Whether you’re thinking of moving, settling into a new house, or enjoying your longtime home, radon testing and mitigation are not something you should neglect. Over 30 states across the country have elevated average levels of radon, but no matter where you live, it’s important to incorporate annual testing into your home maintenance routine.
If all this sounds confusing to you, no worries! That’s why our AprilAire Radon Control Professionals are ready to help, like Marcus Nelson, President & CEO of Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc. He’s here to answer some important questions about the entire process so you can stress less!
Thank you for speaking with us, Marcus. Can you start by telling us about yourself, your responsibilities at Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc., and what your business does for the community?
“I’m currently the president and CEO of Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc. and I’ve been working here for over 15 years, but Harker has been around since 1949. As the president and CEO, I oversee the day-to-day business operations.
Harker is a medium-sized HVAC company that currently has 50 trucks servicing all of Dane County, Wisconsin. We work in both residential and commercial buildings providing HVAC maintenance emergency service, HVAC equipment replacements, water heater and softener replacements, and radon mitigation. We’ve been working with and selling and installing AprilAire products for almost 30 years.”
At AprilAire, we recommend testing for radon annually. Can you tell us about the importance of ongoing testing and monitoring for radon?
“It’s one of those things that people think about when they’re buying a new house but then forget about and never revisit. I like to think of it as people that have a well are supposed to get their water tested annually. The same actually is true about radon. It can fluctuate over time, so it’s good to monitor any changes.
They say levels above 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) is considered hazardous. When my wife and I built our home back in 2019, we actually tested for radon when it was done. The levels came back over 12 pCi/L, which is three times higher than the hazardous level. And if you’re exposed to high levels of radon for an extended period of time, it can lead to lung cancer. Radon gas is the #1 cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.
My wife said, ‘We shouldn’t move into the house.’ But since we had worked so hard on it, I knew that wasn’t the right plan. I got a radon fan installed to mitigate the radon levels, and when we retested, the levels came back below 1 pCi/L.”
If radon levels are high, homeowners will want to seek out mitigation services. Can you tell us how mitigation works and what the process looks like for your customers?
“We send out our radon professionals to meet with the homeowner and look at the basement, or the lowest livable space in the home where the test would be placed. Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is install a fan, either outside the home or in the attic and pipe it down below the slab of the house. That fan draws the radon gases that build up underneath the house up and out. The pipe discharges above the roof line so radon can rise away. From getting the test results to installation, the whole process takes around one to two weeks, with installation usually taking just one day.
Even with a fan installed, we like to remind customers about radon testing when they have us out either to do the furnace or the A/C. It’s still important to make sure that the fan is continuing to run properly.”
Put Radon Control on Your Radar
To get started on your own, simply order an AprilAire Short-Term Radon Test Kit for your home. Or, if you would prefer the help of an AprilAire Radon Control Professional like Marcus, find a pro near you today.