What is the average life expectancy of a radon mitigation system?
Sunday, June 24, 2018
The two main components of a radon mitigation system are the duct piping and the exhaust fan. Most of the system is PVC pipe that has a life expectancy of 50 to 70 years or more, which is essentially the lifespan of the house.
Radon mitigation fans have a 5 year manufacturer warranty, although they can run for 20 years or more—as long as the fan is not turned on and off frequently. Electric motor lifespans are rated by the number of on/off cycles, so a fan that is turned off often will have a shorter life.
Most radon mitigation fan are mounted in an enclosed space, such as an attic or under-floor crawl space. Mounting the fan on the exterior is another factor that shortens the life expectancy somewhat, due to the impact of the sun’s UV rays and weather exposure.
Fan life is also shortened by excessive heat in an attic and running the fan at full rated capacity. “Never allow a fan to run at full capacity,” according to Tony Davenport, of Radon Professionals, a radon mitigation contractor in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. “It will shorten the life expectancy by creating excessive heat, because not enough air is passing through the fan. We address that situation by placing a weep hole in the piping just below the fan and that reduces the amount of suction and allows cooling air to pass through the fan.”
The list of variables that affect the life expectancy of a radon mitigation fan make pinning down how soon one will fail difficult. “We just did a service call on a system that we installed 22 years ago,” says Tony. “The fan was still running and the radon levels were still below 4.0 pCi/L. But we also replaced the same fan model that was 9 years old the next day at another house because the bearings had failed.”
Go to our blog posts What is the operating cost of a radon mitigation system? and Do radon mitigation systems require maintenance? to learn more.
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post ”How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?”
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