properties with moisture intrusion, musty smell, water damage, visible signs of mold growth, and conditions ideal for mold growth.

This process serves as an effective screening mechanism which ensures that no major mold infestation on the property remains undetected.  Further, mold in air testing can detect the unbroken chains of molds in the air, and these chains often remain unidentified during visual inspections, surface sampling, and other examinations.

In addition, if air sampling is done following all the guidelines, it is the ideal method for assessing the difference in particle levels between a controlled and living areas. This is crucial for comparing the particle levels and air quality of a space before and after the remediation process.

What is the Process for a Mold Air Test?

A mold air test is a process of collecting air samples for laboratory examination and gathering data about mold’s presence in a building’s interior. A pump is used for the collection of air in houses and other buildings, and the pump drives the air through a collection device to capture the mold spores present.

Ideally, a sampler device is kept three to six feet off the ground and must be placed around the center of a room. Usually, the collection of air samples happens over the span of five to ten minutes per sample. However, if there are a lot of indoor activities going on or a constant supply of dust inside your house, the sampling work can take additional time.

A control or baseline sample is required to determine whether indoor air samples contain elevated levels of mold spores. Indoor sampling must happen in a livable space in your house, and the collected air sample should be of a certain quality so that it can be reproduced for assessment. Also, the doors and windows of the house must remain closed during the sample collection. In addition, exhausts, fans, or other air exchange facilities should remain switched off during the entire process.

Moreover, extreme weather conditions can be a problem for acquiring air samples and getting the right data. Conditions like harsh winds and thunderstorms can interfere with the results.

What are the Mold Air-Sampling Devices?

Different types of devices are used to examine the presence of mold in the air. The following are the commonly used air sampling devices for examining the presence of mold.

  • Impaction Samplers:

These devices come with calibrated air pumps for forcing and placing mold spores on a ready microscopic slide.

  • Cassette Samplers:

These devices are ideal for one-time-use purposes and are easily disposable. These samplers facilitate grabbing mold spores by the collection device by propelling air strongly.

  • Airborne Particle Collectors:

These devices come with collection dishes for capturing mold spores directly. These devices are essential and effective in assessing the species of mold growing in an affected area.

Cost of a Mold Air Test

The cost of a mold air test depends on many factors. To start, it depends on the fee structure of the company you are hiring for mold in air inspection. Further, factors like the number of samples collected, devices used, and the type of laboratory tests impact the cost of a mold in air inspection. Nevertheless, a mold in air inspection may cost you anything between $200 to $500.

Final Words:

Does a mold air test really work? Yes, it does. Despite the presence of various types of mold tests, air sampling is the choicest method for detecting elevated levels of mold spores in the air.

Further, elevated levels of mold spores in the air can hint at many other problems, like unseen moisture accumulation in your home. In a nutshell, this method helps to identify the presence of mold in your property and indirectly assists in finding the root causes of mold growth. Moreover, remediation becomes easier once the presence of mold and its cause are identified.

What is Well Flow Testing?

A well flow test is about examining how much water your private well can pump to the system of your home. Checking the maximum and minimum range is essential to know how much water your well can safely pump to your home system. Some factors are considered to check the water flow level. They are:

  • Duration
  • Flow rate
  • Pressure range
  • Switch intervals
  • Well depth

Further, there is a fixed formula to determine a well’s accurate water flow level. Two elements are very important in the formula. First, its necessary to gather information about the time for which the pump is running. Also, keep a note about the quality of water (in gallons) the pump is drawing.

The flow rate can then be measured by dividing the water drawn by the pump (in gallons) by the operation cycle of the pump (in seconds). This result is again multiplied by 60 to get the result about the well’s gallons per minute or GPM water flow.  So, the formula is:

(Gallons of water drawn by the pump/Number of seconds the pump was on)*60

You can hire a reliable and specialized company to check your well’s water flow.

What is a Good Well Flow Rate?

The more, the merrier! On a serious note, let’s be practical as the natural water resources, especially groundwater levels, will differ across various geographical locations. So, a universal standard cannot be set regarding a good well water flow rate. Nevertheless, a 3 GPM water flow is decent for private wells in households. However, a well’s water flow is usually considered good when it is 5 gallons per minute or above.

If your well water flow rate is low, a technician can help you improve the flow. The problem can be solved by installing a booster pump, a constant pressure system, or adjusting the pressure tank settings. You can also receive suggestions like widening the borehole or drilling the well deeper.

What is Well Water Quality Testing?

The water flow rate of your well determines whether your household system is receiving adequate water supply or not. On the other hand, water quality testing assesses the water quality indicators and contaminants in your well water. This is very important to ensure that your water is safe to drink and wash with. Good water quality also ensures that that the appliances connected to the water source can function well and have a decent shelf life. In addition, quality testing also helps you to obtain necessary guidance from your local health and environment department if contaminants are detected.

What are Water Quality Indicators?

Some water quality indicators checked during water testing are the pH level, total coliforms, and fecal coliforms. If your well water has high levels of total coliforms, there is a high chance that harmful elements like viruses, bacteria, and other parasites are present in the water. Further, a higher presence of fecal coliforms hints at the existence of germs causing hepatitis, diarrhea, and dysentery.

In addition, a high pH level in your water can damage your house’s appliances and plumbing systems. Moreover, it can yield some adverse health effects.

What are the Water Contaminants?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)says that the highest permissible level of nitrate in drinking water is 10mg/L. Maintaining this nitrate level is important for avoiding severe health problems like the blue-baby syndrome. If your well water has more nitrate than the permissible level, it will be considered contaminated.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) derived from “industrial fuel-related chemicals” can also contaminate your well water if your house is close to industrial areas. Some of these organic compounds are:

  • Carbon tetrachloride
  • Benzene
  • Toluene
  • Methyl tertiary butyl ether
  • Trichloroethelene, etc.

Your well water can get further contaminated by harmful minerals like arsenic, lead, radium, mercury, and atrazine. Moreover, there are many instances of pesticide and germ contamination in well water.

If the inspection report says that your well water is contaminated, you must seek help from the local health or environmental department. You can also contact EPA to seek necessary guidance on the measures to be taken.

Why Should I Test My Well Water?

You should get your well water tested because consuming contaminated water or being in contact with polluted water can cause instant or future health problems. Problems like diarrhea and dysentery are common health implications caused by contaminated water. Further, the harmful minerals and chemicals in the water can cause severe damage to your skin, hair, nails, and internal organs.

You need to be more particular about your well water quality testing if you have children, pregnant women, elderly persons, or people suffering from chronic diseases at home.  Regular testing of your well water is the most effective way to ensure that your well water is safe for use.

How Can I Get My Well Water Tested?

Your state’s local health and environmental department will usually conduct examinations to check the levels of water quality indicators. Further, you will find a detailed list of certified laboratories for water testing in your area on your state’s official website of the Department of Public Health.

What is the Right Time to Have My Well Tested?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends water testing yearly during spring. However, you must make arrangements for well water testing immediately if you experience any change in the water’s taste, smell, or color. Further, immediate testing is imperative if there are reports about well water problems in your area.

Your well water should also be immediately tested after any repairing work on the well equipment. Additionally, any land disturbance or waste disposal near your well should call for immediate water testing.

What is the Cost of Well Water Testing?

The cost of well water testing may differ based on the test being conducted. For example, the cost of a test for checking arsenic levels will be different from bacteria-determinant tests. On average, well water testing will cost you somewhere between $100 to $750.

Final Words:

If the inspection report of your well water is not satisfactory, or your well water fails inspection, it is imperative that you follow measures as guided by the technician. In cases of a failed inspection, cleaning the well, evacuating the well, changing the pump and other equipment, UV treatment, etc., are recommended. If the condition of your well water is beyond improvement, the technician will advise you to have a new well drilled.

Radon is a gas that occurs with no color, taste, or odor. This gas is produced from the natural decomposition of the radioactive element uranium, commonly found in soil, water and rock worldwide. As such, it is found in all 50 states. However, the radon concentration varies greatly from state to state and from town to town.

No doubt, exposure to radon gas always poses a greater health risk. You may be surprised to know that radon exposure takes the life of 21,000 Americans in the form of lung cancer every year. This is why radon exposure is considered the second-leading cause of lung cancer, just behind tobacco smoking.

Unfortunately, there are still no federal regulations to determine a radon standard in drinking water. But the Connecticut Department of Public Health has already set a standard for radon level in the private well, which is set at 5,000 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). And they recommend the water departments monitor this action level constantly and keep the radon level below this level. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about radon in water.

How Does Radon Get into the Home?

Most of the time, radon enters a home from the earth beneath the house. When uranium decays, it produces radon gas which can enter any type of building, office, apartment, or school. The danger arises when radon can accumulate in high concentrations in indoor air. Radon gas usually makes its entrance into our homes through:

  • Cracks and holes in the foundation
  • Construction joints
  • Cracks in wall
  • Crawl spaces

Radon gas can also reach our homes through the domestic water supply system. The radon gas emitted from underground sources can quickly dissolve and accumulates in water. So, the radon gas in water can easily enter your home when it is heated or agitated during household activities like cooking, washing clothes, and showering. It is estimated only 1 pCi/L radon is released into the air from every 10,000 pCi/L of radon in water. If the main source of your domestic water supply come from a reservoir, lake, or river, you should not be too concerned about radon exposure. The radon from these exposed bodies of water will be released into the air before it makes its entrance into your home.

But this does not mean you will always receive water completely free from radon, and some radon can remain in the water. Drinking water with high concentrations of radon for a prolonged period can largely increase the risk factors for stomach cancer and other cancers. However, this risk is almost negligible when compared to the risk of lung cancer from radon present in the air.

When Should You Test Water for Radon?

If your domestic water supply system is connected to well water, you should conduct a radon water test to measure the radon level in the water. The Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) recommends every home be tested for radon in water, especially if the homes are served by well water. Besides, the CT DPH has set a regulatory standard to maintain the radon level in drinking water. The maximum contaminant level of radon in public water is set at 5,000 pCi/L.

Its important to understand that it is quite possible to experience an elevated level of radon in your water, even having a low level of radon in your indoor air. The only way to determine the radon level in your water or indoor air is to conduct a radon test.

How to Reduce the Radon Levels in Water?

From our experience, we have seen many homeowners worried over a simple question: how to reduce the radon levels in drinking water. No doubt, if your average radon test result shows the radon level in water is 5,000 pCi/L or higher, you should consider reducing the radon level. Fortunately, you can find two water treatment systems for reducing radon from water: Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) System and Aeration System.

  • Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) System

There is no doubt that the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) System is truly capable of reducing the radon level in water when the radon level is less than 10,000 pCi/L. These systems come with a fiberglass tank loaded with Granular Activated Carbon Compounds. These granular activated carbon traps the radon when water flows through. These can also capture other contaminants such as hydrogen sulfide which can produce a rotten eggs odor, chlorine, and volatile organic compounds  (VOCs).

However, these contaminants will accumulate inside the fiberglass tank, eventually shortening the carbon’s life. Furthermore, the radon adsorbed can accumulate to dangerous levels and cause the system to become ineffective and/or become a source of radioactivity. This is why replacing the carbon in a GAC system at regular intervals is important.

However, the CT DPH always recommends hiring a certified radon mitigation professional to handle the installation task.

  • Aeration System

The only way to reduce radon from water when it is equal to or more than 10,000 pCi/L is to install an aeration system. These systems can aerate or absorb water so that water can release radon during the water treatment. These radon gases are eventually freed to the outside, away from your home.

Nowadays, different types of aeration systems are available on the market. So, it is important to contact an experienced radon mitigation professional to decide on the ideal aeration system for your home.

How to Find an Experienced and Qualified Radon Professional?

You can find the lists of certified radon professionals on the Radon – Professionals webpage of the CT DPH’s official website. These professionals are trained as per the EPA protocols and hold a national certification in radon measurement and radon mitigation. Don’t hesitate to visit the CT DPH Radon Program website for more information about how to test radon in water.

Final Thoughts

The two most common ways of radon exposure are through the air we breathe and the water we drink. The CT DPH recommends that every home test radon in water if the water comes from a private well. No doubt, contacting a professional is the best bet for you to conduct a radon water test and install a radon mitigation system in your home.