Do ceiling fans reduce radon: the big reveal

Don’t you love it when a useful home appliance unexpectedly reveals its additional useful feature? That’s what happens when you install ceiling fans in your house. Is it real? Do ceiling fans reduce radon? Can ceiling fans offer additional protection from radon exposure? The short answer is – yes, they can.

Ceiling fans are essential devices, especially in hot climates. They make our lives bearable during the oppressive summer heat. It turns out, they are not only providing a refreshing breeze but also decreasing the radon levels, thus protecting the house inhabitants from one of the most deadly diseases — lung cancer.

Let us give you a short educational tour and tell you about radon gas, how it can cause lung cancer, and what role ceiling fans have in the radon levels decline.

do ceiling fans reduce radon

Radon gas and its dangerous nature

Even if physics had never been your favorite subject in high school, you know that radioactivity is bad. Radon is a radioactive gas released from various natural elements: water, soil, and stones. Imperceptible by the senses of smell, sight, or taste, it can sneak into people’s homes undetected and harm them.

People inhale radon particles with air and dust, thus consuming highly damaging alpha particles or their fractured parts called radon daughters.

Both are hazardous and the most frequent cause of lung cancer in non-smoking individuals (according to the data introduced by the United States Surgeon General).

Regulating radon is critical, so the EPA issued guidelines about its sage and dangerous levels.

Excessive radon levels that can be determined by specific tests must be reduced. To do that is crucial for preventing potential diseases.

Defeating radon: solutions

The first step is, of course, to identify the problem. You don’t have high radon levels in the house by default.

However, if you notice that you and the members of your family experience frequent coughing, chest pain, wheezing, breath shortness, or raspiness of the voice, maybe it’s time to test the radon levels in your home. There is a special radon testing device to make it easy.

Are ceiling fans a panacea?

We’ve already given a short answer to the question: “Do ceiling fans reduce radon?”. Now, let’s get into more details.

We’ve mentioned radon daughters. Despite a benign name, those unattached particles which emerge as a result of the radon decaying process are extremely dangerous. It’s them, which attach to the dust particles and circulate the room, waiting for the moment when someone inhales them.

Then, if these harmful particles manage to attach themselves to the lungs, it’s bad.

And here comes a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans, especially when positioned in the center of the room, will invigorate the air movement significantly and force the radon daughters to the walls and furniture. Once attached, they will be unlikely to move.

So by simply creating vigorous air flow, ceiling fans reduce radon exposure by a lot. While ceiling fans disperse radon particles, they diminish the radon daughter particles in number by half. Impressive, isn’t it?

But why not increase this number to 90%? You’ll be safe from dangerous radioactive gas. To achieve this goal, top the ceiling fan with another device — a positive ion generator. That will do it.

As for the ceiling fan, best serving the purpose of creating a radon mitigation system, it’s a Casablanca ceiling fan. This fan will give you an additional 5% of safety.

And a piece of advice to finish this section: if you intend to reduce radon levels and prevent radon daughters from harming you and your family, keep in mind that ceiling fans reduce radon gas the best when their size is big enough to provide proper air circulation thus preventing the people from inhaling radon daughters and their deadly charge.

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Other options

Although our article is focusing only on ceiling fans in terms of their capacity to reduce radon levels, we are still going to tell you about other options.

We’ve already mentioned positive ion generators.

Paired with a ceiling fan, a positive ion generator is formidable and helps decrease radon gas levels in the house.

The air filters reduce radon, too. It has been scientifically proven that a High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter (HEPA) removes unattached radon particles (a.k.a. radon daughters) and alpha particles from the air during operation. So, it can be a significant part of the radon reduction system as well as general indoor air quality improvement.

Sub-slab depressurization system is sometimes considered the most efficient way of reducing radon levels using several suction pipes. It takes effort to install, but radon affects us so dramatically that it can be worth it.

Dangerous seasons

Radon as a natural gas emerges all year round. Radon decays and its particles attack human lungs regardless of the season.

However, it has been discovered that radon levels in colder months tend to be higher. Unfortunately for the ceiling fans. Why does it happen? It’s not like more radon gas is produced in winter.

The answer is simple: closing the windows and doors in colder months makes the air stale and more prone to accumulate harmful unattached radon daughters.

And in cold seasons, we are less likely to turn on a ceiling fan.

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To recap

Reducing radon level is critical for maintaining good health for everyone. One of the easy ways is a ceiling fan. It will feature two functions: cool the air, create a comfortable environment, and provide circulation, which will remove radioactive particles from the air where the house inhabitants could inhale them.

A ceiling fan is a very efficient tool for reducing radon levels, alone or paired with other solutions for higher protection.

If you have a reason to suspect high radon levels, perform a radon test. The estimation of the dangerous radon levels is specified by the Environmental Protection Agency.


Does running a fan reduce radon?

With ventilation fans, radon levels plummet. With exhaust fans, however, the opposite happens. Due to the air pressure difference, radon is sucked in from outside.

Will a ceiling fan affect a radon test?

Yes, so if you want the results of the radon test to be explicit, turn off a ceiling fan.

Does attic fan help with radon?

Any fan invigorates the airing process at the venue, thus lowering the radon amount.

Does air conditioning reduce radon?

Your AC indeed can diminish the levels of radon.

Learn More: Air conditioning impact on the dynamics of radon and its daughters concentration

Robert Brooks

I have an engineering background. I have my own house, where I live with my wife and children. I want to say that the most important thing when equipping a house is to choose the right heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

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