Do Air Purifiers Remove Radon [They Don’t, Here’s Why]

Air purifiers can significantly improve the air quality, but there are still chemicals and particles that they will not be able to get rid of. There is a big controversy around the ability of air purifiers to remove radon from the air. 

Air purifiers do not remove radon. Radon is an inert gas which do not react with any other elements including activated carbon, and it is too small to be caught up in the air filters of the purifier. The only way to get rid of radon is through mitgation.

Picture of an air purifier
an air purifier

If you are still not convinced why radon can’t be removed with an air purifier, continue reading;

What is radon

Radon is a natural, noble gas that is detrimental to humans’ health. This gas has no particular smell or color, and it is difficult to identify in the air. Radon exists sporadically in the atmosphere, but it is dispersed enough not to present a health risk. 

When radon exists indoors, it gets inside buildings through doors, windows, and cracks. Breathing indoor radon increases the risk for lung diseases, including lung cancer. 

Why can’t air purifiers remove radon?

I have read many websites claiming that air purifiers can remove radon gas. This is completeley wrong for many reasons.

To understand the reason behind this, first let’s see how an air purifoer works. An air purifier pulls air through a series of filters that trap pollutants in the air. Some air purifiers use activated carbon which adsorbs harmful gases thus eliminating them from circulating through the room.

When gases pass through an acticated carbon filter, they adsorb to the surface of carbon particles because carbon has a natural tendency to react with organic pollutants. However, this adsorbtion doesn’t work with radon.

Why?

Because Radon is an inert gas. This means it will not react with any other element. In addition, Radon gas particles are very tiny compared to the dust and other pollutants in the air. Therefore, even if the radon gas is passed through an air purifier, its filters will not catch Radon. It is true that activated carbon will adsorb a small percentage of radon but that’s not enough to get rid of that gas.

I addition, air purifiers do not prevent radon from entering your house.

The only way to reduce radon levels is through radon mitigation ie, preventing Radon from entering your home. You can also increase room ventilation by opening your windows and using a ceiling fan but these are only temporary solutions.

How to reduce radon levels in your home?

The first step you need to take if you are concerned about radon levels in your home is to test the air. You can ask a professional to perform such a test, or you can purchase a radon test kit and do it yourself. 

According to EPA, radon is dangerous inside a building when it reaches a level of 148 Becquerels/meter3 (4 picocuries/liter) or more. If the testing turns out to be such a result for the radon levels in your home, you need to mitigate it. 

If the radon levels are high, you can hire a professional to install a radon mitigation system in your house. You can also do it DIY but I recommend professional help. Check this article DIY Radon mitigation mistakes if you decide to do it yourself (Here is a list of best radon fans to buy).

Conclusion 

Many companies and blogs will try to push air purifiers claiming they can reduce radon levels. But there is no proof of any air purifier reducing radon levels. The trick to reducing radon levels is to prevent Radon from entering your house, and that is only possible through installing a radon mitigation system.

Charles John

A novice DIYer who learns about home ventilation. I am a mechanical engineer and have a basic knowledge of HVAC systems but I learn continuously to make myself the best blogger in that space.

Latest Posts