We have a second home that we use approximately 1 week/month year-round, and more in the summer. When we purchased the home in 2019, it was tested at 9pCi/L, and a remediation system was installed before closing, with subsequent testing at 1.4pCi/L. I'm wondering if there's a point to running the system full-time, when we are only there part time (and especially now when our normal schedule isn't likely to happen for an extra month or two). When we are not there, this system is the major energy consumer in the house, at approximately 2.5-3 kWh/day. I have the ability to programmatically turn the system off and on, and I'm thinking I could either run it part-time (say 6h/day) or not at all, turning it on full-time several days or even a week before our anticipated arrival. Given that the un-remediated readings were modest, it seems the risk doing this should be low.

  • Will having the system on, then off possibly create higher levels than previously existed (for example, because the continuous suction has created new pathways for it)?
  • Would running the system on a daily cycle be more effective by sweeping whatever is seeping out of the group up more regularly?
  • Have you actually put a Kill-a-Watt on the radon system and measured its draw? Or did you infer that number in a "what else could it be" fashion? Because you could run 3-4 refrigerators on that draw. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 29 '20 at 23:25
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    It is most likely that running the system for as little as 8 hours will flush the basement volume. A remote-turn-on system is classiest, for sure, but even if you don't turn it on until you get there the sum exposure to you is small. Radon mediation is aimed at keeping it safe for 24/7/365 living, not short vacations. – Carl Witthoft Mar 30 '20 at 19:15
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica It was measured with a Z-Wave power reporting switch module. – TomG Mar 31 '20 at 0:03

Edited; I have only read testing reports and wired abatement pumps. I modified my answer based on the feedback. As I have said in other posts granite especially pink or rose can be a significant source of radon. I would not run the system while you are away, I probably would open the house lower level windows or vents when you arrive. You may even want to set up a automated system that you can remotely turn on the abatement system the day prior to your arrival. Exterior vents at the lowest level with make up air for a while would purge the home of this gas and purging and having the system running prior to arrival might work fine but test to verify if the numbers are low this can save $$$!

  • Radon is about 7 times HEAVIER than air. So it SINKS rather than rises. Your advice is dangerous since opening the upper level windows will do nothing to relieve any radon trapped in the lower part of the house. Radon abatement systems do NOT remove radon from the home but rather prevent it from getting in by removing it from the area under and around the foundation where it can infiltrate into the living space. Left undisturbed, radon settles to the LOWEST part of the structure. – jwh20 Mar 30 '20 at 12:03
  • All the testing I have had done has shown up in upper levels, if radon was heavier than air how is it raising up and getting into homes with crawl spaces? The discharge is required to be above the home also I have wired several systems but not the installer of the plumbing. If it is heavier then the lower area vents would be the correct. – Ed Beal Mar 30 '20 at 14:33
  • It's easily raised to upper levels because of air currents and such but it will be concentrated in places like basements. Radon gas has a density of 9.73 kg/m3, which is VERY heavy where "air" has a density of about 1.225 kg/m3. Anyway read about it here: epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/… – jwh20 Mar 30 '20 at 14:49
  • @jhw20 I did have additional testing in the original answer And have modified the answer, I find it strange the high concentrations on the 2 houses were on the middle and upper floors but the radon source on the middle floor house ended up being the granite counter tops. – Ed Beal Mar 30 '20 at 15:04
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    A counter top won't put out meaningful amounts of radon. Or rather - if it does, radon is the least of your worries. Radon is a problem because your house sits on top of thousand of tons of rock, not because half a ton of it. – vidarlo Mar 30 '20 at 15:56

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