How Much Does a Radon Mitigation System Cost?

Keeping the air in your home clean and safe to breathe isn’t just about having a few houseplants and living far from highly polluted areas. Without knowing it, your home’s air could contain dangerous levels of radon, a naturally occurring gas that has been linked to lung cancer.

Any home can have a radon problem: new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

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What Is Radon?

You may be breathing it in right now. Radon is a gas — colorless, odorless and radioactive. It can enter your home from the ground and get into the air you breathe and the water you drink.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, nearly one of every 15 homes in the U.S. has an unsafe radon level. It’s the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., after smoking, according to the EPA. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. every year.

Radon is created from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. Earthquakes can help radon escape, and construction work may as well, so if you have a project going on next door with bulldozing equipment breaking open the ground, you may want to start thinking about radon.

But radon can leak into your home for no apparent reason.

Radon comes out of earth everywhere and generally goes into the open air harmlessly. If radon makes its way indoors, however, a house can trap radon, with the worst of the gas lurking in your basement.

If you find high radon levels in your home, you may need a radon mitigation system. These systems use fans to continuously pull air from the soil and vent it outdoors through a pipe that ends above the edge of the roof into the open air. A radon mitigation system may also involve sealing your foundation to make sure there aren’t cracks and openings where radon can slip through.

Should I Measure Radon in My Home?

Gloria Linnertz founded Citizens for Radioactive Radon Reduction, a nonprofit dedicated to radon awareness and regular testing, after her husband’s terminal lung cancer diagnosis prompted her to get her home tested for radon. “We didn’t know that we had been living with high levels of radon in our home for a long time,” she says.

The good news is that there are simple tests to tell you if your home has elevated levels of radon gas, and mitigation systems are available to lower the amount of radon in your home to less harmful levels.

Some parts of the country are worse than others. In Ohio, half of the homes tested for radon have elevated levels, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In Kansas, data suggests it’s in 25% of homes. In Colorado, it’s half.

Cindy Raney, a real estate agent specializing in luxury property and founder of Cindy Raney & Team in Westport, Connecticut, says because it’s an issue that can easily be fixed, radon levels don’t tend to derail sales negotiations.

“We’ve never had someone walk away from a home due to radon,” she says.

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How Much Does Radon Testing and Mitigation Cost?

You can hire a professional to conduct a test or get a do-it-yourself kit. A one-time test will determine the amount of radon — measured in picocuries per liter of air, or pCi/L — over the course of around 48 hours. EPA-approved DIY tests start around $10. These DIY kits generally include a separate lab analysis fee for the air or water samples you collect and submit. Follow the directions on the packaging for the proper placement and where to send the device after the test.

The National Radon Program Services at Kansas State University also offers discounted test kits available to purchase online.

Home improvement and information website Angi advises that radon testing should be done by a professional, with an average cost of $419.

According to Angi, the average cost of radon mitigation is $1,020, and the range you might expect to pay is between $782 and $1,258.

What to Know About Radon Testing

If you find out you have radon in your home, here are some helpful things to know:

— If your home has a 4 pCi/L or higher, you should take action to lower the concentration in your home, according to the EPA.

— If your home’s radon numbers are between 2 and 4, you may want consider steps to lower that level.

— If it’s under 2, you probably don’t have to worry. The average home has 1.3 pCi/L, although the EPA notes that no amount of radon in your home is safe.

— Radon levels fluctuate over time. Even if your levels are low, you might consider a radon detector for monitoring. These devices cost around $100.

— If you are buying a home or selling your home, have it tested for radon.

— For a new home, ask if radon-resistant construction features were used and whether the home has been tested.

— Check the EPA’s radon zone map to see if your area is known for increased radon levels.

Types of Radon Mitigation

The type of radon mitigation system you install may impact the total cost, and one may be considered optimal based on your home and radon level.

Active soil depressurization uses suction to pull radon gas through a pipe from the soil under the foundation of a house and out into the open air. A hole is made in the foundation and radon suction pipes are installed along with a collection chamber at the site of the hole. A fan in the pipe system then pulls the gas that seeps into the chamber up and outside. This is the most common radon mitigation method used by professionals, and says that you might get away with spending as little as $110 — the low end for a radon fan — or as much $3,000 for the block suction method, which uses both fans and interior ductwork.

Passive depressurization creates the same hole, collection chamber and pipe system, but there is no fan to use suction to pull the radon through the pipe. HomeAdvisor reports the price range is slightly less than an active system, at $500 to $2,500.

If you have a crawl space in your home, a vapor barrier can be used to seal the underground space, with an airtight hole for the radon mitigation system to function similarly.

Repairing any cracks in your foundation and sealing your basement to better waterproof the space can also be helpful in lowering radon in your home, ideally in conjunction with a more formal mitigation system.

Before you spend a small fortune on your radio mitigation system, Brian Durham, managing broker at Realty Group LLC and Realty Group Premier in Burnsville, Minnesota, has some suggestions.

“When looking for someone to perform any radon testing or remediation in your home, make sure they are certified by a professional organization,” Durham says. “I recommend looking for the National Radon Safety Board certification.”

Ask if there’s a warranty offered for the work done, he says, and if the installer can guarantee to what amount they will get the radon level.

“One of my preferred vendors has a guarantee that they will get the level to below 2 picocuries per liter after the new system is installed,” Durham says.

He also advises homeowners to keep future resale in mind. “Ask the installer where they plan to run the needed venting,” Durham says. “I’ve seen some vents that were not very aesthetically pleasing, affecting the opinion buyers had about the home.”

Raney seconds that thought. She says that most systems are silent, but in some cases, “the fan can be noisy. It’s best to not place this near outdoor patios or places where you’ll be sitting and relaxing.”

The radon in your home’s indoor air can come from two sources, the soil or your water supply. Radon entering your home through soil is usually a much larger risk. If you are concerned about radon and you have a private well, consider testing for radon in both air and water.

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What to Do After You Get a Radon Mitigation System

Breathe easily — to a point. A functioning radon mitigation system can help protect you from exposure to elevated levels of radon gas, but it’s still important for homeowners to remain diligent.

“They should test every two years, even with a mitigation system, because different things can happen — different things may change,” Linnertz says.

Durham agrees. “Radon is everywhere and fluctuates significantly from area to area. In some places, almost every home is above the acceptable level,” he says. “I’ve have seen significant level changes from when someone bought the home to them selling five or six years later.”

Raney admits that testing for radon isn’t a high priority for a lot of homeowners. Even she has trouble doing it.

“I tested my home when we purchased it, and we do have a system in place,” she says. “We all should retest now, though, since we had that earthquake (in April) on the East Coast, but I still haven’t done it.”

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How Much Does a Radon Mitigation System Cost? originally appeared on

Update 06/20/24: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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