Home Improvement

What Is a Passive Radon System?

Radon gas is a common problem in many areas, requiring house owners to ensure that there are effective radon combating strategies implemented in the house. By doing this, house owners can rest assured that there is a lower (or none at all) risk of radon gas getting in their houses.

From radon gas fans to passive and active radon mitigation systems, many systems can be used for ensuring sufficient ventilation that ultimately leads to a radon-safe house. If you are not sure whether a passive radon system is for you or not, read out this article as here we are going to shed light on the topic and how this system works.

In most cases, radon mitigation systems are either passive or active. It is important to understand the differences between the two to make sure that you and your family are completely protected from radon gas and ultimately from getting lung cancer.

What is a passive radon mitigation system?

It is a system that works without the need for a radon fan. Natural pressure differentials are used in order to exhaust air (and with it, radon gas) out of your house through the roof. Because of the pressure differences, the air/radon gas moves by itself in an efficient system without needing a radon fan.

These systems are generally installed when constructing the house and are difficult to place afterward.

How does a passive radon reduction system work?

As said earlier, the working methodology of the passive radon mitigation systems is pressure differences. When there is a difference between indoor pressure and outdoor pressure, the air moves towards the lesser radon density area, outside of the house. This pressure buoyancy is created as a result of the difference in indoor and outdoor temperatures as well as moisture levels.

The air buoyancy that causes this exchange of air is known as the stack effect. Because newly constructed houses are generally airtight in order to accommodate energy, this process doesn’t take place as smoothly. In these cases, the passive radon mitigation system needs to be converted into active radon mitigation systems.

Why does it need to be activated?

Passive Radon Mitigation Systems are typically not advised to be stand-alone because there may be a few issues that may arise with its installation that would need for it to be activated. Some of the scenarios that may occur and cause a passive radon mitigation system to be activated are as follows.

Improper installation

As mentioned earlier, these systems are typically installed when the houses are being constructed. Unfortunately, that means that the systems are handled by people who have little to no experience with radon and do not understand the situations that can cause problems with the systems.

Hence, improperly installed radon mitigation systems may pose a false peace of mind for the homeowner while causing serious damage.

Bad quality

Bad quality radon mitigation systems cause inefficient working. This may result in inferior performance that does little to nothing to protect the people living in the house from radon. Installing a bad-quality radon mitigation system is almost the same as not installing one. So, it is advised that when you are about to get one installed, make sure that the quality is top-notch; otherwise, it won’t be of any use.

Extremely high radon levels

While an efficient and adequately installed passive mitigated system might combat well against low levels of radon, higher levels of radon may be too much to handle by them. If your area is known to have higher radon levels, you should look for active radon mitigation systems instead of passive ones.

What are the advantages of a passive radon system?

Some of the benefits that come with a passive radon mitigation system are as follows.

They use no electricity and are completely quiet. That may seem like a huge advantage, but it is almost the same with active radon mitigation systems. They use little energy but are also quiet.

They are not visible. Because these systems are installed when the house is being constructed, the exterior is taken care of. The aesthetic advantage of passive radon mitigation systems is what makes them different from active systems.

After you move into your new house with a passive radon mitigation system, get it tested for radon levels. If your radon levels are higher than they should be, then activate your system.


No matter what system you go for, the purpose is to make your house radon-free. While both active and passive systems do the job perfectly, a passive radon system is not suitable for places where there is a high level of radon present in the air. However, it works best for low-level radon areas and offers a few advantages discussed above.

Moreover, a passive radon system can work simultaneously as well and keep you protected from getting exposed to radon. Find out more here about the best way to mitigate radon.

Whatever it is, this article helps you understand what a passive system is and how it works. The use of it now all depends on how much you are affected by radon and how you want to mitigate it.